Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Where there's a will ...

This is about the fifth time I've started a sentence on this stupid blank screen. I can think of lots of topics for a post, but they're either good for about one sentence ("Claire's decided to be a butterfly for Halloween." "What's up with the Fort Bragg bombing this week?") or half-baked. And I'm all out of pictures so I can't cop out with a photo blog.

This morning I finished the article I mentioned on Monday about this impressively dedicated and accomplished triathlete, Siphiwe Baleka, who happens to be a professional truck driver. He gained 20 pounds in his first month on the road (in 2008) from sitting all day, snacking on junk food and indulging at all-you-can eat buffets. Then he decided there was no excuse for not finding at least 15 minutes a day to work out.

He started compiling CrossFit-type exercises that required no equipment or setup and worked multiple muscle groups, and then he started doing them one after another, 15 minutes a day, wherever he could find the time -- on the fuel island while pumping gas, in the picnic area of a rest stop, in his sleeper berth. As he got in better shape he got more motivated and started carving out even more time for exercise. He bought a bike and started riding from his truck to state parks, where he would swim in lakes or run on trails and then ride back to his truck.

One day he realized he had gotten really fit. A former world-class swimmer (at Yale -- how he went from Yale to driving a truck is a whole 'nother story), he decided to enter a swim meet, at which he qualified for U.S. Masters nationals. He won two events at nationals and continued to step up his training. Then he decided to start doing triathlons. He rocks them too and is now training for Ironman South Africa next April.

He is on the road about 320 days per year. In a typical week, he bikes about 110 miles, runs about 24 miles and swims about five miles -- and drives about 3,000 miles. That's pretty crazy and, I thought, pretty inspirational. Kind of makes my excuses look lame.

1 comment:

Ken Loyd said...

But I bet you can out-blog him! An inspirational story, really.