Achievement Comes to Those Willing to Endure the Road Less Traveled
2016 Q4 Client Spotlight - Frank Batiste If you've been reading along you've heard me say "the power of CONNECT is an amazing thing"....our environment, surroundings, social support, and the relationships we have with each can have a profound impact on the way we act, the way we feel...even the way we "are". It can be a very good thing...like when your family decides as a unit to take on healthier fuel choices or your friends decide to get together regularly for a workout.....it can be a surprising / scary thing, especially at this time of year when there are "tricks" around every corner.....and it can be an incredibly rewarding thing...like when you witness someone you care about achieving something important to them...something they've been in pursuit of for some time.....earlier this month I got to witness and cheer-on, admittedly a bit choked up, as training client Frank Batiste, after 23 attempts, achieved his goal of a Boston Marathon qualifying time at the Scranton Steamtown Marathon (3:20:07). It will undoubtedly go down as one of my favorite "marathon moments"...not so much because of the race itself (it was a grueling course and not one I hope to do again in the near term), but because of Frank's "moment"...and maybe even more powerful, his story leading up to it...earning him this quarter's "Client Spotlight"! Read about Frank's journey below, and join me in congratulating him on ENDURING the road less traveled to his achievement! Happy Training, E ________________________________________________ E: Frank, thanks for taking the time and your willingness to share...it's been quite a journey for you to this point...23 attempts to achieve your goal of a "BQ" (Boston Qualifying time)...I'm not sure most people would have endured that sort of thing and continued to get after their goal...tell me how this whole running thing started and how you've kept going through it all? F: Well, I started running in 1999 at the urging of a friend, and when my bike was in the shop for repairs I finally took him up on it. I figured it would be pretty easy since I did all that biking. Wrong! I was gasping after 4 blocks. But I found a Hal Higdon 6-week training program and got to work. I took to it pretty quickly--soon my bike became a neglected hunk of metal in my garage. Initially I saw results quickly, and stayed motivated with that--I lost some weight, got a little faster, felt good. But in the back of my mind was the thought that I was going to be a dad soon, and I wanted to be able to run around, chase and play with and generally keep up with my daughter. I even thought that one day I might be a grandfather and would want to do the same with his grand-kids. Running seemed like a great way to ensure I could do that. And I just like how running makes me feel. Sometimes it's how I feel when I'm running, sometimes it's how I feel after a run, and sometimes it's just how I feel because I run. I've always been pretty internally-focused and driven. Not equally in all aspects of my life (unfortunately!), but enough that I don't like to give up. I don't attribute failures to something inherent to me, but to many possible factors, so there's always something different to try--maybe it will go better next time. Sometimes it doesn't. But a lot of times it does, and that's strong motivation to keep trying. That's all still there of course, but with all that said, I'm also just as driven by a desire to improve. You run a 22:08 5k, it's easy to think, "I could break 22:00"...which becomes "I could break 21:30" And so on... Likewise, after a 5k, a 10k doesn't seem so far. After that, well, a half isn't that unreasonable....and before you know it, you get a goal (BQ) and you keep going until it's achieved! E: That's awesome man...kids can be a great motivator, and of course you've got a great one so I can understand where you're coming from, and your relentless pursuit of your goals is pretty inspiring! But of course everyone, regardless of having kids, can relate to RESULTS....tell me a little bit about yours recently... F: I don't have all the exact numbers off hand, but I've historically had slightly elevated blood pressure. Diastolic of 85-90. My good cholesterol has been low despite doing all the things that should raise it. At my heaviest, I was in the low 180s. In the last decade I've maintained around 165-170 and thought that was all the weight I could lose. But since incorporating Pro-Activity into my life, my BP is down in the 120/70 range, my HDL has increased, and I'm now just under 150 lbs (15lbs down). I've lost weight, gained muscle--gotten stronger and faster....you guys have helped me not only see just how much more fit I could become, but helped get me there, and it's been a breakthrough year in my running! I've set PRs (personal records) in all distances: a minute off my previous 5k, down to 18:57, a few minutes off my 10k PR, down to sub-40. PR in 15k, the half... but the best is a total of 11 minutes off my previous marathon PR this year and, in the process, beating my BQ time by almost 5 minutes: 3:20:07 E: Breakout year is putting it mildly I'd say....a lot to be proud of for sure...I know I speak for the Pro-Activity team when I say we certainly are! But what about you, what are you most proud of? F: I don't know if proud is the right word, but I'm happiest about my BQ. It's been a long time coming, and there were some times when I wondered if I would ever do it. So to have done it, it's a great feeling. But this entire year has been amazing for me to experience a whole new level of fitness and speed. E: Well deserved my friend! You've also been pretty involved in the BaseCamp Athletic Club (BC*AC) and greater BC31 community...how, if at all, has that played a role in your progress? F: I've always been focused on improving my race times, dropping a few pounds before a marathon, etc. But after 15, 16, 17...23 attempts at a BQ it would have been easy to give up. But the support of everyone in the BC31 community, from encouragement during training, to watching my splits on race day, to the support afterwards when yet another attempt fell short... it's been instrumental in keeping me motivated for another go. And it finally happened! Some of us may be competitive, but the BC31 community all want every one of us to succeed. And being around people like that is inspiring. E: This is really great! Of course, I'm very likely biased, but you seem to have put all of the ELEMENTS to work for you (Move, Fuel, Recover, Endure, Connect)..it's not always easy, but it is doable with consistency and focus, and it DOES WORK. What you would tell another where you were when you first began or who may be still in pursuit of a long-term goal? F: Expect setbacks. That may not sound positive, but setbacks are inevitable. No matter how hard you try, not every result will be better than the last. But the overall progress will be there if you put in the effort. If you understand this, it's easier to move past them, rise above them. You can and you will conquer them, not vise versa. E: Not complicated, but profound at the same time! Maybe you earned that PHD after all 🙂 Where from here? What about future goals F: I'd like to keep racking up PRs for as long as I can. I may not see the huge gains I made this year, but there are still a few things I'd like to do: 18:30 5k, a sub 1:30:00 half, another 5 minutes off my marathon time, and of course continue to get BQ's. Even better would be to BQ while running Boston. E: Thanks Frank and congrats again! Looking forward to continued progress and for the next marathon finish line I see you cross to be stretched across Boylston (Boston Marathon)...don't be surprised if I get a little choked up!