Friday, February 20, 2009

Getting To Know Me A Bit Better

There's a new blog comment interview trend going around. Kim, left the following questions on my blog for me and since I hardly ever talk about non-diabetes related stuff, thought this was a great chance to share a bit more about me.

1.) What was the moment that made you say "i'm gonna do a triathlon"? Instead of "I'm a meathead, I think I will do a strongman competition"?

My transition into triathlon was a slow and long one. After graduating from college I was a bit depressed that my football career was over and well ballooned to the size of a bowling ball with eyes (according to a good friend of mine at Darden). After my third orthopedic surgery - this time on my knee, I realized I needed to do something to change my physiology. I started working with Ari Weller who began transitioning my thought process from how big can you get to how healthy can I be. I bought my first bike, a Specialized Allez in the spring of 2005 and had aspirations of doing a sprint triathlon in Central Park that summer. I never actually signed up for the race, but the goal of becoming a triathlete began to grow.

In December of 2006 I ran my first road race to prove that I could run 10 miles with no training and not stopping for water - it was a dumb bet but loved competing with people again. For the next year I began to run more often, and ride my bike to Nyack from the city fairly often and started to transition from a meat head to an endurance athlete. By April of 2007 when I was diagnosed with diabetes I was running up to 20 miles a week and riding any warm weekend. The day I was diagnosed was the day I became "hooked" on triathlon, I knew that lifting and eating the way I had in my past wouldn't be healthy anymore, but my desire to compete as an athlete was as strong as ever. 3 months after I was diagnosed I signed up for Ironman Lake Placid before I ever competed in a triathlon of any length and had ridden in just one charity ride. The excitement I felt when I volunteered at the 2007 Lake Placid, and the determination I saw on the competitor's faces was the feeling that I had missed since my last college football game, from that moment I was determined to become a triathlete.

2.) Where is your favorite place to workout, and what is your biggest 'pump you up' song?

The meathead never dies, so my favorite pump up song is "Right Now" by Van Hallen, followed closely by "Welcome to the Jungle" by GnR and "Real American Hero" by Rick Derringer - better known as Hulk Hogan's theme song. All there songs and some others were on my pre-game tape in college and prior to one game while in my warm up routine an opposing coach asked one of our kickers if I was "all there." Apparently, I was singing Thunderstruck at the top of my lounges while walking around the field for about a 1/2 hour.

My favorite place to workout is a really tough one; my favorite memories of working out were at Spring running at Hobart; seeing Ricky Lopez throw up voluntarily so Coach Cragg would have us stop running was always a crowd pleaser and there was just something about being miserable running sprints at 6am that brings a group of guys closer together. For triathlon training, my favorite training ride was the 100 mile loop I'd do from my parents house to Bear Mountain, half the ride was along the Hudson and the view from the top of Bear Mountain was incredible, plus it was on one of those rides that I finally realized I was actually in good enough shape to do an Ironman.

3.) What's your favorite memory with your family? (don't just say, i love moose)

The first time I went to the Florida Keys, my family stayed at Duck Key in this place called Hawks Kay. I caught my first bone fish on that vacation but what really stood out was how insane the breakfast buffet was. The buffet was held in a banquet hall and had every breakfast food imaginable including a belgium waffle bar. I don't think anything could have showed the diversity of my family better than that breakfast buffet. My Dad would pretty much skip the regular breakfast stuff and head straight for the belgium waffles and eggs benedict, he'd come back to the table with a waffle covered in whip cream, strawberries and whatever else he could find. My sister would try and emulate him but would then just start playing with her food, which would usually gross the table out :). I'd pile as much bacon, sausage and french toast onto my plate as humanly possible and eat more than any 12 year old should have ever been able to physically consume, and my Mom would simply have cup of coffee after cup of coffee - I don't think anything could have showcased my family better!

4.) Putting monetary and other concerns aside, where would you live, and what would you do for the rest of your life given a chance?

I've struggled with this question for years; part of me is dying to coach football but my super nerd side has always forced me to aspire for something that matters. My desire to work in the sport I love is counterbalanced by my love of public policy and geopolitical affairs. So given all that I really don't think I could see my life having taken any direction other than the one it has taken. My goal is to work in an area at the intersection of business strategy and public policy to help shape development and globalization from a top down approach, then ride off into the sunset to coach High School football; I feel like professionally without the first I'll be unfulfilled while emotionally without the second I'll always wonder. As far as places to live, Lake Placid might be it - but to me the people I surround myself with are way more important than where I live.

5.) What is the order you follow when showering? Do you shampoo or wash first? Poop? Needle out?

Ha, my showering routine since pumping it up added an extra step. Each morning I take my pump out of my infusion site and leave it in my bedroom (I'm always afraid it will get wet). Then I turn my shower on, let it warm up as I brush my teeth - then soap first, chest, legs, butt, back, face (I use a different soap on my face than my....) Then it's shampoo followed by conditioner; however I'm now shampooing every other day to promote healthier hair (gotta keep the girlfriend happy!)

Well that's probably the least diabetic related post I've ever written on this blog - hope you enjoyed!

To play along:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by giving you five questions. (I get to pick the questions.)
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


Kim said...

can we please go to hawks kay? pretty please??? and no, no on the lake placid. but thanks for trying.

LG said...

this makes me smile, you write "my transition into triathlon was a slow and long one"

...I don't know, signing up for IMLP right out of the gate doesn't necessarily scream slow and long to me ;)

thanks for sharing.

did you have a matching mullet to go with your soundtrack?

Anonymous said...

hey the granddaughter and i look over at bear mountain quite often! we got a 1ac of 6.5 four and a half months after diagnosis last week which was heartening...honeymooning and using n and h insulin right now but the info on the pump and the monitor makes me think that is the direction we will go in eventually. she is ten and does african, modern and hip hop dance so i am gonna fill her in on how you are managing and your level of athletic activity...thanks for the inspiration....old guy with type 1 grand kid...

amylia said...