A little bit about me! Apart from running and triathlons, I’m a pretty active individual. I’m a frequent traveler because of my job as a middleware consultant for Red Hat and it has taken me all around the world from up and down the east coast and all the way to Australia. Combine that with my love of traveling for personal reasons and I’m on the road a lot. I’m also an avid SCUBA diver and I consider myself lucky to have lived in Florida all of my life since it allows me to pursue that as often as I like. Ironically a lot of my training isn’t compatible with diving for safety reasons so I have to be flexible with my training to accomodate. And I won’t lie, I’m a big geek, which isn’t a surprise for a Red Hat employee!
How did this journey start?
If I go back to my high school days, I was always a very active and very skinny kid. I played sports (poorly) most of my life. By high school I only did summer basketball and year round tennis. I was on the high school tennis team (owing to very low standards) and marching band which both kept me fit. Once I graduated high school I spent a year at New Mexico Military Institute and two at the Air Force Academy. As one might imagine, I left the Academy in the best shape of my life (ironic then that I left because I struggled with the physical requirements…) I finished my college years at the University of Florida and like any good computer science major I spent more time playing video games and drinking than I did riding my bike which collected a lot of dust. I see my graduation photos and I can’t believe how much weight I put on in just 3 years. Another 3 years passed before I realized that I was seriously out of shape. I left high school wearing 32 size pants and one day I realized I was having to buy a 38. I stepped on the scale and saw 200. I didn’t like what I saw at all.
Around this time I went to a hockey game with a friend of mine and we had a long conversation around fitness and I commented that I was upset that I had let myself go so badly. I didn’t like running but I had been able to do a lot of it when I left the Academy. She asked a simple question – “Why don’t you just go run?” Well there are a million reasons! Everyone has them. But a few days later I was at home playing a computer game that evening and I just jumped out of my chair. Why not just go for a run? Running sucked, sure, but the video game wasn’t going anywhere. So I went for a run. It was amazing! I hadn’t run that far in years! I think I lasted about 5 minutes. But I went out the next day and did it again. Then I got a watch so I could go a bit further every day. Two weeks in and I was running a mile without stopping. I decided to sign up for a 5k that was a month away and ran the whole thing in under 30 minutes. By the summer I had lost all of the weight.
I don’t hate it anymore
I started enjoying it pretty quickly to be honest. Over the years I’ve had good stretches and I’ve had bad stretches. But the running has gotten better and better with each passing year. I’ve finally made it to the point where I can go for, on any given weekend, a run that’s longer than 10 miles just because I want to (and it happens frequently). All of this became part of a lifestyle transformation that, while not without hiccups every now and then, I’ve been very successful with. I’ve recently moved on to adding triathlons as well. I don’t want to stop the pure running events but growing up, I was an avid cyclist and I’m happy to have a way to add this back into my routine.