Running has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. Whether it was soccer, cross country, training for wrestling, or competing in races later on in life – running has always been a part of me. It has allowed me to become a better athlete, and a better man. A long time ago, my father saw me practicing “bridging drills” for wrestling (this is where a wrestler puts his weight on his head/neck in order to defend against someone pinning him). He gave me some sage advice then that I try to live by: “You can put all of your effort into getting out of a bad position, or you can put all of your effort to making sure you’re never on your back in the first place.” Those words stuck with me, and I choose the latter when I train and run.
I feel that running binds our community, our world, our human race as one. I’m not someone who gets stuck on times, awards, wins, race accolades, etc as a way to judge someone as a runner. In my mind, the person who is finishing dead last in a 5k but worked their butt off to get to the finish line is the same as someone who broke the world record to cross the finish line. They each have their own special place as runners in my view.
As an athlete, I’ve participated in a variety of sports – but mainly wrestled and ran cross country in college. After college, I pretty much stopped any exercise at all and ended up packing on a few extra unwanted pounds. I simply decided one day to get back into shape and began running to do so. That lead to me competing in races, which in turn lead to me competing in longer races, and then triathlons.
I’m primarily a triathlete – but seeing that the run is my strongest leg, I find myself doing quite a few running events as well. I’ll race any event, from a 1 mile race to a 50 mile ultra marathon, from a sprint triathlon to a full distance Ironman. As long as there is a challenge – I’m willing to take it on.
My goals for 2014 are to do well in all of the races I enter, with “well” being defined as racing to the best of my ability at the time I start the race. That’s all I can ever ask of myself. I want to race my best, and hope that I’ve prepared enough in my training to “make sure I’m never on my back in the first place.” I want to come out of 2014 in a position where I can achieve my ultimate goals of qualifying for the 70.3 World Championships in Austria and maybe Kona in 2015. Also, I’m hoping to be able to do either the Celtman or Norseman triathlons in 2015.