It is time for another installment of “One Fit Daddy!”
Today’s fit dad is Sam, who is currently on track to run 61 marathons in 2010 to raise awareness and money for Train 4 Autism!
I’ve been following his tweets for awhile and I am in AWE of his running talent. Not only is he running a marathon every week, but he is running them very FAST! Aside from his speed, he is helping bring attention to an awesome cause. Be sure to visit Operation Jack to learn more about his
If you would like to donate to Train 4 Autism and Operation Jack, I have made a donation page over here.
Sam hasn’t always been fit…please read on for more about how he changed his life and became one fit daddy!
Q: What inspired you to live a fit lifestyle?
I used to be extremely overweight and unhealthy. I was always concerned, but never really did anything about it. I always thought someday I’d lose a little weight, but I never thought I’d be physically fit and healthy. When I turned 30, my wife bought me an iPod as a gift and suggested I start walking. She wasn’t concerned about my appearance — she was concerned about my health, and rightly so. I started walking, and the next year when she was pregnant with out third child, it really hit home for me. I need to stick around and take care of my kids! So, I took it seriously and hoped to really stick with my new routine for a while and take some pounds off. My cholesterol was also very high and I needed to get that under control. At this point, I think I have a good enough routine in place. I make time to exercise daily and I eat fairly well, although I still enjoy myself. My health is wonderful, I’m physically fit and I have self confidence that I had always lacked. I’m happy and comfortable, which is awesome.
Q: What advice do you have for parents who claim they don’t have time for exercise?
I don’t to say that everybody has time, but almost everybody has time. I’m sure there are some people with some very unique schedules that just don’t have the time. But it’s just a matter of prioritizing time. When I started exercising about five years ago, I stopped watching a lot of TV and started going to bed earlier. Instead of sleeping 11-7, I sleep 9:30 or 10:00 until 5 nowadays. I work full time, I work a few hours a night on my charity and I do everything I can to spend as much time as possible with my wife and kids. But I still exercise about 5 or 6 times a week. It matters to me, so I make it happen. I think 30-60 minutes of cardio four or five times a week, whether that’s a walk or a jog or a run, is enough to maintain a decent level of fitness. If waking up an hour earlier in the morning is what it takes, that’s not so bad. It’s a great way to start the day, physically and mentally. For single parents who can’t get out like that, maybe taking a 45-minute walk on your lunch break is the answer. If you want to find a way to do it, you almost certainly can. Make it happen — you owe it to your kids to be healthy for them and to be a good role model!
Q: What is your favorite marathon and why?
My favorite marathon is the Boston Marathon. I’m competitive with my running. I’m never going to win a big race, but I push myself a lot and demand a lot out of myself. When I ran my first marathon, I went 4:06, nearly an hour slower than the 3:10 required for me to get to Boston. But I saw those qualifying times, and as impossible as they seemed (I couldn’t run a 5K at a 7:15 pace, much less a marathon!), I wanted to be one of those people. I pushed and pushed and worked incredibly hard to get there. Every time I ran up a hill in training, I told myself Boston was on the other side. Every time I ran in the morning with the sun rising right into my eyes, I told myself I could see Boston. When it was cold and raining outside and I was the only out for an early morning run, I told myself the reason I was going to Boston and my neighbors weren’t is because they were at home in their warm, cozy bed, and I was out there earning my ticket. I ran a 3:07 in my 8th marathon and I’ve run Boston every year since (three times). It’s my reward for all the early mornings. The race has incredible support, 114 years of history, and the most talented field from front to back of any marathon this side of the Olympics. It’s an amazing experience and as I always tell everybody when they qualify for the first time, the reward is in the race, not just in the qualifying.
Q: How about your least favorite exercise?
My least favorite exercise … hmmm … that’s tough. Every bit of exercise hurts in one way or another. When you push your body, you feel pain. I enjoy the pain in a way, because I know it’s making me stronger and I enjoy pushing myself. To pick a least favorite, it would have to be something I’m not very good at. I guess I’d say ab work and core work, because mentally, I find it hard to get motivated to stay in a routine and deal with the discomfort those exercises bring.
Q: Do you have any mental tricks that you use when you just don’t feel like working out?
I don’t have any mental tricks. I just try to stay motivated. When I’m not motivated, it’s easy to talk myself out of a workout. But when I’m motivated, I make it happen. In the past, being registered for a race really helped. I knew that day was coming whether or not I trained and I didn’t want to show up and turn in a horrible performance. So, that got me out the door in the morning. Nowadays, it’s tough to get motivated, because if I don’t run well this weekend, there’s always next weekend. But lately, I’ve slowed down a little bit, and that’s a motivator. I’m used to running in the 3:10 range. When I start getting complacent with 3:25s, I know I need to push it harder in training. I expect a lot out of myself. For others, I’d suggest setting a goal and expecting to hit it. Maybe it’s losing a certain number of pounds by a certain date or lifting a certain amount of weight or running a certain time. Set a reasonable and challenging goal and go get it. A competitive fire is pretty important. I’m a very competitive person, so that helps. I’m not sure how to get somebody who is non-competitive to feel that fire, though.
Thank you Sam for being such an inspiration to all!