When it comes to outdoor sports, personal trainer and self-proclaimed kid-at-heart Chase Pettey is as strong of an advocate to get outside and get the blood pumping as anybody. The former Missourian can be found fitness training himself, and others, at Sarasota’s Definition Fit gym. Pettey got into all things “adventure” about six years ago, and most recently, taking up off-roading activities like mountain biking. “I love the adrenaline rush you get with every ride,” he says. “I am certainly no expert, but adventuring isn’t about being great at something, it’s about getting outdoors and disconnecting from technology, all while enjoying something that fills you up.” In the summer when it gets too hot and humid here, Pettey travels out of state once or twice a month to ride, and in the winter months, he does laps for training at least every other week at Red Bug Slough to keep in shape for snowboarding season and trips out west. “I like riding solo, but mostly with friends. I mainly go out with Dave Weiner—co-owner of Definition Fit—and do my best just to keep up!” These days, Pettey stays busy with his new company, GTFO (Get the “F” Outside), launching January 20. At first glance, it appears to be simply a cool hat company with various outdoorsy landscape prints, but it is so much more. Every hat was created with the intention to inspire and give back: 50 percent of its profit goes to instilling purpose in the lives of individuals with exceptionalities through adventure. Each trucker hat design started as an adventure story—experienced by someone on the GTFO team—and from each experience/story, a lesson was learned and passed along by being printed in ink on the inside of every cap. Though GTFO is just getting off the ground, it is already making great strides to helping a wide range of participants with mental and physical exceptionalities. “We focus on the potential of an individual, and then we help them understand and see that potential within themselves through new adventurous activities,” says Pettey. “Findings suggest that outdoor education and wilderness programs can foster mental health in youths, young adults and spark a childlike mentality in older generations. We want to educate people on the growth that can come from outdoor adventures in an unfamiliar natural physical environment.” —  B.MATTIE    Personal Trainer and Founder of GTFO Co., @gtfoco,,, @theadventuretrainer.

Favorite Spots to Trail Run or BIke

Moab, Utah is one of the most beautiful places for backcountry running or biking. Red rocks as tall as skyscrapers and natural trails—the way Mother Nature intended. 

When it comes to local spots, Alafia River State Park is probably my favorite place to ride and within an hour drive. I would recommend going here before heading somewhere more mountainous to train and practice technique. 

Snowmass, Colorado, is my favorite place to visit when I want to do some man-made downhill mountain biking. The wide variety of greens, blues and blacks are great for any level rider, but what really makes this location are the views.

Fitness + Training Tips

Get saddle time and do longer rides on a stationary bike in a controlled environment. This allows you to also test snacks and certain drinks to see how your body responds instead of having a bad reaction out on the trails.Practice changing a tire and making it second nature. I struggle making myself do this as well, but it is important to be prepared for those really bad situations. Train for muscle endurance. I recommend isometrics for long periods of time and high reps to test and build up lactate thresholds.  Lastly, just get out in Mother Nature. Nothing beats hitting the trails and just doing it. This helps a person disconnect from the daily routine, allowing them the mental space to dissect their self-concept and identity.

Nourishment + Snackage

Hydration is key to any good ride—I cannot emphasize this enough. You can do water, but I recommend finding a good hydration supplement for added energy. I personally drink Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier, which you can buy online in all different flavors. Any local athletic store, vitamin and supplement shop will carry electrolyte hydration powder options as well.  Super Value Nutrition, 5842 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, 941-342-1908,

Carb-heavy snacks are essential. You want foods that are extremely easy to digest and that provide glucose for your muscles as they begin to run out of glycogen.This will allow energy production to continue at a high rate. I like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Honey Stinger Organic Sports Nutrition waffles, energy chews, protein bars, and gels, which you can get at Environeers. They also have other really good carb-heavy/endurance snacks!

Beginner Tips

Go with an experienced rider so you can focus on enjoying the ride when you first get started or else you risk getting lost, getting a flat tire you can’t change, etc. And if you do intend to go out alone, ALWAYS tell someone where you’re going to run or ride, how long you’ll be and that you’ll check in with them periodically. This way if something were to happen, you are covered. Don’t buy a bike right out the gate. Rent a high-quality bike at first, so you have a bike with great suspension that allows for more forgiveness when you do make mistakes. Get sufficient saddle time—what I mean by this is, sit on a stationary bike and get used to sitting on that seat for at least an hour. If you skip this step, then expect to walk funny for a solid three to four days after your first ride!

Top Gear

Always remember: The tree always wins. So be prepared to buy a good helmet with MIPS technology. I personally have a Smith Optics helmet; you can find them at local bike shops.

Fox Racing gloves help reduce the numbness in my hands from vibration. Plus, when you first start and are dealing with feeling nervous, you don’t want to be gripping with sweaty hands.

Quad Lock case mountain bike handle kit is the best mounting kit I have found for holding my iPhone in place while riding. This will come in handy when you start to plan your own routes and want to watch your training metrics while riding.

Five Ten Trailcross LT shoes by Adidas are designed with high-friction for outdoor sports, specifically climbing, trail running and mountain biking. The grip on the bottom of these shoes is perfect and glues you to the pedals. I prefer these over clip-ins because I like to bail if need be. 

Village Bikes, 3898 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-366-7702, 8111 Lakewood Main St. #108, Bradenton, 941-388-0550,, @villagebikesfl. Ryder Bikes, 5275 University Pkwy. #135, Bradenton, 941-351-0000, Sarasota Cycle, 3800 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-366-4144.  Fleet Feet, 711 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-894-3338,, @fleetfeetsrq. Fit2Run, 1400 Main St., Sarasota, 941-364-2400,, @fit2runsrq