I woke up at 28 and half and was unhealthy (fat). Not obese, but not fit. It had been about 10 years since I’d been involved in competitive sports. I was the washed out high school tennis player that let himself go. I had game too. At least I think I did.
I decided I had to make some changes with my 30th birthday looming around the corner. I started “hitting” the gym on a regular basis, as any 20 something’s first reaction would have it. I started running a little on the side to incorporate some cardio. I worked my way through a couple 5ks in the first year. About nine months into this process, I ran into a former co-worker training for the LA Marathon. I was unwillingly dragged, blind into a nine mile slugfest. This was 5.9 miles further than I’d ever run. It was terrible. I loved it. For all intents and purposes, I quit going to the gym that day.
A few months later, leading up to and during a tough Post Oak 10k Trail I developed and discovered a tibial contusion, likely from poor running form, and was forced to quit running for about six months. I was devastated. This lead me to the yoga mat and the road bicycle. I spent the next six months on my bike, literally every free moment, riding as much as 300 miles a week. On one of my first group rides I was approached about joining a local cycling club, Team Soundpony, which definitely helped keep my mileage high.
The bike, my cycling team, and some running form adjustments have opened the door to a rebirth and love of fitness. I completed around a dozen bike races, two marathons, and a 50 miler before my 32nd birthday. Call it a Dean Karnarzes-style transformation, though mine occurred over a few years versus his overnight revelation… and I’m sticking with my current professional career in the energy industry. Thus I have subsequently embraced the following passage from Ultramarathon Man, though I will likely never attempt Badwater, etc.
“We have thought in the absence of pain and in the presence of complete comfort we’d be happy. The key to happiness is comfort. We are so comfortable we are miserable. So I find that I’m never more alive than when I’m struggling for something and in pain. I embrace that. It’s the idea of never stop exploring and being the best me I can be.”
I’ve had a rough couple of months up to this point, spraining both of my ankles this late summer and early fall, one trail running and the other in a mountain bike wreck. In the next six weeks or so I will be running in the Turkey and TATURs 50k trail race, the McNellies Pub Run and Guinness Challenge, the Route 66 Marathon, and the TATUR Double Half Marathon (13.1 on trail and 13.1 on road).
I am your typical volume trainer with no specific training goals or schedule. I’m not too fast, but I’m happy. I make sure I get in some sort of physical activity in road/trail running, mountain biking, and road biking every day, sometimes twice a day if I have time. I really just make sure I maintain a smile, avoiding burnout. I hope in the coming months to develop a couple target specific goals with key events in mind. We’ll see what happens.
As I’m sure many of you will agree, my new love for fitness has enhanced every aspect of my life: my health, my career, and my home life. I’m excited to have the opportunity to join such a great group of people and athletes representing a stellar company and product. I’ll leave you with the following mantra from my favorite WWF wrestler turned alt-country DJ, Hillbilly Jim Morris.
“I’m not here for a long time. I’m here for a good time.”
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