I had the pleasure of interviewing Doug Blumenthal. Doug is a Spartan Racer, a Professional Polo Player, and videographer, capturing some of the most exciting polo moments on the West Coast. Now an ambassador for Madrigal Creatives, Blumenthal uses various Madrigal Creatives Products to train harder and recover faster, saying it helps him with sleep, pain and recovery. Like most athletes, Blumenthal is excited about how CBD can provide benefits to athletes including improving recovery and with that increasing competition.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a bit of your backstory?
I grew up in Southern California, not the Los Angeles area like all would immediately think but the Coachella Valley, and that was prior to it being known for the Coachella festival and being hip. My focus was on polo and it soon garnered more of my attention than School, but I graduated and continued to play. I have played in Hawaii, Florida, Argentina and throughout California. I became fascinated by photography, which transitioned into videography. I now use drone technology to capture some amazing moments in polo in between training and competing in my new-found love, Spartan racing. I recently got married to the love of my life and am a new father to my wife’s two- year old daughter.
What is your background in sports?
My dad was old school and wanted a “ball player” for a son so he started pitching baseballs to me at two years old and had me in tee ball a year earlier than the other kids. My dad was relentless and knew I could hit at a higher level than the other kids and brought the heat when I came up to bat, which sometimes to my supreme frustration, resulted in strike outs. Like other kids, I played hockey, soccer, and baseball that is until I was eight and played my first polo game. Polo is played in over 100 countries, for good reason - it is highly addictive!
I was hooked and after a couple months of Junior polo I dropped all my other sports and 6 years later I made it to the pros. By the time I was 16 I had played in the highest level of polo California has to offer and I was home schooled through high school to continue my training and working with horses. I love training young horses into polo ponies, the bravery and athleticism it takes to be a polo pony is truly amazing and getting them on that path is extremely gratifying. It is said that the game of polo is 80% the horse, I actually think that it is more and those with best horses are the farthest ahead. Being able to train your own horses definitely gives you a leg up on the competition. I cannot wait until Madrigal Creatives comes up with a horse CBD (I know my dog loves the pain relief spray for dogs) which will also be game-changing.
Polo took up the largest part of my life and definitely has been my most favorite sport and responsible for my livelihood and I love it, I was therefore completely surprised by my next passion that came on strong, Spartan Racing.
Why Spartan Racing?
Spartan Racing is said to be the most challenging obstacle race in the world, and it is the fastest growing, like me, people want and love to be challenged. Joe De Cena, the CEO, is said to have started Spartan Racing to get people off the couch, however it does so much more.
I love the sense of community at a Spartan Race, everyone is friendly, truly enjoying themselves and the courses all have so much variety that they are challenging in a different way. You never know what you are going to get which makes it even more challenging to plan and train for.
What is the most challenging part of Spartan Racing?
The most challenging part of spartan racing for me is keeping the balance in health and wellness in between races. It’s easy enough to go to the gym every day or eat “pretty much” healthy but it takes a perfect balance to show up feeling great at 15 races a year, sometimes multiple in a day or weekend. You have to train hard, fuel your body properly and focus on the recovery side of things if you want a shot at that podium.
The obstacles in spartan races range from heavy carries to various climbing challenges and even a memory test from time to time.
My favorite obstacle is definitely the spear throw. I love it because I’m naturally good at it and it has an 80% failure rate giving me a huge advantage which allows me to go into it with confidence.
The carries are buckets and sand bags ranging from 50 to 80 pounds that usually take you up a hill and back or through a swamp but this is a good obstacle for me as well because it’s based more on strength and grit rather than speed.
How have Madrigal Creatives Products Helped you to Show Up Your Best?
There are several benefits of CBD for athletes and has caused me to depend on several products in the Madrigal Creatives line. Any hard work out or race day starts with the Relieve Plus CBD pain relief Gel. It goes on easy and is packed with not only CBD but essential oils and arnica. I use it on anything that starts off sore (usually my legs) or if I know that spot is going to taking a beating like my calves or ankles before a race since CBD for endurance athletes seems especially beneficial. I also use the CBD pain relief gel pre-workout because it just plain makes me feel good.
I also rely on CBD body spray, Boost and Soothe. I keep them in my workout bag at the gym or my hydro pack on the trail to use during training and racing to prevent or soothe cramps. The benefits of magnesium for athletes is huge and these pack 2000 mg. It was ingenious to make a CBD body spray and put magnesium, and essential oils in the oil body spray. It works perfectly to curb cramps and on general stiffness and to freshen up, I did not initially realize it, but magnesium is often used as natural deodorants along with the other benefits. Using the CBD body spray half-way through a race or in between races could be the difference between making the podium or getting a medical disqualification (and not stinking up the place).
After the race I apply the CBD body gel again and run back to the bathtub to use CBD bath bombs. CBD bath bombs, like Madrigal Creatives, OOOH and AAAH are amplify the benefits of CBD for athletes and I feel like bath bombs are my real secret to quick recovery for back to back race days. Especially, the AAAH bath bomb which was formulated specifically to provide recovery and CBD benefits for athletes. Not normally a bath guy, I was surprised at the recovery benefits of CBD bath bombs and now don’t race at all without them.
Finally, the relaxing benefits are really a valuable tool the night before a race when you need that hard to get pre-race sleep, especially when in a strange hotel or environment which always makes sleep even more challenging.
Right now, staying motivated is especially tough, how do you stay motivated?
One of Spartans big mental obstacles is knowing your “why” and keeping that “why” fresh and in focus.
Why am I out here pushing and punishing myself?
At the beginning of an endeavor it is easy to have a good why but after a while, or in at a time like now when so much has changed, you need to refresh, update and adapt your reason for pushing and staying hungry out there.
For everyone it’s different but my why is competition and a healthy lifestyle.
During a workout and during a race I stay motivated by literally hearing the Spartan event announcers talking about me like I’m watching the race at home. I picture myself on the podium with the medal looking clean and comfortable and happy and it gives me a speed boost and keeps something subconsciously back there all the time that reminds me of my goal.
I’m a competitor and I work hard in the gym and on the trail so I can show up and perform well against the course and my fellow Spartans. That’s fun for me and It makes the healthy diet and lifestyle a lot easier to keep in focus.
How can our readers follow you on social media?