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Health & Fitness

Rediscovering Columbus: Wheels

Unicycling is just one unique way to get out and around in the city. Tom Schneider knows a thing or two about adventure. As a jumpmaster and rappel master in the army, his every day job consisted of stunts that us regular people plan a lifetime for. In 2016, he sprained both wrists, which meant [...]
Jeni Ruisch



Unicycling is just one unique way to get out and around in the city.

Tom Schneider knows a thing or two about adventure.

As a jumpmaster and rappel master in the army, his every day job consisted of stunts that us regular people plan a lifetime for. In 2016, he sprained both wrists, which meant he would be benched for the skydiving and rappelling season. But he needed to scratch that danger itch, and where does one go for adventure when they can already jump out of a plane with their eyes closed?

They take a walk on the weird side, of course.

As he was healing and enjoying the spring weather with his wife, he hit a garage sale. Sitting off to the side at one sale was a vintage 1960s unicycle. Schneider flashed back to his childhood, when he had tooled around on one wheel for fun around age ten, until it broke after he started riding it off road. At that time, they just weren’t designed for rough terrain. He decided to pay the $10 asking price and see if he could still ride. In less than an hour, he was back in business. 40 years had passed since his last one-wheeled adventure. Schneider had just taken himself down an unplanned and unconventional path. Figuratively, as well as literally.

Two short years have passed since Schneider rekindled his single-axle love affair. In that time, he has been sponsored by Nimbus Unicycles and After curiously Googling “extreme unicycling,” he discovered that someone somewhere had had the bright (or maybe crazy) idea to create a mountain unicycle. He fell in love with off-roading, and then added a long-distance cycle to his herd. In 2017, he rode over 400 miles on one wheel between training and charity work –including becoming the first person to complete the Pelotonia on one wheel.

Schneider compares the challenge and focus of unicycle riding to his training as a skydiver. The difference therein is that padding counts.

“You will fall a lot, and all you’re thinking about is that next tree root, rock etc. I’m not brave; I watch a bicyclist clear a route—[they] did it, so I will. It may take me several attempts, but I know it’s doable. Each time you clear a trail, your confidence shoots thru the roof. You won’t get cocky because you may not clear it the next time.

“It’s a massive workout as well—your legs are going to be sore because they don’t stop working. You’ll need to eat more and drink plenty of water with electrolytes. You’ll burn through calories like crazy!”

Unicycling is different from bicycling in that there are no handlebars, no gears, no coasting, no chain. And unicycles are very unforgiving—one wrong move and you’re down. The riders rely on their core for control; they must stay directly above the wheel. On a bike, the rider is stabilized and spread out over two wheels and a frame, leaning forward. Schneider didn’t ride bicycles at all prior to his foray into single-wheeled adventure. In the last two years, he has dusted off his old road bike, and become a commuter cyclist. But this is only to support his habit.

“If I miss three or four days of uni, then I have to start all over again, and riding my bike to and from work helps with that.”

There are plenty of mountain bike trails in the Columbus area. Much like mountain biking, mountain unicycling is simply riding in the woods versus the street. Alum Creek has trails available for public use that are maintained by the Central Ohio Mountain Bike Organization, the only group authorized by the state to build and maintain trails.

A great way to keep in shape, both mentally and physically, the novelty of the sport may overshadow the practice. But keeping an open mind may lead a new rider down a one-wheeled path to health and fellowship.

“I am truly trying to build the uni community here in Columbus. I’m 55 yrs old and in the best shape of my life, shy of the Army. Many say, ‘I could never do that…’ Yeah, you’re probably right because you just told yourself you can’t! Get with me and I’d be overjoyed to teach you.”

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Health & Fitness

5 unique ways to improve wellness without a treadmill

Jeni Ruisch



big percentage of the resolutions we make every year involve getting in shape and/or improving our overall wellness. But running on a treadmill is only slightly more attractive an activity than, say, waiting in line at the DMV. And unless you can sit still for more than two minutes, meditation is out of the question. If you want to really challenge yourself to step outside your normal bubble, face your fears while finding balance. You’ll conquer your phobias AND the scale.


True REST Float Spa

You can achieve a state of buoyancy akin to floating on a cloud. The key is a pod filled with hyper-salinated water, heated to the temperature of your skin. Reduced Environmental Stimulus Therapy can help your mind find peace.


Life Energy Yoga

Did you ever dream of becoming an acrobat? This exercise consists of poses done with a partner. You can make human pyramids, or even learn to stand on each other’s shoulders, or contort yourselves into knots of fun.


Infinity Aerial

Raise your skills to the roof with aerial silks, the skill made popular by Cirque Du Soleil and performing artist P!nk. A long swath of fabric pours down from ceiling supports, and the performer uses friction and strength to support themselves in poses among the waterfall of silk.


Columbus Scuba

The depths of the ocean hold more mysteries than the surface of the moon. Brave men and women strap Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus to their backs every day the world over, and dive into the unknown.


The Buckeye Bounce Club

If you thank your lucky stars for gravity, and the hard ground under your feet, maybe it’s time to shake yourself free of the terra for a few ticks. The Buckeye Bounce Club is a gym where the workouts are done on wall-to-wall trampolines, or rather, ceiling-to-ceiling, as the walls themselves are bounceable, just like the floors.

Originally appeared in (614) Magazine December 2017

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Does “detox water” really work?

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC



Water, H20, aqua: the most basic of necessities for human life. Water is a vital part of many bodily functions, including removal of waste products, but can we make water even “better” for us as a “detox water?"

Simple answer: no.

H20, i.e. two hydrogen atoms connected to an oxygen atom, is the chemical identity of water. This specific formation is what separates it from other molecules, and makes it the most vital substance to human existence.

Soaking things in your water like ginger, cinnamon, or cucumbers can alter the taste but will not chemically alter the structure. Water infusions like the ones listed in the post above can taste great, but water is still H20 and will function as such.

That being said, water infusions are not bad; in fact if you’re struggling to meet your daily intake, water infusions are often an idea I suggest to patients and clients. Mixing up the flavors can bring water can elevate the flavor, making it easier to drink throughout the day!

Take-away: Don’t let social media tell you water can be changed to a magical detox; water is already an amazing life giving drink. Instead, use social media for inspiration for trying a new tasty drink that might help you get the adequate hydration you’ve been struggling to get!

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: 30 Day Challenges

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC



@DietBetch, a popular Instagram account with over 213k followers, tends to post memes that subtly poking fun at our diet culture. But recently, I was disappointed to see a post about a "30 Day Challenge" that reinforces the unhealthy, fad diet-obsessed world we live in.

This "30 Day Challenge" prohibits participants from consuming foods that many people often associate with being “unhealthy” like soda, candy, and doughnuts.

As a dietitian, I’m not going to disagree that the foods listed do tend to be higher in nutrients of concerns—like added sugars and salt, and overall calories—but, I absolutely believe they can be part of a balanced diet.

By completely removing foods from the diet with a 30 Day Challenge like this, one will simply think, “No…for this month." This purge-style challenge won't teach healthy sustainable eating habits like intuitive eating or portion control.

Take-away: Instead of tagging a friend for a restrictive diet challenge that doesn’t set either of you up for long-term success, try implementing a small sustainable change. Maybe instead of going out for fast food every day of the workweek with a friend, you both could try packing once a week and share recipes and meal ideas!

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