RUN, BIKE, SWIM
I've always been running. In high school in North Dakota, we had more members on the cross-country team than the football team. I think we all had that Schwinn Stingray growing up. I was always on a bike. One night I was vegetating on the sofa and saw an ad for a polar bear swim club at a nearby rec pool. I was able to do two lengths the first time.
At my first triathlon in Texas, there was a buzz about a kid named Lance Armstrong. I had no idea who he was. It was just amazing how someone at that age could be that far ahead of an entire field. He was 16.
To this day when I finish a tri, I have a 6- to 8-hour window where the endorphins kick in, and I have a natural high and euphoria that only those who have competed in multisport events can understand.
When I moved back to Minnesota, I met my future wife and we settled into a husband/wife work-oriented mode. She and I wanted to do a lot of international travel, and we let certain things fall off -- one was working out.
LOOKING FOR ANSWERS
In the fall of 2007, I was fighting poor sleep, irritable bowel, constant fatigue, depression. I was staring out the window on a day when there were still no answers, and I thought, "Hey, it's time for you just to take control of your life and not let some unknown factor defeat you." I decided to fall back on something that's given me a great love all my life. Training gave me a focus, a reason to get up every day and continue to march forward.
I started out running a half-mile and that was it for the day. I was training three or four weeks before I got the diagnosis: low testosterone. I started testosterone replacement therapy. Over the last 18 months, I've been decreasing the therapy -- training helps my body come back and take its natural course.
I returned to racing in the fall of '07, and by '09 I was feeling competitive again. I celebrated my 49th birthday in April by driving to Arkansas for a two-day stage event -- a triathlon Saturday night, and a duathlon Sunday morning. I won the masters division.
Now I train 30-40 hours a month, often doing two disciplines a day. My son just ran his first cross-country meet. He's 10. I tell him, "You just never, ever give up. You keep going, because there could be something good around the next corner."
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