Continuous Forward Motion
I found my passion for endurance sports on a humble strip of beach near the city of Pensacola, Florida. I was 16 and my older brother challenged me to a barefoot run to see if I could keep up over the next mile back to our hotel. I could hardly believe I managed to keep running for that long, and, though I didn't know it at the time, something awoke in me and took hold, something that's driven me ever since to seek new challenges and to live abundantly.
In high school, I joined the Military Skills Team, a JROTC extracurricular program for 15-18 year olds with too much energy. I learned the basics of military disciple and physical training which eventually led me to join Army ROTC at Auburn University. I found my running legs were only getting stronger as time passed and in college, I started training with the local running group along with my physical training I did with my ROTC class every morning. Under the influence of a few uncommon runners who did such ludicrous running events that a headlamp to guide your path at night was necessary, I caught the ultra running bug. For the next three years, I ran as many ultras as I could find across the Southeast, ranging from 50k's to multi-day stage races across the Appalachian Mountains, and eventually a 100 mile event, all before I was 20 years old.
As much fun as I had on the single track, my injury-free luck was starting to run out. That, and I found that I needed a break from so many solitary miles on the trails. I joined the Auburn Triathlon Club in 2011, the genesis of eight multi-sport seasons. After I became a commissioned officer in the US Army, and dabbling for a season racing with a USA Cycling license, I continued to train for triathlon and competed in multiple national and international level events, spanning locations from Northern Alaska to the South of France, regularly finishing within the top 5% of my competition.
My road to multi-sport success was not without it's failures and, occasionally, complete breakdowns. In the summer of 2017, I had everything I needed to race my best for my next Ironman 70.3 race in Victoria, BC. I was coming off a month of leave, I had my supplemental carbs measured out to a T, my power on the bike was right where it was supposed to be, but those first few miles of the run, I started to perceive that something was off. No matter what the course is like, 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles of riding, and 13.1 miles of running is a huge demand. Even though I followed all the rules, just two miles from the finish line, my gas tank was completely empty. I got passed and fell in the rankings rapidly and I felt like there was nothing I could do about it. Over time, though, this mind crushing bonk led to a fat-fueled breakthrough. My path to primal began.