I’m not an attention seeker, but it seems most of the blogs I follow seem to have a page detailing their background. So here goes: My parents were educators and missionaries to Africa. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and grew up with my older sister traveling from Kenya to Malawi, then lastly Ghana. Not surprisingly, I developed a love of soccer while there. I continued to play soccer after we returned permanently to the US and went on to play in college. I remember running in the Summer before our preseason soccer camps but there wasn’t much organization. Playing soccer kept me in shape and I kept playing for a few years after graduation until medical school took all my free time and I gained 40 pounds. Yeah, not good. After quite a few fat years, (old pictures are brutal), I started running again just for fitness. The weight came off slowly and my endurance improved.
My first official road race was at my college, a four mile run. I sprinted the first mile and limped home the last 3 miles. A newbie runner was born. A few years later I finished my first marathon, the St. Jude Marathon, in 4:30+. I felt great for 14 miles then again limped home. I don’t remember my training but it would probably be funny to read now. I probably did one 18mile run and assumed I was ready.
My triathlon career surfaced a few years later. Like most current triathletes, I watched the Hawaii Ironman coverage and dreamed of one day doing the same. But, that wasn’t the driving influence. Maybe I just needed a new challenge. I ran a couple of other marathons but didn’t improve my time and was losing interest in the training demands. So, I thought, let’s try triathlon and train for 3 disciplines at the same time. I do remember being dropped on my head as a child. My first triathlon was in Birmingham, AL at the now retired, “Tri-It-On Triathlon”. It was a 200y swim, 8mile bike, and 2 mile run. I was excited and very nervous. I was swimming a little and riding a bone stock aluminum Felt road bike with clip-ons. I went anaerobic after 25 yards and tread water for a second before finishing but the bike and run were fun. I was hooked. Since then I’ve raced at all distances up to Ironman…no interest in Ultraman at this point.
Each year I try to set new goals and do a few new races. It’ll be more difficult over the next few years as my kids are getting older and my triathlon budget will shift to college funding. Wonder if I can make a major comeback at age 55+ and get to Kona. Stay tuned for new developments. It’s frequently painful, frequently frustrating, but rarely boring. That’s Doc’s multisportlife.