How Becoming a Triathlete Changed My Life With Oliver Cuason

With Bike Week underway, we want to feature some of our favorite bikers and triathletes out there! We hit up our friend, Oliver Cuason, to share his awesome story about how becoming a triathlete changed his life – for the better:

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Four years ago I saw myself slipping into an abyss.

I was smoking regularly, drinking heavily, engaging in illegal use of narcotics and treating my body like garbage.

I wanted to get healthier but I was too lazy and unmotivated.

So, like so many of us, I gave up. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and didn’t know what to do or even how to get myself out.

To be honest, I’m not sure how it got that bad. My wife and I had been married for five years. Together we had our daughter who was turning four. We had just moved back to Miami where both of our families still lived and our careers was doing well.

In the blink of an eye, I was over 90 kg (200 lbs) with a body fat over 25%. I started snoring at night and my knees and back were giving me problems from my own weight crushing me.

Walking up a flight of stairs was a daunting task.

For my age and height, I was identified as being obese. When my wife and I found out we were welcoming our second, child I knew I had to make changes but those changes didn’t materialized for another 9 months.

When my son was born something inside me snapped.

I was over it. I didn’t want to be that father that smelled like cigarettes or that TV Dad that couldn’t play with his kids because he was winded and out of shape. I also didn’t want my children to look at me and think that this was normal.

I wanted to be there for them every step of the way, but in order to do that I had to get serious about my health.

I quit smoking and started going to the gym. After 6 months I set a goal to finish a Sprint Triathlon race. I remember thinking to myself that would be an easy goal to achieve. I was wrong. Needless to say, I was unprepared for what would be a very tough day ahead of me.

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After crossing the finish line 2 hours 30 mins later I realized a few things:

No. 1 – Never underestimate anything.

No. 2 – Set goals and no matter what – FINISH.

No. 3 – Push yourself outside your comfort zone.

No. 4 – Never give up. Even when you fall, get back up and keep going.

Since the start of my journey in 2012 I’ve raced in 34 triathlons, five of which have been Half-Ironman distances (70.3 miles).  I now weigh 72 kg (160 lbs).  I have welcomed my third child and balancing life, family, work and training is never ending juggling act. My next goal is to compete in a full Ironman distance which comprises of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride followed by 26.2 mile run. The average finish times of an Ironman race is 12 hours and 35 minutes. This is me, pushing myself outside my comfort zone!

Check out Oliver’s Instagram page for some awesome daily inspiration and beautiful photos of Florida. Want to share your own biking and triathlon stories? We would love to hear them. Tweet us @66Audio! Our Bike Week BTS Pro headphone giveaway is still underway – be sure to enter to win on Facebook. Happy biking!