He had completed a few triathlon's in the early 80s with a good friend Jim Burleson. I think 1982 was his first. I seemed to remember he would always come home with a cool T-shirt.
Around this time or just before when I was 13 I started training for and completed my first 5k. I was so out of shape as a young teenager, I literally almost died in training. The 5K was associated with White Buffalo Days which is an annual event in Snyder in which we recognize the now extinct buffalo hunter J. Wright Moore.
I trained by running to a yellow gate you could see from our front porch about a mile away. I think I managed to run, well...walk 3 miles once or twice before the event. I also completed several 2 mile run / walks during my one month training period. In October of 1981 I ran the 5K and was sore for a week. Can you imagine the shoes we ran in!
When I was 16 and racing motocross (MX) I would read about Johnny O'Mara and David Bailey and their training. Then I would go do it. Being a person that likes to experiment, I started incorporating runs around my MX track in full race gear (boots included) up to about 2.5 miles. In hindsight it was a pretty good workout, but can you imagine what the cows were thinking. I was so out of shape and to have seen me trudging through the pasture in red pants, a chest protector and black helmet would have been a great reality show.
My first Triathlon was Fall 1987 at Texas Tech University at 20 years of age. Formally known as the Triathlon for Everyone this annual event was the only triathlon in our part of the world.
The morning of the race I was scared as hell. I was very intimidated by everyone there. However, when the gun went off I forgot about all of my nerves. A skill I still have today. I think this comes from racing MX; something in my mind just clicked and I ended up winning overall.
The following year, 1994, was the USA Bud Light Series. Yes, they gave away beer at the finish. I went to Houston and Phoenix in the spring and managed some good finishes. After those events I started training more to help my MX career.
A few years later in the spring of 1990 I broke my wrist. I tried to come back that summer and compete at the same level, but I knew my career in MX had plateaued... I was just not ready to be hurt again.
The next year, 1991, I raced several events including one in Evergreen, CO. I was hooked.