A-A-Ron Is In the House!
Our resident party boy, Aaron from Indiana, has a reputation for working hard and playing hard. Here you can read how the team dentist is prepping for the upcoming season.
Aaron, you had a spanner thrown into your Tri works last year when a car carelessly hit you. Tell us about that:
Yeah, well I’m not sure how to translate ‘spanner’ from Aussie to American, but I sure had a hell of a chicken fight with a Chevy Cobalt. Three weeks before Ironman Louisville, just about ready to head into my taper, I was finishing up a pretty intense 3-hour ride. About 10 minutes from home I was riding through an intersection at a good clip when the previously mentioned Chevy turned in front of me. I had no time to react and t-boned the rear passenger door. My bike and body hit the car, bounced over it and I landed on the tarmac(I think that’s Aussie for pavement), and was probably in the worst pain of my life. Unfortunately my bike was totaled, I had lacerations and gashes in both legs and right arm, a concussion, and a few bruised ribs. Thankfully I was taken to the hospital right away where I received 20 staples and a number of sweet bandages that the doc said I couldn’t swim with. I told the doctor I had a race in 3 weeks and he said he wouldn’t advise me swimming in the Ohio River with my open wounds or biking/running w/ the bruised ribs and concussion. I obviously didn’t listen.
What effect did that have on your approach?
It had a huge effect…huge. I was pretty emotional, especially with previous hopes of qualifying for Kona at IM Louisville and placing in my age group. About 20 of my friends and family had planned to be there for the race. The marathon course goes right past the apartment where I used to live and first watched and learned what Ironman was, where I ultimately became enamored by the thought of finishing an Ironman, so I was planning on crushing this race. It meant a lot to me. I was laid up after the accident for about a week. I tried swimming but could only swim about a half mile before my ribs prevented me from continuing, and didn’t get a legitimate swim in until about a week before the race. I had to put liquid bandages on my stapled wounds to swim and did so before the race. Thankfully I didn’t contract some unwieldy bacterial infection from the pristine waters of the Ohio. I could bike and run somewhat normally, but with some pretty significant aches and pains. It was impossible to sit still and recover. I wanted to be at the best I could for the race. I didn’t listen to Pete as well as I should have. Sorry Pete. But somehow I recovered enough-enabling me to race-and miraculously had minimal soreness on race day. Fortunately I was close to my taper so all of the work had been done.
Now I’m hoping I know the answer to this one: what was your fave part of winter training?
You guessed it…Training Camp! Honestly though, without your presumption, it was by far the most exciting week of training I’ve ever had. I think we trained for over 30 hours that week and I would’ve never known because I was having such a blast. Us hillbillies(as Pete refers to those from the Midwest) don’t have much change of scenery or terrain, so the mountains, beach, and sun were a beautiful backdrop and welcomed challenge for training camp. I think the macaroons from Dudley’s made my Saturday ride. I’ve craved those ever since.
What are you hoping to achieve this year?
I have my own personal goals, but I’ve taken to heart what my coach has always emphasized, and that is improvement. As long as I’m improving, he’s happy, and of course, I’m happy. Just last weekend, my finish at Oceanside 70.3 was a prime example with a 14-minute PR from just last year, so both of us were stoked. I had a couple podiums last year and of course I’d like a few more this year. Ultimately though, my endless thoughts are on Hawaii, and I want nothing more than to cross that finish line on Ali’i drive.
How do you find the combination of training like you do (animal) and managing a dental practice?
Well, if I said the majority of my time was spent worrying about work and managing my career, I’d be lying. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do for a living. I love my patients; I enjoy giving them healthy mouths and making them smile. However, I also am infatuated with triathlon. I’m sure that may make me sound like an obsessive lover, but it’s true. My life literally revolves around my training. And like any dedicated and obsessive triathlete knows, training typically comes first, and so I plan my life around it. Work is static so that never changes. But social events, hanging with friends and family, and day-to-day activities are all dictated by how, when, where, why, and what I need to do to be at my best as an athlete. Also, I only work three 12-hour days a week right now, so that helps. That doesn’t mean I don’t get up at 4:20a.m. on workdays to workout though, because I do. Efficiently managing time is essential. And being single helps…but that doesn’t mean I don’t go on dates, ladies.
There’s more to you than filling teeth and riding bikes. Please elaborate a little on your extra-extra curricular activities (I’m thinking bacon jam type skills).
Ha, bacon jam has definitely become a Springhetti specialty as of late, but I’ve come to realize that life is short, so I’m trying to squeeze out every ounce of the experiences it has to offer before it’s too late. When I can magically find a day with more than 24 hours, I also enjoy anything that involves working with my hands and/or is athletic: building furniture, gardening, cooking, painting, golf, tennis, basketball, attempting to be the worlds best sporting clay shooter with my 12-gauge Benelli, and of course long walks on the beach. The cooking and gardening have always come naturally. I am very lucky to have one of world’s best chefs-my dad-who ranks right up there with both my grandmothers. My dad also happens to hold the record for world’s biggest green thumb. I grew up watching him in the kitchen and helping him tend his gardens and orchards and have learned so much. This has definitely been beneficial in having good food to eat and nourish me before and after all my training.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Even though most know I like to party, and I mean party, I’m surprisingly a pretty introverted person, so I’ve always got something on my mind(the amount of partying has diminished now that I’ve turned 30, however). I know I’m just like many other crazed tri junkies who have become addicted to swimming, biking, and running, but I think what has brought me this new-founded success has been the attitude I bring to the sport. I can’t say I’ve done any of this on my own, because I haven’t. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been raised by the hardest working, most giving and supportive parents anyone could ask for. I have the best friends who come to cheer me on at my races, sometimes even flying across the country to be there. The tri-club I’m in (Tri-Loco Indianapolis…gotta give them a shout out!) and the friends and athletes in the sport that I’ve met along the way, as well as those with CFC, have all been so great. I can’t say I’m the luckiest person but it’s amazing to think about the journey I’ve been on and all the wonderful people I’ve met and the positive experiences I’ve had that have led me to this point.
All of that coupled with an intense desire to succeed and a dedication to hard work and striving to be the best person, athlete, dentist, friend, brother, and son I can be has undoubtedly given me the opportunities I’ve had and the possibilities the future holds. Of course I wouldn’t be here without CFC and you and Pete and all the others I’ve gone up Cole Grade with who have molded me, so I am beyond grateful for you all. I have a feeling this is only the beginning and I’m stoked to see what the future has in store, what limits I can continue to push, and how much more I can improve. I think for a healthy and happy life everyone needs to push themselves and challenge themselves everyday. So, I’ll leave you with a quote that I have adopted as a mantra of mine that I always think of when the going gets tough. It’s from John Schnabel and it goes, “Anyone who backs away from a challenge will never get too far.”