After shifting through some old photos , kicking around thoughts, destressing from the holidays and masses of credit card debt. My pops and I got to talking on how I came a long way from being the kid doing these things on a mountain bike. My first race was the Pat Griskus Sprint Tri in July 2002, I thought to myself, I'm a good swimmer and a descent runner this thing should be a cake walk. For the most part those two legs were. The bike however was a different story. As a kid I had grown up living on wheels, I had tore a dirt track into my back yard I rode my bike so much. When we moved out to Wolcott I was in heaven our house was situated on a fairly flat 1 mile loop. Every day I was riding at least 2 or 3 loops which ain't bad for a 12 year old kid. Then the accident occured. About 2 weeks after moving in I was out on one of my rides and had a case of "Tour de France Fever" I was descending down this little speed bump of a hill my head tucked down and helmetless pedaling in the biggest ring my mountain bike had. I forgot that one of my neighbors was having their siding re-done and didn't see the contractor's truck until it was too late to even mutter "oh shit."BAM I remember seeing my baseball cap flying into the tailgate and my knees hitting sheet metal then after a moment I felt steel against my neck and pain in my legs. My inital thought and screams were "Oh my God! Oh My God! I'm gonna die!" The next thoughts as the contractors extricated me and my mangled bike from the truck were oh shit I broke my legs, the fact that I was slightly concussed did not help the fact. After getting checked out by my neighbors and hearing the sympathetic of my mother " Do you know how much damage you inflicted on that guy's truck!" as she threw a bag of frozen turnips on my legs. Indeed all I heard about was how I did nearly $600 dollars worth of damage to the truck and totaled my $200 mountain bike all the way to the ER. After a quick check up I was told my legs were not broken...as emphazied by the fact I limped away and I had a minor concussion. 2 things happended that day. I never rode without a helmet ( up until last year) and I didn't touch a bike for almost 2 years. In 2002 after 2 years of High school swimming and long distance running I decided to tackle this triathlon thing. I blew the dust of the $100 red mountain bike my Aunt had bought for me as a replacement 2 years earlier and began to crank out 2 ,3, 6, 8 mile rides to try to prepare for this bike leg. The fact that the first three miles were all down hill didn't help. I showed up at Quassapaug on the second Wed. in July ready for action. The swim was the first time I had done open water a quick off course excursion into one of the support kayaks made me realize this was not going to be as easy as my pool swims, and that against all my training I would have to lift my head to figure out where the hell I was going. After 14 min. I was out of the water and onto the bike. Like I said the first 3 miles were all down hill I kicked it into the highest gear and kept my hands by the brakes as riders on their sleek $3000 fine tuned aero machines soared past me like I was standing still. The climbs were brutal as I inched up hills guys on tri and road bikes were cooking up. Any advantage I had in the swim was completely erased. I crawled into T2 to begin the run. On the run I noticed I wasn't as slow as half the guys I rode in with. I was passing droves on my way to the turn around and even more on my way back. As I finished I thought to myself " Hey I might have a knack for this." the following year I fixed up two ten speeds and did the same race. I finished a little bit higher at the Griskus and was second in my age group granted the little yellow ten speed was still a little small for my frame. About a month later on a whim as a High School graduation present to my self I did the 1st Sandy Beach Tri..I was the only psycho kid under 20 doing the thing solo...and I did it on a better fitting bike. I won my age group and set a course record ( after all it was the first race.) A two year Hiatus, drinking binge, attempt to become a college swimmer followed followed by another year off working at the Gas station/Video game shop/Bank trying to get back into school followed. In 2006 after taking up masters I decided to get back into tris. I spent my income tax refund on a road bike ( Enrico) and entered the Griskus Sprint, Griskus Olympic, Niantic Bay Sprint, and Park City Mossman. I did pretty descent. I finished second in my age group at Niantic...would have medaled in my age group if I hadn't crashed in the Griskus Sprint and survived the two olympic distance races. The following year I resolved to do a half Ironman....and I did in fact I did two, along with some more sprints and Olympics added for flavor. So now on the dawn of 2008 I'm training for an Ironman "the top tier" of endurance multisport... more in debt to equipment purchases then I ever thought possible but with medals and t-shirts that were worth it all. I guess I've come a long way from the kid who showed up on the beach with a speedo and a mountain bike.