The Road BEYOND Warrior Dash: What inspires you?

Posted: May 12, 2011 in Family, Friends, Motivational

Big subject this week. I’ve got a lot to say here. Some of it pretty fru-fru emotional and heartfelt. Truth be told, I would not be doing any of this if I wasn’t motivated and inspired by important people that have entered my life in one way or another. Today’s blog is a list of the biggies. The people that inspire me most. As I write this paragraph, I’m thinking I’ll limit it to ten big ones but we will have to see how it goes.

Pasquale’s list of Ten Inspirations

Before I start the list, I need to thank all the friends. There are a lot of close and extended friends that follow me and provide me with incredible motivation. So I don’t make the mistake of leaving any off, I’m just going to say if you know me and have commented on a tweet, facebook update, phone call or other form of communication you know I appreciate you and your continued support motivates me daily. On those long, quiet bike rides I’m thinking of each of you at various times. When I’m worn and tired and trying to push through those last moments I always think of those who would want me to make it. Thank you for believing in me.

This list of heavy hitters that follows is in no specific order.

1. Mark Sisson (http://marksdailyapple.com)

I can only hope to look this good in my fifties

Mark Sisson is the author of The Primal Blueprint which is based closely on the paleo way of life. I purchased Mark’s book and two related cookbooks that he wrote. I made the decision to lose weight in October 2010 but it wasn’t until January of 2011 that I made the lifestyle change. Mark has a daily blog that really uncovers the false lies the media tends to bring us regarding food and drug studies. He also includes some great recipes and each Friday he features a person who has a Primal Blueprint success story. I was introduced to Mark’s Daily Apple and The Primal Blueprint by my sister, Kathy, and brother-in-law, Geoff. That leads me to my next inspiration…

2. Kathy and Geoff C.

That's how we do it in Belgium, it's called a Belgian Dip. No, the drink is NOT primal but this is November 2010 and before I changed to Primal Blueprint.

What can I say about these two? They’re family. 2010 saw me divorced, unemployed and without a place to live. Kathy and Geoff selflessly took me in and helped me in so many ways. These two are the picture of healthy, happy living. In the past, I’ve been one to sneak to the pantry and grab a horrible junk snack and then run off to the bedroom and eat it in secret. I quickly found out that living with Kathy and Geoff would not allow me that pleasure. These two keep their pantry stocked with things like dried figs, almonds, walnuts, coconut. The only chocolate you’ll find is dark chocolate and there isn’t enough in the house to avoid them noticing when I would secretly steal it. So I learned to start stocking my pantry with the same things they eat. They showed me Mark’s Daily Apple and Primal Blueprint and we all discovered Homegrown Co-op together and are eating very healthy. Kathy is my sister and has always cared about my well-being and has been a big influence on my exercise ritual. When I first started she would drive over to my place and walk with me several days per week.

3. Shawn Tyler Weeks (http://www.344pounds.com)

Shawn 2009(left) | Shawn 2011(right)

If you haven’t already read about how this man was a big inspiration to me, then you don’t really read my blog as much as you should. He has lost all of his weight by calorie counting. He exercises a lot. Visit his site and see his before/after pictures. I think the thing about Tyler that inspires me most is the fact that he was right around my size when he started. He managed to do it so why can’t I? That has been my thought process for a long time. Tyler also got me hooked on MyFitnessPal(http://www.myfitnesspal.com) for counting calories and planning meals ahead. There’s also an iPhone app.

4. Ben Davis (http://bendoeslife.com)
I can’t remember how I first found Ben Davis. I think I was looking up “overweight jogging” on YouTube just to see what people accomplished. It led me to this video:

Ben has come a long way. It’s pretty incredible that he could jog at all being the size he was when he started out. It’s a challenge I face having bad knees and a bad back. Every time this +300 pound body comes slamming down to the ground during a jog, I can’t help but be concerned that I’m going to aggravate my injuries. Ben gives me hope. He has run 5Ks, 10Ks, 1/2 Marathons, full Marathons and even holds the title of being an Iron Man. I want to achieve the same one day. Ben is coming to Orlando on 6/25/11 and I’m planning to run along with him in the 5K he is hosting in town. I’d really like my closest friends beside me when that day arrives.

5. James Jessup (http://www.jamesjessup.com)

I already had a good bond with James. We became friends in high school and marched side-by-side in the Silver Regiment. We always tried to one-up the other as class clown. James also has a great creative streak and is very easy to get along with. He has a zen-like peace about him and never approaches things in a stressful manner. Every time I share concern about an upcoming event he always looks at me with his hairy, bearded smile and says “let’s just go have some fun”. James is the main reason I have kept pushing myself. He was registered for the Warrior Dash before me. When I saw that he was doing it, I wanted to be there too. I registered and he helped me get ready. We spend many weekends riding our bikes across Orlando with a pack of friends beside us. He even loaned me his body as a stepping stool to make it up the first step of the cargo net at the end of Warrior Dash. The man constantly inspires me to dream big.

6. Matt Greenwald

Matt, like James, is a Silver Regiment friend dating back to my high school days. Matt has a gruff exterior and likes to have that badboy behind the sunglasses front up at most times. If you manage to get beneath the surface, Matt is a considerate guy that knows where and when he’s needed. He knows how to keep me motivated. I’m currently in a race to the double zero with Matt. He is weighing in slightly above 200 and I’m weighing in slightly above 300 and we’re both working hard to see who hits the double zero mark first. I think it’s going to be me. Matt also hates that I’m saying good things about him right now.

7. Little “K”
My daughter. My own. I just read this quote today:

“Having a child is momentous. It means you choose to go the rest of your life with your heart walking outside your body”

She is my heart and I carry on and do this mostly for her. She is mentally and physically quick for her age so daddy needs to be able to keep up and be around for a while. Two days ago she ran beside me during the last interval of my jog. Watch this:

8. My mother, Barbara

Me with my mother. Mother's Day 2011.


Mom and I have always had a weight struggle. We have watched our bodies fall apart at an early age and then spent most of our lives looking for diets or medicines that could fix it. Truth is that we both got ourselves into this mess and we both need to get ourselves back out and not rely on medicines and fad diets. We need to rely on good choices and lifestyle changes. I’m pleased to report that my mother is utilizing MyFitnessPal to track her calories and is doing everything she can to make better choices. She’s getting ready to move to Hawaii soon and has had to pack up her house. She doesn’t keep much food around the house now and it’s getting challenging. I know when she gets to Hawaii she’ll jump back on the routine and accomplish something great. She’s always been proud of me for what I do. Sometimes I’ve overlooked that but these days, I see it every moment and I immerse myself in it.

9. My father, Vincent

Me with dad in August 2009.


Dad has inspired me in many ways. I believe I’m creative because of my father. He devoted his life to teach music to Jr. High and High School students. He taught Chorus, Keyboard, Guitar and a great deal of music theory. He got me started on an a cappella kick that has lasted through to the current day. I know that he believes in me despite the challenges I’m facing with unemployment and financial loss. He always wants to hear about what I’m doing to improve my health and provides great encouragement every day.

10. Leann Papineau

I worked with Leann for a number of years at a joke of a financial institution. We weren’t on great terms. Due to the stress of the job we both exchanged poor words and I think we could even go so far as to say, at times, we were real “a-holes” to each other. Leann has a new outlook on life and, by following the guidance of many, I’m starting to as well. Leann spent 33 days riding from Florida to the west coast of California by bicycle. I’m constantly looking to push myself farther on my bike and LeAnn has inspired me to really push. She’s set the bar for me. Because of her story and her journey, I’ve already started mapping routes by bike to some closer U.S. locations like this one: My Google Map to Jackson Square, New Orleans

My Fitness Update

The setback from the bruised/cracked/broken rib is nearly behind me. I feel much better and have been biking a lot lately. I also started the Couch 2 5k running program. I’m pretty slow but I’ve made it through the first three days of week one. I completed each running interval for that week and am excited about starting week two tomorrow morning. I’ve been fasting this week. I started Sunday evening after finishing Mother’s Day brunch. I eat every 18-23 hours but the rest of the time I’m staying calorie free by water fasting. When I do have a meal, it’s a big one. It’s usually half of my daily caloric intake in one sitting. Tomorrow is my weekly weigh-in. I’m anxious to see how I’ve done. Check back tomorrow for a quick blog entry with my weight update.

Social Networks

If you’re looking to follow me a little more closely, I’ve started a Facebook fan page, Gmail address, YouTube Channel and a Twitter account. They will show my workouts in detail. I like to share pictures of new, healthy, primal food that I make and it gives you a closer look at my thoughts during this process. I share links to all of the great links and blogs that I follow too. The links are below:

Twitter: @Theroad2WD
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theroadbeyondWD
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/theroad2wd?feature=mhee
Email: theroad2wd@gmail.com

Next Week: Leann Papineau

I had a chance to chat with Leann this week and ask questions about her coast to coast bike ride. I’m in the process of typing it all up for you to read next week. It’s a pretty incredible story I can’t wait to share with you.

So, leave a comment and tell me…

What inspires you?

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Comments
    • Pasquale says:

      He’s a great inspiration! He continues to fight along with his parents and amidst all the chaos still knows how to rise above, smile and make others smile too.
      Your whole family inspires me and I am thankful for your continued support…………………………and pisco sours.

  1. James Jessup says:

    I am always inspired by the dedication my friends show, and honored to be counted as one of yours, Pat/Vince/Pal.

  2. Barbara Hochreiter says:

    YOU inspire me! You are so dedicated to being the person you want to be on the outside and that makes me want to be better too. Always remember, however, that you are so wonderful on the inside. You are kind and good and a terrific dad. I’m so proud of you and couldn’t ask for a better son.

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