Rewind the tape (yes, the VCR type, using that awesome race-car rewind machine that was EPIC at rewinding VHS tapes,) back to 2004. After graduation from high school, which included the only form of physical exercise I had in my life at the time (which, by the way, I absolutely DESPISED) I began the next chapter of my sedentary life with a declining diet of fast food, video games, and a penchant to inhale the highest possible volume of low-quality food possible (Whopper Wednesday anyone?) Since the math wasn’t adding up on my calorie intake (or rather, I was concluding most days with too many leftover ‘N’s and ‘X’s in the caloric intake equation,) I began to balloon up in size and shape, hitting a maximum weight of 210lbs. Garnished with comments like “hey dude, nice spandex” (while I was wearing Dockers khakis,) and riddled with sickness and ill health (remember the movie ‘Supersize Me‘?) I decided a change needed to be made, or a massive jammer could end me before my 30th birthday.
With the help of a close friend to radically change my diet, and a newfound gym membership, the weight started to fall off. I slimmed down to a much healthier 170lbs in only 3 months, produced through my thrice-weekly gym sessions of a 20minute treadmill session (that pretty much looked exactly like Thomas Gerlach’s description of an Accelerated Tempo Workout main set,) on to the Fitness World’s Quick-Fit Circuit Training session, followed by 30-45 minutes of weight training, core and stretching. Easy as that.
The biggest running race around is the Vancouver Sun Run, with 55,000-65,000 participants, and I made the annual excursion with my friends to see how fast we could run. Every year I would run along with my friends, trying our best to make it under 1 hour. In 2007 I had been running longer sessions on the treadmill than in the past (25-30 minutes, generally epic in my mind,) so I decided I would try to run as fast as I could on my own. I somehow produced a 40:26 10k time, and decided I wanted to try and bring that number down (competitive much?) Every few months I would race another 10k, dropping the time by 1-2 minutes per run (generally through running 30-40 minutes outside, which I despised running outdoors at this time.) Later that year, a friend suggested to me (thank you Steve Verner,) that I should try a triathlon, and after winning my first by 5 minutes (second place Jeff Seeley ended up becoming a great friend of mine,) I was 110% completely addicted.
2008 became my first season of triathlon, and by the end of 2009 I had won the Provincial and National age group Olympic Distance Championships. By the end of 2010, after a really successful race at Austin 70.3, I decided that the next day I wanted to try racing in the pro field. Having just completed my 4 year apprenticeship as a Heavy Duty Mechanic, I knew it would continue to be difficult to schedule in all my training and work, but I made it happen.
The spring of 2011 saw a huge change in my life; I was hired by Delta Fire Department, and had made my dream goal of becoming a professional fire fighter. Along with racing as a professional triathlete, I felt like I got to have my cake AND eat it too (regardless of what the old saying says.)
Joining forces with super coach Björn Ossenbrink, I’ve garnered increasing results through the last few years. I’ve made some incredible friendships and relationships, many of which are outstanding sponsors that allow me to continue racing and training at a high level. I know that half and full Iron distance racing is not a young kids sport, and I’m in it for the long haul, knowing my best results will come into my 30’s.
I’ll continue to work hard and dedicate myself to personal and athletic improvement, creating and maintaining the awesome relationships I’ve found through this sport.
It can be a turbulent swim through life, but I’m going to keep my head up, enjoy every second, and leave nothing but positivity in my wake.