The following are brief profiles of interviewees. The full interview will be published in an upcoming book.
Sandy Scott is a colorful 69 year old elite cyclist who resides in Seminole, Florida, and who has managed to pack so much into his life that its density approaches that of a black hole, pulling you toward him to hear his stories. Sandy had a varied professional career, at one time or another being a police officer, in the military, a commercial airline pilot, a corporate sales executive, and an entrepreneur. Of all these, Sandy loved being a pilot the most, and because of this, says he would have done it for free. Sandy also has many other interests including chess, collecting all kinds of things, amateur radio, playing drums, martial arts, photography, skydiving, high-fidelity audio, logic puzzles, motorcycling, electronics, running, tennis, golf, and of course cycling.
Sandy participated at competitive levels in sports most of his life, winning national master’s titles in road racing and cross-country in his late thirties and early forties. Sandy started cycling at age 64, when his now fiancé Rosie, a competitive cyclist in her own right, dropped by his house and told him that she had two bikes and a picnic lunch, and that they were going for a ten mile ride. Sandy had a blast that day, and bought a bike the next week. He found that he had a talent for cycling, and within 9 months of that first ride, had turned in the fastest 10K time of the day in his first race. The rest is history.
Days before this interview, Sandy won the Florida state 20K time trial title, breaking the record he set last year by 18 seconds. This is an amazing feat given that at age 65 he had a horrific cycling accident that resulted in a fracture of his C1 vertebra, which is often fatal. To hear a radio interview with Sandy, where he talks about this, go to http://growingbolder.com/media/sports/cycling/sandy-scott-957.html.
Sandy’s dream is to win four gold medals at the Senior Olympics in 2011 in Houston, Texas. He also wishes that all people can get to understand that growing older can be a fantastic experience if you lift weights, eat right, get aerobic exercise, have good relationships, have goals, exercise your mind, have a positive outlook, and get regular medical checkups. Sandy is having a blast.
Terry Peterson is a 53 year old mountain unicyclist from Redondo Beach, California, who has what I’ll call a “nuclear” personality. His energy and passion for MUni, as its called, is palpable even over the phone. Terry participated in running and golf over the years, but only came to MUni about three and a half years ago. Terry found that in his late forties he had gained weight, had high cholesterol, and got winded very easily. Tuning and servicing pianos at his business had him fairly sedentary during much of his workday. Running bothered his knees, bicycling seemed boring, swimming was inconvenient, and he was searching for what to do. Bingo, he stumbled on a website, unicycle.com, and he was amazed to see how far the advances in unicycles had come since he last rode one in his teens. Fast forward to today, Terry is a sponsored, and extremely accomplished MUni rider. MUni has become an integral part of his life, and he has extensive footage of his riding on his website, http://unigeezer.com. Since he started riding MUni he lost 31 pounds of fat, went from a 34” to a 29” waist, and is in the best shape of his life.
Since childhood Terry has been very hyperactive, with some difficultly completing at least some of the more mundane sort of tasks. Better known today by the acronym, ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Terry feels it doesn’t hinder him. Terry considers ADHD a blessing in disguise in that it allows him to get hyper-focused on things he really likes, like MUni. Terry thinks ADHD has influenced his creative nature. Terry also writes music, composes videos, draws, acted, did ventriloquism, used to DJ, and can pick up instruments and play them without instruction.
Terry has received hundreds of emails and letters from people who see his website, or see an interview with him on radio or TV. A common theme in the letters is that the writer thought they were too old to ride, and that after seeing him, say they need to rethink this.
Gale Bernhardt is a 50 year old self-proclaimed endurance sport junkie, who lives in Loveland, Colorado. Gale, who is an engineer by training, left her job at a major corporation over a decade ago to become a coach and follow her dream. Gale has participated in many sports over the past forty years including triathlons, swimming, cycling, trail running, and skiing. Gale loves participating in sports, and helping people achieve their goals. Her personal sports focus over the past five years has been a 100 mile mountain bike race called the Leadville 100. At the Leadville 100, you need to complete the course in under twelve hours in order to officially complete the race. In her first Leadville 100, Gale approached the finish line with crowds lining the street and a Tour de France like finish, and crossed the line in 11:59.55, a mere five seconds from the cut-off time. That experience hooked Gale to this race, and earned her the prestigious Last Ass Over The Pass Trophy that year, which is one of her most treasured possessions. Gale is currently the 2008 Leadville 100 defending champion, and training for the 2009 race, where she hopes to finish well and strong.
Gale shared with me her love of adventure, and her passion for helping people reach their goals. She is another example of someone who is living the life she loves. I left the interview even more inspired than when we first sat down. It has occurred to me that all the athletes I have interviewed, have extremely positive attitudes, and are the people I want to surround myself with. They have the mindset that I want to always have, the mindset of an athlete.
Carol Jean Vosburgh is a 63 year old cyclist who lives in Treasure Island, Florida, and who recently retired from being a Registered Nurse. Carol Jean was a late starter and didn’t take up any sort of sport until she was nearing forty years old. As a single parent of three, Carol Jean was looking for a stress release and had a choice to make. She could either join the crowd at work that went out drinking after work, or she could join the group of people who ran at lunch time. She chose running. While running was hard for her at first, she soon found herself able to run further and further. At 41, Carol Jean entered her first running race, a Thanksgiving day “Turkey Trot, “ and won her age group. She went from never having competed in any sporting event, to winning her first race. Carol loved competing and being around her healthy running friends, especially given the pain, suffering, and death she saw at work. She moved onto doing triathlons and has come to appreciate the diversity that triathlon training offers. Carol Jean eventually qualified for the Kona Ironman.
At age 62, Carol Jean and her husband joined a group of riders in riding the 4,000 miles from the San Francisco bay to the New Hampshire shore, completing the ride in 52 days. Carol Jean does nothing on a small scale.
Carol Jean has worked through many setbacks including open heart surgery at the age of 52. After that event Carol Jean thought that she might never run again, but now she is training to win four or more gold medals at the 2011 Senior Game in Houston, Texas in cycling, running, and the triathlon.
The following is a brief profile of one of the interviewees in the upcoming book, Dream It, Live It, Love It. The full intreview and insights gained by the author will be shared in the book to be published later this year. To see future interviewee profiles via email and to stay updated on the status of the book, use the widget at the bottom right of this page to subscribe.
Ed Shaw is a 67 year old cyclist and runner who lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, and who three years ago retired from being a civil engineer, a career he loved. Ed’s last assignment was managing the operation of a quarry in Newfoundland that created jobs for 108 people that otherwise would not have had work. Ed loved not only the people and the satisfaction he got from helping the people there, but he also loved the feeling of doing his job well. He brings that passion for doing things well to his cycling and running, evidenced by his victories in the challenging Mount Evans cycling race and the Austin Half Marathon.
Ed got started cycling when his son, who was a very good amateur cyclist, urged him to try cycling. Ed found that he liked the speed of being on a bike, and that he had a talent for hill climbing. He then began competing in duathlons that involve running and cycling, and enjoyed success. In recent years his focus has been on doing cycling races that he likes, such as the Mount Evans race, and on the Austin Half Marathon.
Gale Bernhardt who I also interviewed for this book had told me about Ed, and his ability to give it his all. She told me that on a recent ride with a group of very good cyclists, Ed demonstrated that ability by topping out first on a grueling hill climb in Saint Vrain Canyon. Ed loves to train, and loves the friendships he has as a result of his participation in cycling and running.