INTERVIEW WITH JIM DAVID, SCHOOL TEACHER, RUNNER
Jim David is a Cleveland, Tenn. resident who was featured in the “Chasing the Finishline 2012” video series on Fox 61. David is a middle school teacher who decided to start an active exercise routine to improve his health and to better care for his family. He signed up to run in the 7 Bridges Marathon, which got us interested in learning more about him and his inspiring story.
- 1.) You described the nervousness you felt the morning of the triathlon. How do you deal with this nervousness?
- I do two things when dealing with the nervousness; first, I sign up for the event I am nervous about. By signing up for the event I force myself to realize this is going to happen and I must defeat it. Secondly, the nervousness does not go away for me until I’m about a mile into whatever event I’m in.
- 2.) During the triathlon you said that you didn't want to walk, which you succeeded at. How did it feel when you were trying to keep one foot in front of the other?
- I get into a zone when I make a goal. I feel like my mind and body are two vastly different parts. My mind becomes my cheerleader and my body just follows the commands and encouragement. I feel like I knew I was going to accomplish my goal because I told myself prior I was going to make the goal, and then my body just listened.
- 3.) What is your favorite healthy meal to eat while training?
- My favorite meal while training is spaghetti. I have two little girls and our family makes a big deal about eating before events. We sit down and end up making a big mess. My girls are 7 and 5; my wife and I just let the fun come out. Yes it is messy, due to spaghetti being a hard meal to eat when you are enjoying the company of a young family, but I find it encouraging because this meal means that my family is involved in my training. When it all comes down to the reason why I train, it is for my family.
- 4.) While doing your running distance is your most comfortable? Which really pushes you?
- My favorite running distance is between 7-8 miles. I feel most comfortable here because I have a path by my house that takes me this distance. I have to laugh because what pushes me is anything longer.
- 5.) Have you always been a larger person, or was it an ongoing process of life choices and circumstances?
- I have always been a large person. I played football and wrestled in high school. I did not have to cut weight in wrestling because I was in the heavyweight division. I did gain about 80 additional pounds after high school, from poor choices and lack of exercise.
- 6.) What do you think is the biggest factor in your success so far?
- My biggest factor in my success is my family. It’s hard to sit by and realize that if I do not eat better and exercise, I’ll die early and not see my own children’s weddings. I come from a family that has heart disease, diabetes and strokes, so I knew my future if I didn’t change anything. In the summer of 2011 I had a physical that scared me badly. I was, for the first time in my life, in the red for my blood pressure. Though it was only one number in, I saw my future slap me in my face. I got scared, honestly, and decided to fight.
- 7.) Will this be your first full marathon?
- This will be my first marathon. I did the half in Nashville in April.
- 8.) What is your personal goal for this race?
- My personal goals are to finish and not walk. That doesn’t sound extremely challenging, but I need to set realistic goals. I know I will not finish close to first; it will most likely be closer to last. But as I have read and put to heart, I will have lapped everyone who sat home on the couch.