More than Mud is an article and interview series dedicated to documenting the incredible characters and stories that we come across in the world of OCR and outdoor adventure and endurance racing events. They range from everyday heroes to extreme athletes but all have unique and engaging stories to tell.
How Did You Get Into OCR Racing?
My friend asked me to be on a team at the super hero scramble a few years ago. I was warming up in the parking lot when I heard the countdown to start. I started about a half mile behind everyone else just getting to the starting line. I took tenth place at that race and decided I could win some OCRs that day, and not only did I decide that, but I have :)
How do you describe what you do to people outside of the OCR community? (and why you do it)
I radiate positivity. There is good in every situation, sometimes it's harder to see than others but it's always there. There are no problems only solutions waiting to happen. I work as a bartender and most days when I leave work my face hurts from smiling so much. I think people connect to that wether on a conscious or subconscious level and I think I make a positive difference in people's lives. I have had a few people tell me that they started eating healthy and running because I inspired them to do so. To that I always reply, "I didn't do anything, you did it."
What's been your most interesting or memorable moment in your OCR career so far?
I have been competing for a few years now, and there have been a lot of good times on a lot of different courses. It's always a good feeling standing on the podium. Most recently I convinced my brother to start competing and watching Max win a 300$ cash prize in his second race out was pretty awesome. I have had some injuries that have held back my training, but I can't wait to go out and compete against him, and my other brother Phil who did his first OCR recently as well.
What's the best training or racing advice you've ever received?
Have fun. If you don't enjoy what your doing you should probably not do it. It's just a sport and it's all for fun.
What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?
I get depressed. It's a physical condition that I have grown to recognize the symptoms to. Remaining focused on a healthy lifestyle helps limit the outbreaks and maintaining a positive thought process helps battle the negative thoughts that can occur. It's a lot like running a race, you can't let up for even a second or someone will take you out.
What inspires you?
I find great personal satisfaction in setting goals and achieving them. Whether it's running consecutive sub six minute miles or doing being able to do 10 pull ups in a row or starting a successful business. I also really enjoy seeing other people overcome their personal challenges, it keeps me motivated to keep working on myself becoming a better person each day. I truly believe that we are stronger working together. In community there is strength and sometimes we all need a little extra encouragement.
Any race stats you'd like to share? Any goals for this year?
My goals are a little different lately than in the years past. My 9 year old niece Summer was diagnosed with leukemia and has been suffering tremesously. I really want to to help her and my family stay strong together and fight cancer until the end. It's pretty devastating watching the transformation that the chemo has cuased on her young body, and how it has affected my family. I want to put together a 5K in honor of her and all those fighting cancer. If you want to give her some support and kind words you can leave her some inspiration on her Facebook page here. Words really do matter. #summersoldiers
What's something about you that others might find surprising?
I have 8 brothers and one sister. I speak Spanish, French, Portuguese and a little bit of Greek. I have also traveled to over 60 countries.
What are your thoughts on the current state and future of OCR?
I think the sport is heading in the right direction. There are some bugs that need to be worked out but it's a very complex competition. Sheer speed and the balance of strength and technique of obstacle completion is a delicate balance. Judging who is the best at that properly definitely presents its unique challenges.
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