I'm an endurance athlete.
I have to admit that right off the bat (like this is an AA group). I'm setting this blog up to talk about the average guy (or girl), the insanity of endurance sports, and the fun of our "addiction"!
Where did this all begin for me, Jake Dallmann? I was an athlete growing up - average at most sports with my "big" sports growing up being hockey and golf (in High School). I did a stint of cross country in Middle School and lettered my freshman year. Funny enough though, I hated running (especially racing); so I called that sport quits.
I joined the Army National Guard while in College - was a 91B - Combat Medic - two summers of Army Training put 15lbs of muscle on my frame - taking me from a whopping 155lbs to 170lbs (soaking wet). Like many other college students, I made the stupid choice and started SMOKING...up to a pack a day. Because of the military though, I always stayed in shape, always worked out, always stayed just healthy enough to run 2 miles in 16 minutes (PT Test).
I graduated from college, stopped working out as much, continued to smoke, etc. etc. Then came my wake up call....October 17th, 2009. My wife was pregnant with our first child which was prepping me to quit, but the unexpected happened - my father in law was diagnosed with cancer. Two days later, I had my last cigarette. I have never looked back.
Boom - my weight blew up to 220lbs. I knew lifting weights wouldn't cut it anymore - running commenced. My knees didn't like 5 days a week of treadmills so I started doing 30 minute sessions on the spin bikes to take some pressure of the knees. A co-worker had mentioned an old bike of his, he loaned it to me so I could try road biking, which I loved! I was now a duathlete...why not add swimming right!!???
Like so many other triathletes though - I only knew how to survival swim. I could get across a pool or to/from a raft in a lake, but NOT for endurance! Looking back, my first swim at the YMCA was hilarious. Once I hit the deep end of the pool, my "flight" kicked in and I felt like I was going to drown. I knew how to swim...just wasn't comfortable in the water. It tooks WEEKS for the "flight" mechansm in my brain to shut off. YouTube videos, Books, and friendly advice gave me an OK enough stroke to swim an OK distance workouts.
I trained for triathlons for 6 months before I officially became a "triathlete"! Three years after getting in the pool, I was an Ironman. That's my journey to becoming an endurance athlete. I believe everyone has the ability to enjoy the pride, happiness, and spirit that comes with endurance events. It might not be 140.6 miles...maybe it's a first 10K or a Sprint Tri. No matter the distance, the pride and happiness has been there almost exploding inside for every endurance finish.
So that's my story. I've made my share of stupid health decisions over the last 14 years - I've now fallen in love with Endurance.
So - go for a swim, bike, run...exercise! Have fun...find your own endurance pride!