Any Athlete featured in this "Athlete of the Month" blog = INSPIRATION.
Blood Clot Survivor as "Athlete of the Month" = INSPIRATION.
Now, when a blood clot incident survivor is taking on the challenge of a Marathon you can't find a measuring tape large enough to measure the inspiration that story can provide.
This month a blood clot incident survivor took on the CHICAGO MARATHON and ran through all of the 26.2 Miles carrying the STOP THE CLOT message for all to see. Please allow me to introduce you to ERIC O'CONNOR a CLOT BUSTER Athlete with a story that you must read!
1) What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
Marathons are my favorite. I love the race and the training. I have had a few health issues in my life and I find marathon training mirrors those times. When I was faced with a few daunting physical and mental issues I found my marathon training helped give me the mind set of tackling them one day at a time. There is no replacement for the freedom and energy I feel when running. I love the mental exercise as well. Running for me is about pushing beyond limits in my mind and body. It's about setting goals and breaking them. Sue and I have 3 little boys, 7, 5, and 2. I hope I am setting an example for them. If they put in the time they'll be able to accomplish anything they want.
2) How did you get started in that sport?
I was always athletic. Soccer, baseball, and yes marching band kept me busy in high school. Running however was not my first choice. I remember trying out for cross country and immediately coming up with ways I could roll my ankle so I could stop running. I ran to stay in shape for sports but never enjoyed it. Then came my first year out of college. My father in law was a marathon/triathalon competitor until he hit 50. The man is a machine. So I picked up my two favorite habits from him, smoking cigars and running marathons. Not simultaneously of course. In the last 11 years I have run 13 marathons.
Strange History: I ran the 25th anniversary Chicago marathon. I was hooked. However by December I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without a rest. I had Hepatitis C and had to go on a one year intense chemo-like treatment. My goal was to run the Des Moines Half Marathon 4 months after my treatment. I had a long way to go. I dropped from 175 pounds to 130 in that time frame and didn't have much muscle left. I did end up running it and then ran the Des Moines marathon in the fall.
3) What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?
My first race back from my clotting episode was the Chicago Marathon. I took it easy and ran with a friend. We shattered her time from last year by 20 minutes. It was great to be back and there is nothing like running in Chicago! Next up is the Rock N Roll Marathon in San Antonio in November. We'll see if I can get some speed back for that one.