Local Wellness Coach to Kayak Around Long Island

Despite weather, Russ L'HommeDieu will tackle Long Island waters beginning Thursday to raise money for diabetes research.

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

Joseph Pinciaro September 05, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Hats off to you Russ! Have a safe journey.
Erin Schultz September 05, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Bob Corwin said on North Fork Patch's Facebook page: "Russ is a great guy! Good luck on your trip! It's for a great cause."
Frank T September 05, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Good luck and watch out for Russell Crowe!
Jaguar-Guy September 05, 2012 at 08:06 PM
I will look to his fund raising efforts and help out.


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