Tropical storms might delay latest adventure in fitness — but less-than-ideal weather conditions certainly won’t stop him from kayaking around Long Island starting this week.
L'HommeDieu, a Riverhead-based wellness coach and physical therapist known more familiarly as “Dr. Russ,” has been training since early spring to tackle the 275-miles of shoreline, beginning and ending at Montauk Point. The 45-year-old is taking the trip to celebrate 10 years of maintaining a dramatic weight loss — he once weighed more than 400 pounds — and to raise money for diabetes research.
“It's going to be worse than nasty tomorrow, so I have to postpone leaving by one day,” Dr. Russ told Patch on Tuesday. “The Montauk to Shinnecock Inlet leg of the trip is the most dangerous, so I need to be extra sensitive to the weather. After that, I need to be careful of [Tropical Storm] Leslie, which is now just south of Bermuda, already causing high seas here.”
When he was obese, Dr. Russ was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. He also had a young son who wanted a kayak, which Dr. Russ refused to get him at first. Then he said he realized what he was holding back from his son and from his own life — so he started paddling.
“What I have found is that lasting weight loss comes when people focus on the life they gain,” he wrote in a recent blog. “They get jazzed about being healthy, climbing mountains or playing with grand kids. The most important thing for them is life, not weight loss.”
L'HommeDieu has raised $1,500 so far and said he hopes to raise $7,000. The 10-day kayaking route is listed below. Click on his blog here to follow the route and search Patch for more of Dr. Russ’s fitness blogs.
Day 1 Map - 09/06/12 Montauk to Shinnecock Inlet 40.1 Miles
Day 2 Map - 09/07/12 Shinnecock Inlet to Smith Point Park 25.5 Miles
Day 3 Map - 09/08/12 Smith Point Park to Captree / Jones Beach 31.21 Miles
Day 4 Map - 09/09/12 Captree / Jones Beach to Rockaway Inlet 30.03 Miles
Day 5 Map - 09/10/12 Roackaway Inlet to Sands Point 35.21 Miles
Day 6 Map - 09/11/12 Sands Point to Port Jefferson 36.27 Miles
Day 7 Map - 09/12/12 Port Jefferson to Mattituck 28.01 Miles
Day 8 Map - 09/13/12 Mattituck to Orient 22.29 Miles
Day 9 Map - 09/14/12 Orient to Lake Montauk 16.40 Miles
Day 10 Map - 09/15/12 Lake Montauk to Montauk Point 4.14 Miles