Written by: Kyle Amergian
I am passionate about many things but staying active and physically capable is probably foremost on my list. There are so many benefits to being physically fit and athletic. Being fit allows greater focus and endurance in the classroom. It allows us to complete more fieldwork in less hospitable conditions. Fitness, is also a great way to de-stress and refocus whenever we hit an obstacle in our work.
I started athletics in middle school as a baseball player. I loved the concept of being a part of a team and truly bought into the idea, at such and early age, that 2+2=5. This is often expressed as “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” After baseball, I went over to the long skinny boats and started rowing crew with the Sarasota Scullers. One of my proudest achievements was making the cut to attend US Olympic selection based on my erg times and race results. But there was another team calling for me, and I elected to choose the US Army over the chance at becoming a US Olympian.
Once I was at The United States Military Academy, fitness went from being a personal passion of mine to being a mandatory daily event. The Army made sure we ran and pushed and carried all the time. It was in the Army that I discovered that I loved the peace of mind and emotional freedom that comes with running long distances. I can remember being outside in the early frigid morning down by the Hudson River and then running a four-mile course that twisted and turned up the mountains finally ending at the ruins of a Revolutionary War Fort. It was amazing and challenging and freeing all at the same time. I was hooked on running!
Since finding the love of running I’ve challenged myself at all distances from 5 kilometers to greater than Marathon Distances. Last year I ran both the Chicago Marathon and the Space Coast Marathon. This year I am doing the same because… I love the space themed medals. My wife, Laura, and I ran the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge last year. It was a progressive series of races, starting at a 5K, then a 10K, then a half-marathon (13.1 miles). The only longer Disney challenge is the Dopey. The Dopey is all the previous distances plus a full marathon.
I’m happy to report that my love of fitness has transferred to my kids. My eldest is a competitive rower and runner. My middle and youngest boys are also both runners and baseball players. I couldn’t be prouder of my fitness legacy and I hope sincerely to stay active for many years to come.