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MY "WHY"

After a lifetime of creating marketing & technology solutions for Big Pharma, I became the world’s first IRONMAN to have survived cancer and and heart transplant. That statement… man, even I have to admit that it’s a great story. The problem is that it’s highly likely that a lot of my medical issues could have been avoided. I was a workaholic who never took the time to take care of myself. I was 40-50lbs overweight and made horrible choices in what I ate. I didn’t work out. I actively avoided doctor visits. I was making money, but I put off experiencing life for some arbitrary financial goal line that I purposely kept moving just out of my reach. In the process, I lost the 4 feet of intestines surrounding a cancerous tumor. I lost eight years of the prime of my life to heart failure. I lost my factory-installed heart, and I lost my life… literally… twice. What did all that poor planning actually get me? A lot of pain, a failed marriage, and bags of money I would never have had the chance to spend. Thankfully, fate gave me a second, and then a third, chance.

 

A heroic stranger chose the last day of their life to loan me their heart and save mine; to give me another shot to figure out what life was all about. It was their generosity, integrity, courage, and compassion that made me reevaluate my life. It made me realize that taking care of their heart meant taking care of myself, and that has changed everything. I’ve become the custodian to this heart and become a part of someone else’s legacy. It’s allowed me to overcome the physical affects of cancer, of heart failure, of diabetes, and of a heart transplant. I’ve raced over 100 races, ridden across the United States, and crossed the lava fields and finish line of the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii. The most important things to have happened on this journey though, was being given another chance to find and marry the love of my life, and the birth of my daughter, my very own miracle. 

 

I’ve seen first-hand, the transformative power that comes with taking care of ourselves - I’ve also seen the devastating effects of what happens when people don’t. Since my own health journey, I’ve made it my life’s mission to help others improve their quality of life by simply becoming more active. The physical improvements are expected, but what really struck me were the mental and emotional benefits of activity. Let me be clear: it’s NOT about getting people from the couch to an IRONMAN; it’s about the simple ability to go outside for a walk with your significant other; it’s about strengthening the ties that bind us to LIFE. When our heads and hearts are in the right place, ANYTHING is possible, and it all begins with a single step. 

 

Here’s the rub… I know I can’t save the world all by myself. The good thing is that there are so many others out there who started this journey before me; people who have dedicated their lives to helping other people; people who have invested their time, money, blood, sweat, and tears in running businesses designed to get people moving and keep them moving. Maybe YOU’RE one of those people, and if you are then I’m happy to be a part of your tribe. There have been a number of times in my life where I’ve felt like my whole life has prepared me for a specific moment and this is one of them. My journey has given me a unique perspective, while my training given me the skills that can help you reach more people. Combined with YOUR journey and YOUR skills, WE have that ability to move the needle, improve people’s lives, and yeah… even to save the world. Together, we are a force of nature and together, we are unstoppable.

 

Let’s do this.

 

Derek

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