Sunday, June 17, 2012

Letter from my Daughter- Best Father's Day Gift Ever

I got the best Father’s Day present today in the form of a letter from my daughter. It was a great letter and she thanked me for several things but what I thought I would share for this blog post is what she wrote about racing, “I loved running all those races with you, especially the Spartan race. “ She ended the letter  with “I LOVE YOU, you’re the best dad in the world” That brought a tear to my eye and made me feel incredibly proud that my daughter recognized my example and among other things, my emphasis on physical fitness.  I have always emphasized physical fitness with my kids, but more so since recovering from my injuries I received when I was in Iraq in 2004.

For the last year my daughter has been doing Team RWB events with me, out there CRUSHING IT and wearing the Eagle. I couldn’t be more proud of her.  Father and daughter out there living the motto “IT’S OUR TURN!”

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Veterans "ON FIRE"-Inspirational Stories of Veterans CRUSHING IT Daily

This week I saw a couple of stories that inspired me. On Thursday FT. Polk had a post run to celebrate the Army’s 237th birthday. I saw the picture below of the soldier ( I do not know his name. I will post it when I find out) missing his right leg running with the post guidon and that really fired me up.  This soldier is still out there giving 100% despite his injuries.

The other story was of a Navy Lieutenant who was blinded while serving on a Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team and is now training for the upcoming Paralympic games in London.   It is another AWESOME story about the resiliency of wounded veterans, refusing to give up when facing extreme hardships. Follow the link below for his story:

Thinking about these two stories made me think of some of the soldiers who I have served with along the way who were wounded in the current war but have bounced back and are out CRUSHING IT still to this day. During my second company command, when I commanded Aggressor Company 1-353 IN (FSF-CA) at FT. Polk, LA my Executive Officer was LT Paul Wade.

Before Paul was commissioned he was wounded while serving with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan when he had a Taliban anti-tank mine go off approximately 15 FT in front of him. He took the blast and continued the mission. A year later he was graduating Officer Candidate School ,commissioned as an Infantry Officer.

Paul shortly after the mine going off.

Paul’s wife Erika and his father (COL (R ) Billy Wade ) pinning him as a newly commissioned 2LT a year after the mine blast.

Picture of Paul’s vehicle after the anti-tank mine strike

Shortly after he reported to my company he shared that story with me. I thought “WOW,this guy took one for the team and kept going” and felt lucky to have him as part of my team.  I am honored to be a part of the military profession serving with people that value personal courage and selfless service. A profession that is made up of people like LT Paul Wade, LT Brad Snyder, and the unnamed FT. Polk soldier above. These servicemembers despite their injuries continue to be physically active and are out CRUSHING IT every day. I am lucky to be surrounded by people like this on a daily basis.

Physical fitness and endurance sports change people for the better. So get out there on a regular basis and CRUSH IT. You never know the people you will meet or the stories you will hear from the people on your left and right who are out there crushing it with you.

I am inspired daily by the people I work out with and the people I meet at endurance races like triathlons, Spartan races, 5Ks, 10Ks, Half-Marathons, Half Ironmans,  etc…….


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Indian Creek Triathlon- The Endurance Sports Community Coming Together

Today, I along with my Team RWB ( )  teammates raced in the Indian Creek Triathlon.

 It was a great race with endurance athletes from all over the Central Louisiana area coming to compete. There were other teams out there like Geaux Endurance and S3 Training, all GREAT Americans who have a passion for endurance sports and who know that physical fitness, especially endurance sports like triathlon, changes peoples lives for the better. After the race I walked around and talked to several triathletes and they all had some great stories about how endurance sports have changed their lives for the better. 

The pictures below symbolizes perfectly what  the Team RWB community is all about, veterans, community members and active duty all coming together for a common cause through a passion for endurance sports.

 In honor of veterans past and present, and for those that have made the ultimate sacrifice  for our freedom I ran the run portion with my flag I had in Afghanistan. My good friend Bridget ran with me the entire run portion carrying a flag that was flown in Iraq and my good friend Lindsay, who is a former Army Captain and Iraq veteran ran with us as well. She came back out and ran with us after CRUSHING the run. That is a true teammate.   

This particular race was the first full triathlon for my RWB teammates Lindsay and Jacque, and they both placed in their respective age groups. They are FIRED UP after running their first triathlon and it was great to see it on their faces after they finished the race. I am very proud of them.

Oliver, Roderick and Tara raced as a relay team and were out CRUSHING IT as well.

After the race we got together for a cookout and enjoyed the company and conversation in a social setting exchanging stories from this race and past races. 


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Visit to ON-X Life Technologies - Chance to Say " Thank You"

On  May  23RD  I got a chance to visit the ON-X Life Technologies manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas. . ON-X Life Technologies makes the parts that make me tick when I run.   It was a great visit . I gave the employees a brief presentation, giving the background of how I was wounded in Iraq, the surgery and my recovery. I highlighted some of the endurance events I have competed in and completed since having surgery. I shared with them that I was an endurance athlete before the war  and that because of the of the quality of their work, and the great product they produce, I have been able to continue racing in endurance sports events.  I told them they are making a difference and impacting peoples lives in a positive way. The trip was a great opportunity for me to say “Thank You”.

A local television station ran a story on the visit as well:

In the hallway of the plant they have a poster of me that shares my story

ON-X made a $1,000 donation to Team Red, White, and Blue ( which is a Veterans group which I do a lot of work for.  In the picture I am standing with Clyde Baker, the CEO of ON-X Life Technologies, Inc after he presented me a $1,000 check from the company made out to Team RWB to support the organizations mission.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

West Point Workout- Running Hills AGAIN

I had a great workout this morning at West Point with my future boss  at the Center for the Advancement of Leader Development and Organizational Learning (CALDOL) We ran down to the South Dock and then did a workout and ran back up a different route. The view was incredible, very scenic with the sun rising over the mountains and being right next to the Hudson River.

Running back up the staircase and then hills was a smoker. There are hills everywhere at West Point, unlike Louisiana, which is flat.  Running the hills was challenging but it felt great to finish and look down at the south dock landing and see how far up the hill I had run. In my mind that was an accomplishment and one more step in conquering and overcoming my injury from Iraq. FIRED UP!

Monday, June 4, 2012

CRUSHING IT on Monday Morning

Awesome workout this morning! It was about 80 degrees and high humidity so everyone had to really push to get through the workout. The group is very encouraging of each other so there is a good sense of community amongst everyone. It is good to see. Building community through endurance sports.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Birthday Swim-Bike-Run Workout- Turning the Big #43

I kicked off B-day #43 this morning with a great Swim, Bike, Run workout with fellow RWBer’s and some other great Americans from various endurance sports groups that were out training.  The weather was perfect, mid 70s, low humidity. Glad to be alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next weekend is the Indian Creek Triathlon. Looking forward to it!