When I left L.A. for Seattle, I wasn’t having any symptoms. And, in general, my symptoms were under control the entire time I was living in the Pacific Northwest, so I didn’t need any medication at all.
Then about seven years ago I moved againthis time to New York City. Unfortunately, my symptoms came back. It wasn’t just poor air quality that was giving me trouble; it was also allergies. I found that I was especially allergic to cats. They triggered full-on wheezing.
I started my own triathlon training program
Despite my asthma symptoms, I’ve been able to stay very active. While I was living in California, I decided to try a triathlonit was something I had always wanted to do. I would show up for mini-distance races and come in last, but I always knew I would do another one. For the five years I lived on the West Coast, I did shorter-distance triathlons.
Once I got to New York, I did my first half-Ironman. I thought I’d lose weight, but I actually gained some weight in the midsection while training. The mainstream idea of “fitness” is based on how you look in the mirror; that’s different than the level of fitness you need for your best triathlon performance.
About four years ago I decided to start Simply Tri, a program that promotes weight loss through triathlon training. The triathlon world is dominated by hard-core runners, and I felt there was a need for coaches who didn’t come from that endurance background. I have three other coaches and we work with about 100 people now.
I see obesity as the biggest health threat in this country, so starting this program and helping people who are trying to lose weight is my way of giving back. I coach part-time and also train for my own triathlons. Depending on the year, I’ll compete in anywhere from 6 to 10 races.