Tuesday, March 18, 2014

As requested...

The essay that was used to get me into Leadville this year.  

The requirements for the essay were:

Submit a two- to three-paragraph essay or a video that includes the following:
  • A summary of your biking credentials
  • Your home club and how long you have been a member
  • A brief story about why you should be chosen to represent your Life Time destination at the 2014 LT100
  • Your kit size (please indicate bib shorts and jersey sizes; click here for a size chart and note that these kits are a snug, race fit)
  • The address to which you would like the kit to be mailed

By "winning" I get to pay the entry fee and buy a Lifetime Cycle Kit, which I have to wear on race day.  I guess they also get to use this essay for whatever marketing purposes they want, but that's all cool.  There's not much truth stretching in here, and certainly no blatant lies.  The 30lb drop was measured post race....so, ahhh, some of it has come back :)

Summer of 2011.  An overweight, overstressed father, husband, brother, friend and IT exec moves his family from New Jersey to Scottsdale, AZ in pursuit of a better lifestyle, a shorter commute and a pool in the backyard. Two and a half years later, thanks in large part to the team at Lifetime Scottsdale, that guy dropped 30+ lbs, regained his place as “fast guy on the bike” (among his buddies), saw his wife regain her confidence and fitness, his three children turn into budding athletes (as well as all around rockstars) and his mother be excited by what he was doing (besides creating 3 of her grand-daughters)!
The Scottsdale Lifetime Fitness family has taken me on a journey from finishing rides to performing in races. From riding alone to leading friends and family on group rides and races. I made that journey on trails in Scottsdale, racecourses in Traverse City, MI (Iceman 10+ years), Flagstaff, AZ (Barn Burner 2 years), Prescott, AZ (Whiskey Off- Road, three years) and Cave Creek and Fountain Hills, AZ for local races about five times per year.  This journey also took me to Leadville, CO in 2012, where I earned a buckle from a lottery spot.  

This year, I’ll go back to all those places--plus Lake Tahoe. And hopefully, I’ll go back to Leadville and represent Lifetime Scottsdale in pursuit of a Big Buckle!
speedy back.jpg*
I love my Speedy Motor City Jersey...but would leave
it in the bag for a Lifetime Kit at 6th and Harrison on 8/9.
But the most amazing thing about this journey is that it is not mine alone: I’ve found that my commitment to cycling and to fitness has sparked others to do the same. In the past year, my riding buddies (some of whom live 1000s of miles away...hooray for Strava, Facebook, and Twitter!) have all upped their training, my brother-in-law has bought not one but two new bikes and work colleagues have started endurance cycling. My employees and co-workers have gotten themselves in better shape. Now we even have a small team for our local races, and several have signed up for Tahoe, BarnBurner and even for Leadville.

Barnburner 2012...put this guy in an LTF kit
People have provided me inspiration over the years--coaches, teachers, writers, friends and family, and my superb trainer at Lifetime Scottsdale, Jamie Meng, tells me it’s time to start returning those favors. Indeed, I owe it to all of them to pass the encouragement along. As a representative of Lifetime Scottsdale, I can show everyone what a person with three kids, a full-time job, and daily challenges can do.  Whether it's my friends and family, or the person at the Scottsdale club who looks over and sees someone who's wears size "L" (sometimes “M”!)  instead of "XL"--I know that by finishing Leadville in a Lifetime kit, I will be that example for every other weekend warrior who wants to make a change in their life. There’s not many 6’ tall Indian-American men putting their knobby wheel on a start line, so I know I stand out!  

I'm after a Big Buckle. My Lifetime teams ensures me that with the right training, it’s possible. I know that there are some hard miles between here and central Colorado. Maybe I get one, maybe I don't. But I plan to take a lot of folks with me on this journey. I want to pass Bahram Akradi on the slopes of Columbine again and show him what his trainers can do. I want to encourage another friend or two or four to make a commitment, and allow me to take the wind or crew for them in 2015 and beyond.  And I’d love to do it all in my lifetime, wearing a Lifetime kit.

Thanks. I'll see you all at the club in Scottsdale and on the starting lines in Lake Tahoe, Flagstaff, and hopefully Leadville!

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