“I don’t wish this sort of pain on anyone, but it was worth it”…Exclaimed newly named Ironman JVC Athlete, Drew Kahns. And this is why you do it. What a journey it has been! Drew came to me nine months ago and let me tell you, he is probably the craziest person I’ve ever met – but one of the strongest, most inspirational, and kindest guys you’ll ever get the pleasure of meeting. It all started when I kept getting requests to start helping friends reach their fitness goals through endurance sports. So, I put an ad up on Craigslist. Being old fashion as he is, my grandpa warned me of the ‘weirdos’ this type of advertising might bring…And so, I met Drew…
A very introverted guy, a little overweight, and quiet. Not to mention, our first meeting over coffee he explained to me how he had signed up for Ironman Coeur D’Alene just days after registration opened in June of 2012. Now, as I sat pondering over the sane-ness of this kid’s mind, I decided to put him to the test and commit to his first swimming lesson. Boy, was that a game changer (and not in a good way)! Drew shows up, nose plug, baggy swim trunks, and a swim stroke no prettier than the ‘Ironman shuffle’ at hour 16. We had a lot of work to do. Not only was his swimming not-so-pretty, ok straight up disastrous, his nutrition was a matter all in itself. He was extremely allergic to pesticides, so organic products were all he could eat and he had never tried berries, avocados, or broccoli in his life! I had my work cut out for me.
With hours in the pool starting with the very basics of just floating and balancing, Drew’s flailing in the water started to become an actual freestyle swim stroke. Eight months later, Drew was swimming as fast, if not faster than me in open water, splits being around 1:30/100yd. He had become competitive! With the improvement of his swim, Drew’s run and bike also improved in power, speed, and efficiency over the coming months. His nutrition had also changed. He was eating whole foods on a regular basis, learned to enjoy cooking, and even asked if I wanted to try his cooking a few times…Showing not only his confidence in the kitchen, but a change in lifestyle and mentality that only hard work and commitment to a goal gets you to.
Drew, being an introvert, found confidence in our training and his commitment to training that has changed his life forever. On one of our training runs he told me about overcoming a family trend of addictive personalities and how he dealt with it. He would work 40+ hours/week every morning starting at 3AM and then play video games the rest of his days….He explained how he had no real memories other than work and starring at a video screen the past 10 years. This was absolutely astonishing. Well, I can say with confidence, that Drew WILL have much, much more to remember than work and video games in this next decade. He is an Ironman! He has changed his life, his outlook, and his mentality and physique forever! I’m also confident he will have ladies lining up at his door begging for him to cook them dinner…:)
Not only is Drew an Ironman, he woke up the next morning at 3AM and went back to work, stocking your local grocery store with Lay’s products. If you think you’re tired today, think about Drew’s strength and resilience. He is a true Ironman and I couldn’t be happier to have him be the first JVC Ironman Athlete and a true friend. Total time: 12 hours 11 minutes
Congrats to all those who competed yesterday. You are all Ironman and all a true inspiration to more people than you know. It’s not about the race against others, it’s about a change of
lifestyle, a healthy lifestyle, that you have supported and have decided to be a part of for life!