"Run if You Can, Walk if You Have to.....": Meet Joey

Tuesday, 12 August 2014 05:10 PM Written by 


DSC 1269 800x659Good morning, my name is Joey and I am the editor of the Wellness N'at blog. As I said in my initial post, it is my job to bring the others together and be sure that you (the readers) have fresh content to read and hopefully content that will motivate you. When putting together this group of talented individuals (and they are some of the best in their area of focus) I quickly understood that they were all professionally more qualified than myself. I began to wonder, “what can I lend to the blog experience that would be beneficial to the readers, yet not get in the way of the various discliplines represented.”

The answer led me down a path that seemed to get more complex, and yet in the end, proved to be very simple. I am just like many of you. While I can think of a plethora of words that I use to describe myself (triathlete, marathoner, runner, swimmer, cyclists, instructor and coach) I do not believe that any of those really describe who I am, they just describe what I do.

I am first and foremost the father of a 13 year old daughter; I am also the Director of Healthy Living at the YMCAs of Greater Pittsburgh. Those two titles most accurately describe who I am and why I am able to do many of the tasks that I begin, and also why other tasks can be difficult or impossible to complete. Just like you, I have a personal life that is full and I have a business life that is overfull. You would think that being a Director at a YMCA would provide all of the time necessary to accomplish any level of fitness, but it does not. My days are filled with administration, meetings, findiing substitute teachers, balancing budgets, soliciting donations and above all communicating with my daughter.

To further fill in my current situation: in February 2014 I tore a tendon in the hamstring of my right leg. While I had previously run marathons and triathlons, I was relegated to some mild swimming, weitht lifting and very short runs. I found myself in a position of changing my Pittsburgh Marathon registration (as a charity runner for the Y of course) from the full to the half, and barely being able to train for that. I was finally able to run more than three miles without much pain in late April, which left very little time for training. I was fortunate, a good friend ran the half with me. It was his first, and he was kind enough to wait for me while we completed the course together. I always think of the quote by Dean Karnazes: “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” I try to live my life by that quote, and the Pittsburgh Half was a big test for me. I was able to keep running for the entire 13.1, but it hurt.

Fast forward to August (yep, even today). I am now healthy. I have been able to swim, bike and run for the past couple of weeks completely pain free; well as pain free as you can expect at 47. You would think that with my position, and my education, I would have known enough to curtail my eating while unable to run or bike; well I did not! So here I sit, 25 pounds over my race weight and struggling to get back into my race shape.

So with that, I will be blogging about my return to healthy athletics. I hope that you will find my series enlightening, and that you will find many of the situations that I encounter similar to your life and your athletic endevors. Granted, I have a host of friends that are coaches, nutritionists, and elite athletes that should make the return easier. At the end of the day, my biggest hurdle is myself, and I plan to share with you the struggle that I go through. Please, let me know your thoughts, your questions, and most importantly your experiences. I will do my best to answer your concerns, and where I can not, I will ask for a little help from my friends.

Let's sit back enjoy this trip together. As with any endurance activity, it is not as much about the race itself, but more about the journey that we travel to get there. I have often said that endurance athletics is soley about pain management. It is now time to live what I so often preach.

Welcome to my journey, I am glad to have you along,



Last modified on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 17:18

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