After decades of living a sedentary lifestyle, I made the choice to get healthy—just two weeks before my 40th birthday. I decided to take taekwondo classes mostly because there was a place near my house and I knew that convenience was going to be key for me to stick with it. I trained nearly every day and lost 40 pounds in the first few months of training. I advanced quickly through the my belt tests and eventually became an assistant instructor. I worked mostly with younger kids, and did scoring for belt advancement tests and judging at tournaments. After losing all of my excess weight, I added some muscle lifting weights at home.
FIRST BECOMING BADASS BOOTCAMP
In late 2014, I attempted my first obstacle course race and shortly thereafter began training with Ashley Seeger. I vividly remember thinking that I was in good shape when I arrived at my first outdoor bootcamp. Instead, I found myself at the back of the pack, struggling to keep pace with her athletes of all genders, ages, shapes and sizes. Clearly, whatever training Ashley was doing with her clients was working. I wanted in!
In these early days, I would hesitantly and cautiously set new fitness goals for myself—maybe I'd take on a slightly longer or scarcely more difficult race each year. My dreams were small and, to be frank, I had preemptively ruled-out as "impossible" many of the "crazy" races others were doing. I remember finishing my third Spartan Sprint and being in awe of the guy describing his 9-mile Spartan Super experience. I could never do that, I thought.
My dreams were small and, to be frank, I had preemptively ruled-out as "impossible" many of the "crazy" races others were doing.
Ashley, of course, does not see limitations. She could see with perfect clarity what I could not yet even imagine for myself. Over time and through a lot of hard work at the gym, I reached new heights physically and mentally and started to believe what she already knew—that these more difficult challenges were within my grasp. Eventually, I learned to stop limiting myself and to dream big. Over the last few years, I have completed obstacle course races of all distances as well as multiple ultra races and 12- and 24-hour endurance events. Up next for me is the 24-hour, World's Toughest Mudder in Atlanta later this year where my goal is to complete at least 60 miles and finish on the podium for my age group.
WHY I RACE
They say that having a strong "why" is important as it will provide motivation to keep going when something is difficult. I don't think I have one—at least not one of the traditional, straight-forward, ones. For me there are feelings of lost opportunities and regret in the sense that I have lived my entire adulthood and never truly challenged myself. What could I have accomplished if I'd learned these lessons earlier in life? So now my "why" is about pushing myself to finally find out what I am capable of when I don't place those artificial limitations on myself. It is also about being a good example and passing on those same lessons learned to my kids, my friends, and to my gym family at the Becoming Badass Training Center.