I'm a debatable gentleman and endurance sport activist living in Los Angeles. Here, we'll talk about the second of those two things...
I was a college athlete. Played baseball at the University of Illinois. Injuries are tough, but sometimes allow for a breath of perspective. I was injured sophomore year…then all of my senior year. So I feel you. My best advice is to spend your time well. You probably love to play basketball, so now that one love is gone, attach yourself to something else you can love. You won’t always find that thing right away, but look. I always loved to write, so when I got injured my sophomore year, I started writing scripts. Then I started to think about moving to Los Angeles to work in film…or die trying. After I graduated, I drove across the country and landed close to where I am now.
Once I got to Los Angeles, I partied for a couple years about as hard as I train now. Did a lot of that in college too. High school too. You can skip all that. When things started to shift, I ran marathons in Athens, LA, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, Mae Sariang (Thailand), and Boston through my mid/late 20’s. When I was 29, I raced the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. It’s been all triathlon since. I didn’t have a background in any of this stuff. But I was the freshman who showed up to senior-led preseason conditioning at U of I being told to “Chill. Not challenge the captains. Show respect.” I loathe crap like that. The rule lasted maybe 4 minutes. I caused fights at track workouts because I didn’t think people were pushing hard enough. Coaches didn’t like me. I didn’t like them. I was a puzzle above their pay grade, and a bit of a punk, but I worked my ass off. So eventually people respected me. I’m not saying any of this stuff to sound tough or holy or whatever. I’m saying it because it is the most important piece to my background. Whatever seed I have inside of me that causes me to behave in the manners I do is the seed that has propelled me, and will continue to propel me.
Originally, I thought I did all this to replace the competitive environment I missed from college. I think I heard someone say something like that once and I grabbed hold. But it wasn’t true. This is a devastating town for an artist - I train like I do and pick fights I do to deal with the juggernaut of rejection. I think that’s honest. But I also love fights. I love struggle. So essentially, my first injury led me to today. Positive, realistic people roll like that - with agility. One door closes, another opens. It’s all a merry-go-round. As long as you follow your heart, it’s all good. You’ll find a way. That’s why I’m saying this to you right now, wounded bird - keep your eyes open RIGHT NOW.