His middle name, Makalani, is Hawaiian for "skilled at writing," so it's no surprise that Cincinnati Bengals' defensive captain Dhani Jones has a book out this month. In The Sportsman, he chronicles the 2008 off season, during which he traveled around the world for the Travel Channel television show, Dhani Tackles the Globe. For each episode, he spent a week in a foreign country learning an indigenous sport—from tossing the caber at the Scottish Highland Games to running the sand and surf gamut at an Australian lifesaving competition—before getting thrashed by the locals. "I came in last place in the 100-yard sand dash, barely completed the 600-meter swim, and literally fell off the men's double-ski," Jones writes of the Austrailian comp. In the book, each adventure comes packed with fitness advice, travel recommendations, and anecdotes from more than ten years in the NFL. Outside caught up with Jones to talk about his latest endeavor. --Whitney Dreier
Describe the book-writing experience. I've always been a writer. I've always been passionate about words and thoughts and how you assemble them together to make something substantial. The hardest part of writing a book is focusing on one theme and getting everything else through that vein. [Co-author] Jonathan Grotenstein and I just hit it off. He got me, he got my voice, he got my vision. He got the whole -- not to be cliche -- he got the whole enchilada. We vibed.
The book describes your sporting adventures, from Muay Thai boxing in Thailand to Schwingen in Switzerland. You must enjoy seeing new places. Traveling has always been a part of my lifestyle. I want people to know that in the book. I want people to realize that we live in a great country -- the best country -- however, there is a whole 'nother world out there, and there's nothing wrong with going to check out the rest of the world. Experience it.
Were local people responsive to your show and your attempts to learn their sports? Most of the time people were accepting, but there were definitely uncomfortable situations at times. I had to understand that different countries have different cultures and different customs. I tried to go into it with a clean head and say look, this is what life is: Life is being a blank canvas and allowing the people around you to add color to it. You can go into a country with a colorful canvas, but don't let the colors on your canvas pollute the ones already there.
"I had never been in a bike race," says Jones, in Italy. "And I knew I wasn't going to win the Gran Fondo del Monte Grappa."
What sport did you find most difficult? Going to Nepal was one of the hardest trips. All it was was hiking, but it was hiking at 19,000 feet. You don't realize how difficult that is and how challenging, how trying, how unbelievably tired you become.
Can you share some tips from the road? 1. Only pack what you need. And if you run out, wash it in the sink.
2. Always bring something to record your trip, whether that be a camera, a pen and pad, or some type of video recorder.
3. Follow the locals. You know what they look like. They know what you look like. If they don't look like you, follow them! Don't follow the people who look like you, you might as well stay at home.
On travel fitness? 1. There's no good fitness without good nutrition. You're not going to function if you don't eat well. If you eat bad, what's the point of working out? The eating's going to catch up to you. It's not difficult to have good food -- even the restaurants are taking care of you: you can't go to a sushi restaurant and get regular soy sauce, you gotta get low sodium.
2. There's no good fitness without good sleep. If you don't have a good sleep cycle, you're not going to have a sustainable workout; you're going to fight against your body trying to become better. There's so many great jobs and businesses out there that allow for meditation and outdoor activities during the day. There's always an option, it's all about how you divide your time.
3. There's no good fitness without good thoughts. You have to have a positive mindset to create positive energy. If your mind's not in the right place, you're not going to accomplish anything. If you walk into the gym and you're like I hate this place, then leave. Being mentally clear, that's on you. You gotta take a little onus for yourself.
What do you hope readers take away from The Sportsman? The book is about finding your passion and staying true to that. A lot of times we get distracted and feel compelled to live by another person's standard. It's important that you evaluate what you really believe is important to you -- and live it. Just do it, cause it's your life, right? Fuck it, just do it. [Pause] I wish you could change that somehow -- my mom's trying to get me away from the expletives.
Jones attempts water polo in Croatia. "It takes a lot of damn work to beat my legs hard enough to keep my head above water," he wrote.
The Sportsman ($26) is due out June 7, wherever books are sold and at amazon.com.
Today's reports that George Hincapie has flipped on Lance Armstrong don't bode well for the seven-time Tour de France winner (and frequent Outside cover subject). Unlike previous Armstrong accusers Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis, Hincapie didn't go public with his accusations—he reportedly told federal investigators, not a TV or newspaper reporter, that he witnessed Armstrong use performance-enhancing drugs. And unlike Hamilton and Landis—both of whom were suspected of doping long before they came clean— Hincapie has a sterling reputation, no ax to grind, and no feasible way to profit from accusing Lance. Hincapie and Armstrong were best friends. This is akin to Andy Pettite testifying against Roger Clemens, Kathy Hoskins testifying against Barry Bonds. So, how will Armstrong respond? An hour ago, he tweeted that he was going to meet with the Nike Livestrong team. The dam may be breached. —ABE STREEP
The New York Times reported Friday that former professional cyclist Tyler Hamilton has surrendered his 2004 Olympic gold medal after admitting to doping during his cycling career. The article states that the International Olympic Committee has been in touch with the United States Anti-Doping Agency and, according to IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau, "has taken note of Hamilton’s confession and will, of course, study any potential Games-related implications.” Hamilton won the gold medal in the Athens 2004 time-trial race. If he is stripped of the gold medal, the title would go to Viatcheslav Ekimov, the silver to American Bobby Julich, and the bronze to Michael Rogers, of Australia.
The news came after yesterday's CBS report in which Hamilton accused seven-time Tour De France winner and Lance Armstrong of doping. Hamilton, a former teammate of Armstrong's, told CBS's Scott Pelley in a soon-to-air interview that he and others saw Armstrong inject the blood-boosting drug EPO on several occasions. Hamilton claims that Armstrong used EPO during the 1999 Tour De France—the first year Armstrong won—and to prepare for the 2000 and 2001 races. Hamilton and Armstrong were teammates on the United States Postal Service team during those years.
"What did you actually witness?" Pelley asked Hamilton.
"I saw it in his refrigerator. I saw him inject it—more than one time."
"You saw Lance Armstrong inject EPO?"
"Yeah, like, we all did."
Lance Armstrong is currently the focus of a federal investigation on doping in cycling, a story Outsidecovered in our October 2010 issue. Last July, Hamilton was subpoenaed to appear before the federal grand jury. While Hamilton's attorney confirmed the subpoena to ESPN.com, he would not comment on the schedule of Hamilton's testimony.
After Hamilton won the gold medal in 2004, he tested positive for a banned blood transfusion. He retired in 2009 after admitting taking a supplement containing a banned steroid and is currently under an eight-year ban from cycling.
A teaser of the interview can be seen at CBS.com. The full interview will air Sunday, May 22 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Comedian Stephen Colbert announced today at the New York Auto Show that he will once again be competing in the biennial Charleston Bermuda Race, this time with the newly formed Team Audi, according to Audi USA News.
“If you're going to win a race, you want to be in an Audi,” exclaimed Colbert. “I tried bolting a mast and sail to an S5 cabriolet and took her for spin on the harbor, and the results were, well...moist! So I decided if I couldn’t sail an Audi, I would ask them to sponsor my boat.”
Colbert's yacht—a 65-foot ocean-racing yacht dubbed, you guessed it, "The Audi"—will depart May 21 from Charleston, South Carolina, and race 777 miles to Bermuda. Colbert himself will be Team Audi's official "Morale Officer."
Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America, joined Colbert in announcing Team Audi. "We’re proud to support winning teams in this arena and are expecting nothing less than greatness from Stephen and Team Audi. Not to put too much pressure on them, but we’re looking forward to watching the team cross the finish line first this time around.”
Colbert also competed in the 2005 Charleston Bermuda Race, with less than stellar results, which he talks about in our May Issue. This year he began his training early, as documented during our cover shoot.
This Sunday, BMC Racing Team's George Hincapie will line up for his 16th Paris-Roubaix as the top American contender. At 37 years old, he's been trying to win this monument of cycling for a long time and come heartbreakingly close (seven times in the top ten, including 2nd in 2005 and 4th in 1999 and 2001). At last week's Tour of Flanders, BMC proved that it's up to supporting him: The team almost singlehandedly brought back the dangerous breakaway duo of Fabian Cancellara and Sylvain Chavanel, and both Hincapie and teammate Alessandro Ballan reached the line in the select first group of 12, finishing 6th and 12th respectively.