Life can change in an instant and there are defining moments that will help clearly define who you are and shape who you will become. This story is about one of my incredibly personal life changing moments and I owe it all to Alex, one of my best friends and co-conspirators.
No bones about it, when I started my journey as a triathlete, I was fat, drunk and blissfully ignorant, so to speak. I was also following a course that would likely result in being fatter, drunker and decidedly less happy. Consulting is not a career for those weak of mind and body, but we are also a breed that at times can neglect one or both allowing atrophy to set in. The excesses common to the business had led me down a path of self indulgence and physical neglect.
In December 2011, I sat just outside of Chicago in St. Charles, IL at “The Q”, our corporate training facility. I was spending the morning leading a small team on a very important exercise. By “leading” I of course mean that I was giddily instant messaging like a school girl with my friend who I rarely get to see and happened to be across the room. In one IM, my life forever changed.
“Hey, dude. I just got you a slot in the NYC Triathlon!”
I’ll admit, it was a little out of left field and I was taken aback. My response was simple:
“but Alex, I’m not a triathlete…”
We spent more than a year in Minnesota together running on treadmills and talking about racing. My feeble attempt to dispel the notion did not phase him in the least.
“well, i know you can swim. You just bought a badass bike and you’ve always been a runner. Now, you’re going to have to step up the training a notch. I can talk you though it. You can do a few sprints to get ready.”
Not knowing any better, I agreed. Of course, there was a catch.
“oh yeah, and the entry fee is around $300”
Well shit! That’s more than I’ve spent in all the events I’ve done to date. What the hell, how could I pass up the opportunity? At the time, it seemed like a lot of money, but little did I know that it would become a small drop in an ever filling bucket.
Returning to Colorado, I continued getting fatter and drinker for the rest of 2011. Sure, I ran, but never more than 3 miles. Then it happened. At the first of January, I tipped the scales at 235lbs. It was go time. Seeing that number and knowing that I had invested in the race, I was determined to not waste it and throw down an effort I could be proud of.
Over the next few weeks, I learned that though I had always considered myself one, I was decidedly not a runner. That would soon change. Over the next 6 months, I would become one. I would also drop 60 lbs and race in NYC at 175.
So that’s it. Though it would be another year before I knew I was on the path, that’s how the “Road to Ironman Boulder” began.