On Not Giving Up
Chuck Feerick Wins with his #WhyIChiTri Story
Swimming in the dangerous, open waters of Lake Michigan. Biking mile after mile beneath the beaming sun. Running in the dry humidity of the summer air. It’s a personal challenge to keep going.
“At any point you can give up.”
Many of us would. Many of us would turn around, run to Starbucks, and order a Double Mocha Frappuccino. Right?
But Chuck Feerick doesn’t –instead the challenge drives him forward. “Triathlons are so individual. You don’t have a team to keep you going. It’s a mentally tough challenge, and I look at it as a goal and not just something to check off,” he says.
Although Chuck grew up as an athlete in high school and frequented the gym in college, he didn’t always compete in triathlons. “But then I discovered this brand new challenge that I had never experienced before,” he says.
As he began competing in more and more races, he also began challenging himself to do better. Gain toughness. Get stronger. “Which each one you get tougher, which is something you can apply to everything in life. I know that I can face a challenge and get through it.”
But in 2013, he almost didn’t get that opportunity.
Racing the Wildflower Triathlon in California, Chuck finished the swim portion and prepared to begin biking. But he got a flat tire, and there was no way to fix it.
“I was going to have to quit,” says Chuck. “But a guy was riding past us –he wasn’t competing in the race –and looked at my flat tire, got off his bike, flipped it over, and gave me his wheel.”
That stranger not only gave Chuck the wheel off his own bike, but he also fixed Chuck’s broken wheel while the race continued. After the triathlon was over, Chuck returned to find his original wheel, good as new, replaced on his bike.
“I never saw the guy again, but it’s always been in the back of my mind that one day I’ll be able to pay that deed forward,” says Chuck. “The community aspect [of triathlons] is huge, and that really hit me,” he says.
Chuck finished the Chicago Triathlon last weekend as the fastest runner in his age group. He gives credit to the triathlete community for keeping races fun and motivating. In fact, Chuck has signed up with a friend for each race this year. Maybe that’s why he finished so quickly at the Chicago Triathlon, qualified for the Savage Race Obstacle Course World Championships, and set personal records in deadlifts and pull-ups this year alone.
Woah. That’s a lot of sweat. How’s he do it all?
“Having a specific goal helps move me forward,” he says. But the other answer is simple: food.
Chuck says that he tries to eat Paleo as much as possible, and that eating foods in their whole form is very important to him. “What I learn every single year is that I need to eat to train, not train to eat.” Chuck notices a difference in energy levels and overall wellness when he sticks to a clean diet.
When he’s swimming in the dangerous waters of Lake Michigan, experiencing fatigue while biking, and when he thinks about giving up right before crossing the finish line, Chuck chooses to move forward. “A good diet is what’s going to help me do that,” he says.
We’re happy to announce that such a well-deserving contestant has won the PRE Brands #WhyIChiTri contest. With the help of PRE, we hope that Chuck is fueled to continue training and set even more personal records.