Well, the answer to that question has changed over time. Initially, I started running to get in shape and lose the ‘love weight’ I had put on after getting married. Soon, I found that I got bored with just running and wanted to spice things up a bit with two additional sports. I was drawn to the allure of Ironman and the respect I found with the finishers. My first ‘why’: To be an Ironman.
I started a 3-year plan in my head. Year one – completing a sprint distance, year two – completing a 70.3 (half) distance, and year three – completing a full distance Ironman. With massive overconfidence, I entered my first sprint distance triathlon and barely completed the swim. However, my ego led me to believe that I was still on track to complete an Ironman in just two more years.
After completing that first sprint distance I signed up for the Ironman 70.3 in Boulder, Colorado. As I look back now, I went into this event massively under-trained. I barely completed the event in a time of 8 hours and 23 minutes, second from the last place in my age group. I was embarrassed with myself. I knew I hadn’t put in the work required for this race. My ego and overconfidence had lead me down a path where I found myself finishing the run as the aid stations were being broken down. I crossed the finish line with only my wife, a volunteer and the race announcer in attendance. The entire drive home from Colorado I re-played the event in my head and decided what I would need to do to make sure that never happened again.
Boulder 70.3 changed my ‘why’. From that point on, my ‘why’ changed. Triathlon had to become part of my lifestyle. I couldn’t look at just one race. I had to revamp my entire life. I looked at myself from all angles- diet, time management, training dedication, approach to training and how to integrate training into my family and work life.
I put off my goal of completing a full distance Ironman. However, I did plunge head first into the lifestyle of triathlon. I joined a local tri club (Salt Lake Tri Club), found friends with similar interests and goals, and became more involved in the local triathlon scene. I fell in love with the sport, the people, the races, and the support of the triathlon community.
My why had changed again: Triathlon has become ingrained in many aspects of my lifestyle. I am a Husband, Father, and Triathlete.
My passion for triathlon led me to become a USA Triathlon-Level 1 Certified Coach. As a member and coach for the Salt Lake Tri Club, I hope to inspire others, help them reach their goals and find their ‘why’.