Where it all began
an early age I was a noticeably restless kid with some behavior problems
throughout elementary school. While some said I should be medicated for this
restless behavior, my parents and I believed in naturally curing this problem.
The solution was quite simple. One doctor recommended running me wild,
unleashing my energy in exercise to calm my restless behaviors. This is indeed
what I did. I started out on a swim team in 3rd grade and
transitioned into Pop Warner football in 5th grade. I did love
to hit people in football and started to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment I
would get at the end of a day’s hard practice. In the 2nd year
of Pop Warner Football my Coach David Haines died. This tragic happening took
place just a few weeks before the end of the season. Before he died
he gave my entire team a plaque of Vince Lombardi’s famous speech, “What It
Takes to Be Number One.” Being an 11-year-old at the time, I had
some idea what this speech meant, but didn’t really become moved by the words
as I am to this day. The following words have stayed with me throughout all of
my struggles and efforts since the day I read them:
believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he
holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and
lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious.”
This incident changed my mentality for the rest of my life. Rather than think of football and exercise as fun and games, I turned my mentality into giving absolutely every ounce of energy and effort into my athletics. Giving a 100% effort into any challenge that arises in life and leaving nothing behind in training. To train and push my body like there is no tomorrow. While this may be some of the most painful experiences at times, the feeling of triumph and joy after pushing through these painful experiences is all the more gratifying. The euphoric high that arises from concluding a long and hard fought goal is the greatest. A feeling like I do not want to be anywhere else on the planet at the time. No drugs or alcohol needed, just the triumphant feeling of physical exhaustion for a good cause.
High School Years
drive for exercise started in 8th grade as I slowly transitioned
from Pop Warner football to running. Weightlifting also started in 8th grade.
I would love the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day and began to
understand the concept of the natural high feeling. I continued to want to go
further and further. 1600-meter, 3200-meter, and 5K races just would
not cut it in High School cross-country and track. I love the high mileage. My
favorite schedule was one that I would make up which consisted of 70-100+ mile
weeks over the summer. In 10th grade I got an award called the
“Golden Shoes” award that was given out to the high school runner running
the most summer mileage. I ended up running 700 miles in the 10-week
period. But most importantly, the golden show plaque reads a quote that I have
become more and more connected to ever since I read it:
the miles behind me could be put into words before you… you would feel my
efforts, my struggles, my desires, most of all you would see my joy…Watch me
from afar run the trails and hills and miles upon miles and you will see…”
of my biggest inspirations in high school came from a movie and then a book,
which are based on a true story: INTO THE WILD. I became
moved deeply by this story and I could feel for Christopher McCandless and
his desire to trek across the country by foot and eventually live off the land
in the Alaskan Wilderness. Unfortunately, McCandless ended up dying in
the Alaskan Wilderness. But from the book I understood his motives and the
concept of man becoming at one with nature.
sea's only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong.
Now, I don't know much about the sea, but I do know that that's the way it is
here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong
but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least
once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone,
with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head..."
Johnson McCandless (Into the Wild movie)
discipline I had in my running and exercising drove me to working hard not just
in my athletics but also in schoolwork. I maintained a 4.0+ grade point average
throughout all of high school and ended up graduating magna cum laude.
After High School
On June 8,
2009, I left on a
journey which led my bicycle and me 1,259 miles up to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where
I met my uncle, Danny Chew. From there we departed for
for another trip ever since the trip to and from Alaska ended,
I then departed on another cross-country adventure, this time to from Longwood
This trip came to a halt on just the second day, when I got hit by an S.U.V.
trip to California
highlight of the trip must have been the beautiful Northwestern
California Coast. I
loved to see that such a beautiful and undeveloped
Turning Memories into Words
Upon the conclusion of High School, I became more and more fascinated about writing and began to keep a journal at the start of my journey to Alaska. Throughout the 140-day and 13,769 mile journey, I documented the happenings of each day along with my feelings and insight. When days were lonely or euphoric, I would continue to motivate myself by writing my journal. My Uncle has kept journals since he was a teenager knowing he can look back and see what he did as he grows older. One of my big goals is to turn my cross-country trip adventures into a book. A book not only to tell the about the exciting and memorable journey, but to motivate and provide insight to those looking to follow some sort of un-conventional dream. The journey would also tell about how my Uncle and I built a tight companionship through patience, mileage, and mental struggle and euphoria. The book would also talk about obsession, excess, and ultimately the passion for bicycling across the country. The book would also center around the idea that if I want something badly enough in life, I will continue to push on until accomplished, proving only to myself that I can do it. Living up to the pressures of society and conformity is like a destruction to a man's wild spirit. Much of society would think that if one is not bicycling for some sort of cause than their efforts would be useless. I believe that if the passion is strong enough, then not a second of the time would be wasted, regardless if it meets societies needs. The journey to Alaska was to prove to myself that I could do it, nobody else.
At age 19, I just recently qualified for the RaceAcross America (RAAM) by riding 462 miles in 23 hours in 56 minutes at the Sebring 24 hour race in Sebring, Florida. This was 2nd place in the RAAM division. In this race I had to battle breathing in smoke from forest fires nearby and had to stay mentally tough due to riding the last 13 hours around a 3.7 mile non-lit track. Last year I rode 419.7 miles and was 2nd place as well. Each year I completely shattered the course age group record. This set the unofficial UNDER 20 YEAR OLD WORLD RECORD for a 24-hour non-drafting bicycling race. One of my favorite attributes about time trials is that it is me against the clock. All of my efforts and the ability to suffer will determine my outcome. In this race there were no road racing strategies or worrying about tactics. The goal was quite simple, to ride as many miles as I can in 24 hours. After concluding the Sebring 24-hour race, next up on the list was the solo Race Across America (RAAM). Read more about my RAAM experience under the Race Across America link.
2008: 10,017 miles (Transition into cyclist from runner)
(Florida to Alaska and back; 13,769 miles in 140 days)
(Florida to Alaska and back; 13,769 miles in 140 days)
(Florida to California and back Summer; 8,246 miles in 63 days)
(Florida to California and back Summer; 8,246 miles in 63 days)
2011: 20,928 miles (Solo Race Across America Summer)
2012: 17,043 miles (From Cat 3 to Cat 1, with higher intensity training)
Biggest Day: 462 miles (Sebring 24-hour race 2011)
Biggest Week: 2052 miles (During the 2011 Race Across America. Day 1-7)
Biggest Month: Over 4,000 miles (6/20/10- 7/20/10)
Biggest 365 day period: 34,400 miles (August/2009-August/2010)
My Other Physical Talents
have always been super flexible since I was a young kid. To this day, I have the
ability to twist myself into a pretzel and bend into other unique positions. I
have never really gotten into dancing or gymnastics but would not rule this out
down the road. I would also consider becoming a contortionist and maybe putting
on shows at circuses or other nightlife events. The major flexibility is not so
much in the back but rather in the legs, hips, and torso. I can still pull my
feet backwards to my head, although the high mileage on the bicycle bent down on
the handle bars most likely strains or limits this flexibility. My flexibility
came largely to my advantage as a wrestler and I was able to avoid getting
pinned pretty much throughout all of high school. During the three years I
wrestled in high school, I wrestled over about 80 matches and only got pinned
two times. Sometimes referees had to blow the whistle and put the match to a
halt because they were afraid I was bending too far. Little did they know that
this was not hurting me; I was simply using it to my advantage.
I am also good at climbing trees and used to love to climb up and dangle in
trees for hours when I was younger. I loved climbing around and dangling on
playgrounds and metal bars as well. I can make a complete workout without
touching one weight or going into a gym, by doing push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups,
bicycling, and climbing trees. I love the outdoors and warm weather.
I tend to do a lot of high-repetition and long-endurance weight workouts, and
prefer to be lean and durable over big and bulky. I would also consider figure
body-building down the road one day. I have a quick recovery time so I can pound
myself with medium- to high-intensity efforts and recover and continue on with
many more sets. In weightlifting I tend not to “max out” in any exercises
and often the lowest amount of repetitions I will do is three to five. My hard
efforts and recovery time are the same for bicycling intervals. I am not the
best sprinter or max power producer, but I can hold a long sprint and endurance
I was I started lifting weights when I was 13, I would typically focus on
quantity over quality. As a runner and wrestler and high school, I would love
the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day through weight lifting. The
weight training transitioned into my addiction for high mileage. I
loved focusing on high repetitions, sets, and a long workout time. While I felt
accomplished at the end of the day, I really was not improving my running times
and wrestling skills to their fullest potential like I could if I focused more
on specificity and quality.
About two years ago, I started up training with Gary Anger doing his "Super-Slow" workout out. This workout involves pushing the weight as slowly as possible both inward and outward, recruiting the maximum amount of muscle fibers and stressing the system to its fullest potential. As time progressed, I started decreasing the total workout time and increasing quality with Super-slow. At first I thought I would lose tone/fitness in my body. This however, was not the case. In fact, I noticed that I became stronger and more efficient on the bike and kept up the same tone/ fitness. I would combine the super-slow with a Push-Up/Abdomen to keep a strong core.
After starting Super-Slow, I noticed an increase in my 1-minute and 5 minute power, improving my Anaerobic and V02 max values. As hard intensity training and super-slow working out progressed, I noticed results in my bike racing.
The Super-Slow workout is about 25 minutes. The workout is intense and hurts. Often people look at the product of one's body and initially may be jealous but forget about the pain and struggle that went into the training to produce the body/ result. There is no cheating or shortcuts and Gary pushes me to the max. Long solo miles and super-slow training is perfect in the winter months/ no racing time. I would definitely recommend Gary Anger/Super-Slow for any cyclist looking to maximize performance through weight training and also anybody looking to start up with a personal trainer.
Learn more about Gary's Super-Slow workout at his Lifetime Results Website:
Super-Slow Working Out Results