Bits of Biography

I’ve been married more than a decade to a woman who writes beautifully, is well-traveled and is loved deeply by many friends.  She is a looker too.  Plainly speaking, I married up.  The catalyst to make Ironman happen now, rather than “some time in the future,” also came from her.

I am the father of four children, including twins.  We live in Alexandria, Virginia where the summers are humid and the winters slushy.  Many moons ago, I was a Division III swimmer at The Catholic University of America and never dared to race more than 500 yards at a time.  Staring down middle age, I took up running for fitness and triathlon shortly thereafter.

I find peace and the beautiful essence of the transcendent when swimming hard, in the groove and in open water.  I don’t explain this too often, most people are put off by the sheer oddity and weirdness of it.  I enjoy riding and though I don’t fetishize pain the way truly competitive cyclists do, I love getting a big burn through my legs that pushes right up into my lungs from churning across the tarmac.  I run because it is basic — not much gear to maintain, no travel time to the pool — and because it is necessary in order to finish a triathlon.  Between running and me, there is no love lost, only tolerance.

I crashed in my first race — on a QR bike on loan from a friend.  We are still friends and he is a tolerant man.  I have had two knee surgeries, a separated shoulder and lost weight more or less steadily throughout 2011.  It was also last time I had a choice about entering local races with my age group or as a Clydesdale. I was born the year Nixon resigned and Duke Ellington died.  I compete as an age grouper and still start each race with the goals that I had for my first races in 2005 and 2006: Finish with a smile and don’t be “that guy” who gets scraped off the asphalt by the paramedics.  Only now, I have a few additional goals to stack on top and I toe the line with the confidence that I’m an Ironman.