Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tommy Boy


Don't you ever quit. Get knocked down. Get up. Repeat.

A quick story about a friend of mine Tom.

We met at the gym in the line to check in on his first day. Tom was/is morbidly obese. I've witnessed him bust a move like he is training for Kona. He was 515 lbs. (6'2") He's always been a "big guy" even when he was little. Tom is now 355 - his knees need some work after years of carrying 500+ lbs. His workouts are a life saving effort. He jokes that the biggest problem he has now is that "chicks dig the little guys" and since he has lost so much weight...he qualifies.


The amount of work he does in the gym is simply amazing. When you have been that big you simply cannot just go out for a run. He found a way to shed some initial weight before starting with a trainer. His doctor cleared him for more work. He has a trainer now and she is the workout metronome he marches to three times a week. Other days, Tom is on a bike, treadmill, track, pool...re-building a life. I've put on some weight and muscle not best suited for triathlon over the last year but Tom reminded me of how hard I need to work just to be really fit let alone ubber fit. Its hard to "tank" a workout when Tom is on the next treadmill...and I'm late to the gym now, so my phone will surely ring. This isn't about looking a certain way or running x time. Its living.

A lot of folks are planning how many races they'll do and where. Tom's goal is to be in shape to walk a 5k in 2008 and volunteer at a race; perhaps Ironman Wisconsin, in order to get "inspired". He added that "someday soon", 'I'd like to finish a sprint triathlon.'

Today, I gave Tom my Polar 720i that I raced Ironman USA with in 2003 along with a XXL chest strap. We set his heart rates and I showed him how to upload it so his trainer and doctor can watch his heart rate.

I told Tom that I'm looking forward to being his triathlon sherpa when he needs help preparing specifically for the race. Any time. Any where Tommy Boy.

Just don't ever quit. Your friends and family have your back.

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