IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE
After seven years at a demanding job in the financial world of Wall Street, my health began to suffer. Stressed out, unfit, and unhappy, I decided it was time to make a change.
So I went to doctors. I took their advice. I started eating healthy. And then I purchased a used bike on Craig’s List for $750. With that began my humble journey back into the world of fitness and health.
Within two years I went from the brink of taking medical leave, to qualifying for the 2012 USA Triathlon National Championships.
But I didn’t go. Instead, I set my sites on completing my first full-distance Ironman Triathlon within the next year.
I also decided that after finishing the Ironman I would launch a website to help everyday people like me make the positive changes they want in their own lives.
For The Modern Animal provides advice, ideas, and recommendations I think would be helpful for anyone serious about making a major lifestyle change.
One thing I have learned in my journey: when enough discipline and hard work is focused on the right goals…just about anything is possible. But it all starts with a first step. So congratulations – you may have just taken it! Let your new adventure begin…
> FIT & FUELED: Fitness advice, nutrition tips & smart food recipes
> GEAR UP: Gear and equipment for your next big adventure
>FIND YOUR ADVENTURE: Transformative travel for eco-cultural jet setters
> BEYOND WORDS: Beauty and inspiration that deserve to be shared.
>ANIMAL ON THE LOOSE: If this doesn’t motivate you, maybe nothing will…
NOT MUCH OF AN ATHLETE
I never was much of an athlete growing, and that is why I fell into endurance sports. At 13 years old I discovered the Junior High Cross-Country team was the only one that wouldn’t cut me. All I had to do was show up and run…and be willing to sometimes finish last. Finishing a race in last place was a humbling experience for me, but I learned to respect myself for making the effort. And so I continue to run and compete, regardless of my
Living in San Diego California, I also learned to bike and swim as a teenager. I wasn’t fast, but I could do both. So when I was 14 years old I convinced my father to lie about my age on a race application so I would be allowed to compete in my first triathlon.
I was the youngest competitor by far to complete the race. When I crossed the finish like the spectators suddenly went crazy cheering for me. I had never experienced anything like this before – people cheering specifically for me, and the indescribable feeling that I actually earned it.
I my post-race exhilaration I blurted out to my father that I now ntended to complete a full Ironman triathlon! He asked me half in jest “when exactly” I planned to tackle such a feat.
Unwilling to either back down or back myself into a corner, I did a quick calculation in my head and replied “…before I turn 40!”
Apparently my young 14-year old brain estimated that “The World’s Hardest Race” might be physically impossible to complete after turning 40. So it was safe bet to be able to procrastinate as much as possible, but within reason. Little did I know what those words would come to mean 25 years later.
So here’s what I’m all about, in a nutshell.
I am passionate about TRAVEL: Many people says this, but for me traveling has always been more than a hobby. I worked at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the 1998 Lisbon World Exposition, and I studied Interpreting at the University of Granada, Spain on a full-ride Ambassadorial Scholarship from Rotary International.
By the age of 25 I had traveled solo across Columbia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Morocco, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Scandinavia and most of Europe. I planed, financed, and executed each adventure entirely myself. I almost always traveled alone. Without a cell phone. Without the Internet. And without any guidebooks. When I tell people “I’m good at traveling” I’m actually being modest.
I am passionate about FITNESS: I do yoga, CrossFit, nutrition coaching and I just completed my first Ironman Triathlon. I admire people who are willing to stay fit and tackle new athletic challenges like kite surfing, mountain biking, skydiving, or parkour.
I am passionate about FOOD: I love to cook and I love to eat. I’m advocate a whole food diet I refer to as “Paleo Plus” – which includes some non-Paleo indulgences I simply can not live without (i.e. chocolate ice cream, French champagne, and anything with butter on it.)
On occasion, I enjoy fine dining at food temples such as Per Se and Masa, but generally I prefer simple, fresh, whole-food meals that are highly nutritious and ecologically sustainable. I care about what I eat and I encourage others to think about it for themselves.
I am passionate about ART: I have exhibited and sold my photographs of travel, fashion, nature, and abstract art in New York city and abroad. I also collect works from emerging artists – which is to say, every inch of my home is covered in art. For me, art is not optional – it’s a way of life. You can see (and soon purchase) my original photographic prints from the section “BEYOND WORDS.”
If you want to know any more information that what is provided just drop me a line at [email protected] Until next time, happy exploring!!!
– Ian Andrew O’Sullivan
SNAPSHOTS OF A LIFE IN TRANSIT