NOTE: Athlete Profiles are all about the listeners of the Athlete On Fire podcast! Yes, we have some amazing guests on the show but some of YOU listeners out there are just as inspiring. You write to give us feedback and you share your amazing stories with us and we are happy to pass them on to the masses. This is going to be a regular installment so if you or anyone you know is a worthy candidate, shoot us an email and we would love to feature them. Thanks for sharing your story Chris, you are truly a Listener On Fire.
San Diego, CA
What is the best thing about your hometown?
Originally from Ontario, Canada, I moved to San Diego 13 years ago for my career. The best things about San Diego are the weather, which encourages you to go outside and play year round, and the high concentration of races that are attracted to the area.
As I child, I was not much of an athlete, disdaining team sports like soccer that my parents tried to get me interested in. In high school, I briefly took up karate and enjoyed it, but I faded back into a sedentary lifestyle in university. Eventually, I found myself at nearly 30 years old and topping 265 lbs, and realized that I better do something about it. When I moved to San Diego, I made drastic changes to my diet, and took up karate again after a long hiatus, eventually achieving 2nd degree black belt. Running started as a form of cross training, and I found it thoroughly un-enjoyable at first.
Current athletic passion:
Three years ago, I did my first obstacle race, the MCRD Bootcamp Challenge. A couple of races later, including the zombie-themed Run For Your Lives and my first Spartan Race, and I was hooked. Obstacle Course Racing requires a wide variety of different skills and abilities, and training for them has made me a much stronger, fitter athlete. Thanks to OCR, I now enjoy running for it’s own sake, especially trail running, and have completed 3 half marathons and am training for my first full marathon in Long Beach in October.
Who or what in the world is inspiring you right now?
My fellow racers continue to inspire me – not so much the hardcore elite racers, many of whom have been natural athletes their entire lives, but more the athletes who have overcome massive obstacles in their own lives or who have used the sport to turn their lives around. At obstacle races, I have met athletes who have lost over 100 lbs, blind athletes, athletes running the same courses as the rest of us with canes because of Spina Bifida or spinal trauma, or even athletes running on artificial limbs. These people do a wonderful job of putting most of our excuses (I’m tired, my knee hurts, I’m not in good enough shape, etc) into perspective.
Is your legacy important to you? Why?
Legacy is important to me. As a father of two beautiful girls, one of my major goals in life is to inspire them to stay active and take care of their bodies by doing something fun. In other words, to keep playing throughout their lives, while still striving for excellence. If I inspire anyone else along the way (friends, co-workers, and other weekend warriors) to be more active and try new, scary things, then that’s a bonus.
Why do you consider yourself an athlete on fire?
I consider myself an Athlete on Fire because although I’m not exactly hitting the podium at my races, I am continually improving, and at 43 I’m in the best shape and am having the most fun of my life at the same time.
What would you say to someone who hasn’t found their passion in sport or life yet?
Don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know when your passion will hit, or what you’ll love until you try it. If you wait until you’re “ready” (in better shape, etc), you probably won’t do it. Jump in with both feet and figure it out later. Stop “working out”, and start playing – if you’re having fun you’re much more likely to keep doing it.
Where are you on your athletic journey? Flicker, Flame, or Fire?
NOTE FOR CHRIS:Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with the Athlete On Fire community. You are a freaking beast man! From 265 to competing in these amazing events, WOW! You are definitely inspiring others and your girls and there is no doubt you are an Athlete On Fire!
“Everyone is an athlete if they would just apply themselves!”