I heard about Stephen by accident on Twitter, had to get in touch with him about his travels. He is one of a small number of friends I have on Facebook and I have seen his posts. His friends adore him. Can only talk of what a great guy he is. This is our first ever Sports based 'Why I Ride' segment, I hope you all enjoy it.
Hi my name is Stephen Want, no one knows me by my real name. I am better know asLunchbox.
I am not your normal cyclist/triathlete, I weigh in at 150kg. Society calls me lazy and a burden on our health system. My friend and the people around me would say otherwise.
I was asked to write a little blog to talk a little about myself. I've been scratching my head on what to write when it hit me. I can clearly remember the night my life change around from being a fat, lazy and person living a very dull life. I used to be very active on my bike as a kid, this all stopped when I stared working at the local KFC as a kid and soon after discovered beer.
There was almost no physical activity for the next 15 years and the weight just piled on. My friend always dropped subtle hints to get me to change my unhealthy ways. I found the need to change by accident. I was house sitting a mates house and didn't realised I'd left the back gate opened and the dog ran away. I knew the best way through the local park at night was to dig out my mates bike from the shed and scour the parks under moonlight. I learnt a few valuable lesions that night. The first was to always close the gate and the other was to pump up the tyres before a ride.
While on the hunt for the dog, I rekindled my love of riding so much that I bought my own bike the next day. For someone of my size 170kg, you are hesitant to do many things.When I ride, I feel free. A few weeks later, I watched my friends, the same friends who owned the dog compete in a corporate triathlon. I was totally mesmerised at the sport, I was blown away by the fact this sport was normal every people and not just stereotype athletes. I thought is if my friends can do a triathlon, I can at least ride to work.
I can clearly remember racing home and jumping on the bike. And riding to work to see if I could simply cover the distance. The very next week I was commuting to working and signed up to a gym across the street. Over a few months, the weight dropped off and found a new lease on life.
I signed up for a few triathlons, Even though they were small, the run always killed me. I never knew what attracted me to triathlon, I hated swimming and running, but loved the bike. It always came down to the bike. The bike legs were always my strength. For the first time in my life I found something I was good at. I would count the number of people I would overtake on the bike and hope that I wouldn't be overtaken by the same number on the run. Over the years, as my confidence grew, the distances grew. You know you're a cyclist when your willing to ride to Frankston every Saturday morning, yet this seems like a ridiculously long drive in the car. I clearly found my passion in life.
My friends knew this too, they all chipped in for new bike for my 30th birthday. Since that day, I have upgraded bike a few times. I've lost count the number of times I've stacked the bike or sat on the side of the road to change the tyre. My greatest memory is running down the finish chute my first ironman in December. Little did I know, I had a faster bike split than my best mate & my coach. Training for an Ironman is quite daunting. I lost count the number of times I missed a training run or early morning pull session. Yet I never missed a ride. I achieved my dream of Ironman, now I've set myself a few goals for the year. The first one is to clock 100kph on the downhill at the Noosa triathlon, I've come very close to it last year, unfortunate I forgot to pack my bike computer that year. Second goal is to race with more strategy on the bike at my next Ironman and run under 6.5 hours over the 180 km course. The final goal is to go 12 months without falling off be bike.
As you can tell, I don't take my self too seriously. I hope my passion for riding can rub off onto you. I look forward to seeing you out on the road.