In 2011, prior to my 40th birthday, I went in for my annual checkup. The doctor told me that I had high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high everything! I presented with every symptom of obesity (as if seeing 326 lbs on the scale wasn't a big enough indicator), combined with plantar fasciitis, arthritis, knee pain etc. The doctor prescribed blood pressure medication, but I refused to take it! It was then that I resolved to get back into shape.
So, in October, I started eating right, working out and distance running. Two hundred yards into my first run and I was sure I was going to have a heart attack! During this time, there were a ton of commercials promoting the NYC Marathon. My previous employer is an official sponsor with entries to the Marathon "“ the irony struck me right away, since I never took advantage of that while I was employed there.
That's when I made the decision to run the NYC Marathon the following year. I made a few calls and my good friend Dennis Barreto got me an entry into the marathon. In November, I purchased a bike and joined a health club with a pool for cross training. One morning, I heard a coworker talk about triathlons and he asked, "If you're already running, swimming and biking, what's keeping you from tri?" Unfortunately, my answer was, "FEAR!"
Ironman is what always came to mind whenever I thought of a triathlon. I thought there was no way I could survive a 2.4 mile swim! My coworker explained that there were shorter triathlons including ones indoors! It was then that my fear began to subside: I might actually be able to do it!
While channel surfing one day, I came across the 2012 Ironman Championship. I fell in love with everything about the sport, the event and the people!
This journey has changed my life: I lost over 100lbs, I became vegan and I love to SBR! Now the list of events for 2013/2014 just continues to grow! I'll be running the NYC Marathon in 2013 and 2014, Vuelta de Puerto Rico 2014, Ironman 70.3 San Juan, NY Gran Fondo 2014, Syracuse Ironman 70.3, etc. All of these events are just training for my ultimate goal: KONA!
By 2012, I'd made significant progress my new active lifestyle, yet was still having all kinds of medical problems. I slowly started to cut meat out of my diet until I was down to just eating fish. That November, I found out one of my good friends (Yazmeen Collazo) was vegan! Naturally, I was curious. So I started to ask her questions and she suggested that I meet her very good friend Jessica "Vedge" Schoech, the person who inspired her decision to go vegan. My exact words were, "I hope she's not one of those crazy vegans," and luckily for me she wasn't! She pretty much single-handedly changed my life by being the most patient, caring, informative, and super cool vegan ever!
To make a long story short, now I'm a vegan! I'm still learning what to eat and like anyone else, I sometimes make mistakes by not asking the right questions or not reading the label (the tiny little print gets on my nerves!) but like my Vedge sensei says "It's not about perfection, it's about intent!"
My Motto: "Go Big Vedge Or Go Home!"
I met Christina "Vedge" Gregory through Jessica and one night she came up with this slogan. It has become my mantra in every situation "“sweating out my last few miles, creating vegan dishes in my kitchen, hashtagging on social media "“ and I sleep, eat and breathe it.
Thanks for reading! Now (please) gimme (donate) some money!
Big Vedge Event Schedule 2014
Done! 01/23/2014 - Vuelta De Puerto Rico - www.vueltapr.com
Done! 03/02/2014 a Washington Heights 5K - 2015 NYC Marathon Qualifier
Done! 03/16/2014 - NYC Half Marathon - http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2014/nyc-half
04/10/2014 - Ironman San Juan PR 70.3 - www.ironmansanjuan.com/welcome
05/17/2013 - Brooklyn Half Marathon
05/18/2014 - Gran Fondo NY - www.granfondony.com/
06/22/2014 - Ironman Syracuse, NY 70.3 - www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman-70.3/syracuse.aspx#axzz2jh14k1nU
TBD - Ironman Calgary, CA 70.3 - www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman-70.3/calgary.aspx#axzz2jh14k1nU
TBD - 08/03/2014 - NYC Triathlon - www.nyctri.com/
09/26/2014 - Ironman Princeton, NJ 70.3 http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman-70.3/princeton.aspx#axzz2mZQ9OXg5
11/02/2014 - NYC Marathon 2014 - www.ingnycmarathon.org
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