I‘m happily married over 24 years now with 3 wonderful kids. I wasn’t always a triathlete & ultrarunner. I played basketball, football, and ran track in high school. I continued playing intramural sports & ran 3 marathons in college. Then started teaching and coaching basketball & running. I fell off exercising as my drinking and drugging consumed most of my 20s. After 2 major knee surgeries in my 20s, I finally “retired” from basketball at age 35. That same year I weighed 250 lbs. I started running & soon discovered a love for triathlons. I’ve been endurance racing and coaching for over a decade now. I’ve completed 7 x 100-mile mountain endurance runs; 12 Ironman triathlons, 1 double ironman triathlon, and thousands of other races of varying distances from 5K & spring tris to 24 hour cycling & running races.
I wasn't always an active healthy person. I had a long history battling drug addiction and alcoholism, and I suffer from bipolar disorder, coupled with being very overweight and not very active. After several rehabs, I finally got sober, but then I gained over 70 pounds in my first year of getting sober from drugs and alcohol. On Dec. 31st, 2008, I stepped on the scale and weighed over 250 lbs at only 5 ft, 8 inches tall - this was almost all excess fat and not muscle. My doctor told me that I was pre-diabetic and might not make it to 50 years old at the rate I was going. That was my wake up call. I made a decision to stop eating seconds, quit smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and to exercise for at least 1 hour everyday. I vowed to stop being a full-time couch potato, and I wouldn't allow myself to lay on the couch and watch TV or play video games, unless I had exercised for at least an hour already that day. I re-joined my local gym. Then lost over 60 lbs in under 6 months, and then I signed up for a half ironman triathlon. Once I saw what I could do with a stronger, fitter body, I was hooked. After successfully completing that half-ironman, I started doing full ironman triathlons every year for several years until I moved up to ultra endurance racing events that are even longer and more grueling than ironman triathlons. I have scaled all of the tallest mountains in and around southern California, as going to the summit of Mt. Whitney - the highest peak in the 48 contiguous states. I have gone in caves and up canyons. My passion for fitness is based on a passion for living life to its fullest, and it has helped and continues to help me manage my recovery from drug addiction and bipolar disorder.
Every day, meet yourself where you are. My stories and tips might not be for where you are, but you can adapt them to your own adventure. What challenges you today? Let's face those challenges together as a team. Send me a message about what challenges you are overcoming in your life. I'd love to feature your story in one of my next blogs.
Here's a list of helpful mental health resources.
When I was 34, I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. I was just over a year sober from drugs and alcohol, but still smoking over a pack of disgusting cigarettes per day. My doctor told me I may not make it to 50 at the rate I was going. On December 31st, 2008 I weighed in at 250 pounds and that was my wakeup call. It hasn't been an easy journey, but it's definitely been worth it.
I get bored with conventional exercises like just lifting weights or only running. I like to be distracted during exercise, as I find it keeps me going longer, especially if I'm enjoying what I'm doing! So, I started with short hikes in pretty places with lots to see. Then I began doing triathlons and ultra races. I love hiking, biking, and running on any trails in nature. Let's find something you love that gets you moving!
For me the gym is a place where I get ready for adventures. My eye is not on the elliptical. It is on the mountains I will climb and the rivers I will ride. My hope is that in sharing my adventures with you, I will inspire you to find your own adventures. Let's keep building strength and health together. Then we can share the stories of the exciting places that our bodies and minds take us.
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