Someone recently asked me how I got started in the world of endurance sports. Well, it has been quite the journey. I was not an athletic kid, and as a matter of fact, in high school I would do anything to avoid PE class. Fast forward 10+ years and this was me. I woke up one day, somewhere near my 30th birthday, and decided that being an overweight, unhealthy couch potato was no longer the lifestyle I wanted. So I joined the local YMCA, started walking on the treadmill, changed my eating habits, learned how to use the equipment and began to see changes. I started to loose weight fairly quickly but thought that if I could loose weight walking, I wonder how fast I could loose it running. So, I began to run on the treadmill. And when I say run, I really mean jog, and that lasted about 15 seconds until my legs and lungs were burning. But, I didn’t give up. I would do run/walk intervals and slowly increase the run portion of the interval until I could run an entire mile without stopping. From there I eventually ran my first 5K. I remember thinking there was no way I would be able to run the entire race without walking, but I did and I finished in just over 30 minutes. A very proud moment for me. That race is one of my most memorable experiences, even today.
So a 5K turned into a 10K turned into a half marathon and eventually my first marathon, The New York City Marathon, November 2004. My family was there to cheer me on along with the thousands of people that line the streets, but my body was not happy and I walked a good part of the race, from mile 18 on. Again, I didn’t give up there. I did run 2 more marathons, Las Vegas x 2, before turning to the world of triathlon.
My triathlon experience was very much like my road running, first a sprint, rather about 50 of them, then some Olympic distance races, then eventually a half ironman and then my first full Ironman race, Ironman Western Australia in December 2007. This was an incredible day and a huge accomplishment for someone who was a former couch potato.
Fast forward 15 years from that overweight, unhealthy, couch potato and here I am. 7 Ironman finishes, over a dozen marathons, including Boston, dozens of trail races, numerous local crossfit competitions and I am now training for the biggest Ironman race of all, Ironman World Championship in Kona on October 14.
This is my lifestyle now, I am proud of it and grateful that I get to spend everyday doing what I love with someone I love. So remember, it is never too late to make a change for the better, whatever that may be.