Each month my airline features one teammate in a fitness newsletter sent to all the teammates at the company. This month, I was in the spotlight. Here’s an excerpt from that letter:
Meet Captain Chas Melichar, resident VX fitness enthusiast!
Chas, tell us about how you got so involved in physical fitness?
“I began in 2009 after taking a hiatus for nearly 20 years. I was a confirmed couch potato. I got started into fitness because (and this is no joke) my best friend called me ‘Fluffy’. I hated being called ‘fluffy’. Then, after watching The Biggest Loser’s marathon challenge, I signed up to runthe Maui Marathon eight months later. Eight months after that marathon, I finished my first Ironman Triathlon, a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run – all within 15 hours and 38 minutes. I lost 25 lbs in 3 months and I’ve been trying to keep it off ever since.”
Wow! How do you fit fitness in with your crazy daily airline schedule?
“Resistance bands fit very nicely within my rollaboard for strength workouts on the road. But also, each week, I rearrange my training schedule based on my flights. All it takes is a pair of shoes to go for a run, but fitting in the swim and bike can be a greater challenge. That’s where a dynamic site like trainingpeaks.com helps me organize everything. Keeping track also helps during those low-motivation times. I can look back and see how far I’ve come.”
What is the most enjoyable part of your fitness career to date?
“Nothing in the world beats the Comrades (Ultra) Marathon (http://www.comrades.com), a 56-Mile 12-Hour footrace in South Africa. In the Guiness Book of world records, the Comrades Marathon is the largest ultramarathon in the world (over 19,000 people each year run the race), has the best support, the friendliest natives and rightfully calls itself ‘The Ultimate Human Race.’ Since its origins trace back to 1921 it has traditions that rival Boston. In fact, one person described it as the Superbowl, the Boston Marathon, and the World Series rolled into one. It’s the closest an average person can come to feeling like an Olympian. I finished twice and there were over 10,000 people in the soccer stadium screaming, yelling, pounding, and cheering for us ‘Normal’ people. It’s a life-changer. Watching people scramble at the 12 hour deadline can be uplifting. It can also be heart crushing at 12 hours and 1 second. I did see a lot of human carnage on the side of the road during that race. The Ironman Triathlon is actually easier to complete! That said, for pure, simple care-free fun, nothing beats a Spartan Race/Warrior Dash/Tough Mudder.”
What advice would you give to your fellow teammates thinking about taking up fitness?
“Think ‘Can Do’ not ‘Look Like’. Set a goal and go for it. Set big goals and little goals. The only limits in life are the ones we set for ourselves. Get a good shoe fitting (don’t try to fit your own shoes!), and you are capable of far more than you realize.”