In 280 Twitter characters, what inspired you to run for the NPF (Mandatory)

In a world where most people don’t know what a pancreas is, NPF is always there for me and I want to return the favor! To read more of my story, please CLICK HERE.

What’s your favorite take-out/pre-race meal? (Also mandatory)

 A smoothie with granola, peanut butter, spinach, mango, and a banana.

If you were a TV host for a talk show, who would you invite as your first 3 guests (BONUS: and why)?

  1. David Goggins – He’s the most indestructible and driven human on the planet.
  2. Barak Obama – I’ve had 3 or 4 dreams where I hung out with him so I might as well make it a reality, haha.
  3. Whomever is available first: Either Jordan Peterson or Robert Young Pelton.

Have you ever had an extreme adventure? If so, what was it and would you do it again?

Most of my life has been an adventure. I spent 19+ years between the Navy and Coast Guard and lived on ships for nine of those years. I’ve created plans to intercept and catch drug smuggling vessels in the Caribbean and Pacific, coordinated hundreds of search and rescue cases, and through it all I’ve been to 20+ countries, all 50 states, and lived in Bahrain twice for six months each time.

But, dealing with recurring idiopathic acute pancreatitis is the real extreme adventure. The constant uncertainty, confusion, pain, pain, endless doctors, pain, nausea, constant cancellation of plans, more pain, and all of that kind of stuff, haha.

What is your running, or life, mantra?

“No Excuses / Never Quit”. I’ve found that it’s way too easy to be complacent and not push myself to improve each day if I’m not intentional about it. No excuses means no “excuses”, e.g., “it’s too cold/hot/rainy/hurts too much/too nauseous/insert favorite excuse here. There’s always time to improve on something. If the pain is too bad, I can catch up on reading, movies/tvs, or (even better) sleep. I might not be able to ruck a marathon, but I can ruck one mile every day. It’s all about not being passive or lazy.

Never Quit means something more like “don’t give up” or “never quit yourself”. There are plenty of things worth quitting – smoking, junk food, excess social media or entertainment time, etc. It ultimately means do not quit fighting no matter what. Sometimes it’s ok to take a day or as much time off as needed to regroup, but not to give up under pressure or when things get difficult. I’ve often found that some of my most incredible moments came when I persevered and never gave up.

What is your favorite distance to run/walk/ruck?

Before my back injury, I used to love rucking 20-30 miles. Now, I’m blessed if I can walk around the neighborhood and 5-6 miles seems to be a good “ very long distance” ruck for me.

Up to this point what has been your favorite race medal/ruck patch? 

The patch earned for completing the 2019 GORUCK Star Course 50 miler in DC. It was 54 miles total, averaged 25-35 pounds on my back for 19 hours, and thought I was going to pass out from heat exhaustion and pain. But, I pushed through, earned the patch, and when I see it I’m reminded of what I can accomplish when I focus on a goal and do my best to ignore the “noise” around me.

What moment in your life are you most proud of?

Too many to choose from! Probably the most important and hardest to do was seek out help when I was extremely depressed, barely functional, and suicidal eleven years ago. After that, choosing to, and successfully quitting opioids and gabapentin.

What are you currently reading OR What’s your all-time favorite book?

I’m currently reading The 12 Rules for Life, Yellow Crocus, and The Half-Lived Life. A few of my favorites are Notes From the Underground, the Bible, The Obstacle is the Way, Can’t Hurt Me, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Count of Monte Cristo, Meditations, and Man’s Search for Meaning.

What’s your go-to song to pump you up before a race (Include a YouTube link!)

Most songs by Killswitch Engage or Five Finger Death Punch will get me pumped and moving. This is one of my absolute favorites: https://youtu.be/iPW9AbRMwFU

Hands down what’s your favorite dessert?

Nada Moo dairy free “ice cream” in either Birthday Cake or Cookies and Cream.

No judgement, what’s your go-to prerun meal vs post LOL

Last year it was pasta, eggs, and salsa pre event and MOD Pizza, Chipotle, or Cava post event. This year my diet is drastically different so smoothie for pre event and maybe afterwards, too. I’m still figuring out what foods my body can tolerate. Honestly, probably a veggie pizza with dairy free cheese, haha.

What’s your favorite cross training activity?

Bodyweight, ruck, and sandbag work from PATHFINDER Ruck Training, GORUCK, and Heavy Drop Training. I always try to keep up with pullups, dips, and rowing as well.

Would you rather run in the heat vs run in the rain?

RAIN PLEASE!!!! ( I HATE heat, haha)

Would you rather: chafe or get foot blisters?

This is a sadistic question, haha! I’ve had bad experiences with both and will take foot blisters every time.

Tell a story of triumph through a haiku! 

The sun rises east west

Brilliant pain, blinding light, distorting the mind

Standing strong, Surviving, Fighting, Thriving

What do you do for a living? What was your dream job as a kid?

I’m retired military, but as of a couple weeks ago I started working on a book so I guess I’m an author now, lol. As a kid, I wanted to be either a doctor, a vet, or an author.

Share your most inspirational, motivational quote!

One of my all-time favorite quotes is “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is this: What are you doing for others?” -MLK

What’s your favorite running shoe?

Since switching to Altra Lone Peaks, I have not received a blister at all after hundreds of miles, wet feet, sand, and a 30 mile ruck. They are tough on the calves but worth it. Just make sure to get comfortable insoles.

If you could have ANY superpower, what would it be?

I’d Like to be able to talk with my pancreas and ask it why it acts like a rebellious teenager, haha. Seriously though, being able to know exactly what has been causing the pancreatitis would be awesome.

Name ONE thing, that you think, could bring meaningful change to patients living with pancreatic diseases?

Medical cannabis.