Many people think I’m crazy, but the challenges of preparing for and completing the Badwater 135 Ultramarathon, July 28-30, gave me a wonderful opportunity for self-growth and self-realization. Furthermore, I’ve been told my participation inspires others.
Race organizers require participants to select a charity, so my colleague and friend, Dr. Sean Daneshmand, offered me the chance to help others through Miracle Babies. Hopefully, the suffering I experienced by racing reduces the suffering of premature babies and their families.
Covering 135 miles non-stop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, California, the Badwater 135 is the most demanding running race offered on the planet. The start line is at Badwater, Death Valley (the lowest elevation in North America) and the race ends at Mt. Whitney summit (the highest point in the contiguous United States). A true “challenge of the champions,” the Badwater 135 pits up to 100 of the world’s toughest athletes against one another and the elements. The invitational race has a time limit of 48 hours and the finisher’s award is the coveted Badwater belt buckle, the Holly Grail of endurance sports.
What brought you to La Jolla?
Like many others, the lovely weather enticed me to come to La Jolla for two years after graduate school at Ohio State. I worked in the fitness/wellness field while competing in triathlons. I returned to the Midwest to complete my medical studies.
After lots of hard work and many long, dark, cold winters, I was very fortunate to be offered a great job as an Emergency Physician at Sharp Memorial Hospital. I came out here a single man and now have an awesome wife and two perfect daughters. It’s 14 years later and I still count my blessings every day.
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
We need less bureaucracy and more rapid and rational resolution of community issues.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by anyone who aspires to self-improvement or to help others despite hardship, handicap or obstacle.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
The list would include my deceased father and brother; Jesus Christ; Aristotle; Confucius; Thomas Edison; Job and Urban Meyer (go Buckeyes!).
What are you reading?
On any given day, I read my medical journals and online news and sports websites, particularly Drudgereport and ESPN. Two books I reread often (and highly recommend) are “Unleash the Warrior Within” by Richard Machowicz and “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” by Dr. Meg Meeker.
What is it that you most dislike?
What is your most-prized possession?
The great upbringing provided to me by my parents. It’s the foundation for all the wonderful things in my life.
What do you do for fun?
Run, spend time with my daughters, Ella and Erica, digest anything to do with Ohio State Football, read, work out in my garage, run some more.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?
It’s something said by Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
What would be your dream vacation?
Two weeks (or more!) of days that start with a long rigorous trail run in the tropics followed by afternoon adventures with my daughters ending with a romantic, relaxing evening with my honey.