About Rick

Hey, I’m Rick. I’ve cleaned this up as part of coming back to putting more emphasis on this part of my life. All through my adulthood, I’ve generally felt that taking care of myself had to come last, as though it was a reward I’d get after hard work and finally creating enough elbow room to make the time.

Of course, that’s crap. I’ve been not the best friend to my body the last couple years. I managed to do an Olympic triathlon in 2011 but never spent enough time swimming to believe that I could complete that leg of the Ironman in the maximum time allowed. (If you fall outside the cutoff, you don’t get to continue the race. Done. Go home. Try again.)

But now that I’ve completed a nearly 200-page draft of my book, I feel like I have done two things: first, reminded myself that I can focus when I choose to; and second, that I have internalized that taking care of myself is something that I should to do increase or improve my ability to make things rather than reserve as a treat I may not deserve. Go figure.

So here I am. Again. I’ve left the original version of this page down below because it’s important for me to remind myself of this from time to time.

I’m Rick Colosimo. This site chronicles my efforts to go from not having run for well, frankly way too long, to completing a full Ironman Triathlon in November 2011.

The Goal

My objective is simple: complete Ironman Florida in November 2011 in < 17 hours.

The Motivation

It’s true that there is some personal development history to coming around to this goal, but my real motivation in sticking to it will be REED Academy. My son Dylan attends the school along with a number of precious kids who feel like nieces and nephews to me. The school was founded by a set of hardworking parents who haven’t taken a break in years. These parents found committed board members, who have helped launch REED’s own new building, under construction and nearing completion.

This year-long effort has helped me create a fundraising structure and plan that suits me, that helps me tell the story in bits and pieces, with angles and asides and anecdotes. I will be asking for money, bit by bit, and committing to the races and events, trying to create my own shadow on the wall of the cave. My shadow, the difficulty and uncertainty and sacrifice of training and racing and wondering and doubting, pales in comparison to the trials facing our kids: they get no breaks, they can’t quit, they can’t just decide not to do it. Instead, they get up every day, ride to school, work as hard as they can on things that are blazingly difficult. I can quit right now, in the middle of this sentence; but my son can’t. And so I won’t.

The Background

In the summer of 2010, my personal life fell apart as I was thinking that things had turned up after a few difficult years. One day I just decided to go home early from the City (I work in Manhattan, live in New Jersey) and run. I ran a 10k, 6.2 miles. I hadn’t run that far, in one swoop, in literally years and years. I don’t know when it was. Two days later, I ran some Tabata sprints. A few days after that, I ran 13.1 miles (a half-marathon). I was back on the path.

Running very quickly came back to me, and it rewarded me handsomely: I lost 30 pounds very quickly.

As people noticed, and I told the expanded story, everyone asked if I was going to run a marathon again (I’ve run 3. Or maybe 4. I really can’t remember!) My stock answer was that I’d already checked that block in life and was more interested in (a) running faster and (b) doing interesting races like the 194-mile Perimeter Relay in Oahu that I’d run three times during my Army years.

But a friend pushed me towards an Ironman (easy for her to do: she’d done at least two, if not three, and she’s on for another this summer). I was hesitant: I’ve never been a lap swimmer of any kind, and my maximum bike ride in my life was a handful of miles; I haven’t owned a ten-speed since early high school. Wouldn’t I just drown? 2.4 miles is a long swim. 112 miles on a bike? That’s a long drive. A marathon after all that sounds a lot longer than just hitting the road in the morning for a run.

But my friend Tim McDonnell, a former Navy pilot, said that he’d had to swim a long distance in flight school and that he was confident I could do it. I was more worried about the swim than anything. After all, failing on the bike means you stop; failing at swimming? They call that drowning, even in the Navy.

So I got up early, plotted my attack on the registration website (not realizing that Panama City is actually Central time caused an extra hour of stress) but got in. I had a year to plan, and I would make my goal public for two reasons: first, to make damn sure that I would remember who I am, why I’m here, and not ever consider quitting, and second, to use the platform to help REED.

Here I am. Watch Rick Train.