About me

I'm Jason. I'm a recovering fatty. Well, that's not quite right. I am trying very hard to become fit and healthy via nutrition and training and positive thinking. I have been inspired by Coach Susan Loken's mantra: Believe. Train. Become. 

I grew up outside Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and my family continues to reside there. After completing my education in Philosophy at Queen's University and McMaster University, I took up a postdoctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University in 2000. Shortly thereafter, I met my wonderful wife, Wanda, and became an assistant professor at Dal. In 2004, we moved to Arizona, where I undertook an appointment in the Bioethics, Policy and Law Program at Arizona State University. (For more about me professionally, click here. It's out of date but still of historical interest!)

When we arrived in Arizona, I weighed 305lbs. Even though we lived at the foot of the McDowell Mountains in glorious, fitness-friendly Scottsdale, the extent of my exercise regime was Friday night softball and the occasional round of golf (with cart, of course). During the first 5 years in Arizona, I oscillated between about 285 and 300lbs. Check out my blog for some pictures of me around that time period.

I spent all of my time working and none of it working out, and ate too much of whatever I wanted. But three years ago, in July 2009, while sitting in rural Nova Scotia at my in-laws' home, I had an epiphany. I wanted to be fit by 40. You see, I was watching seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong* race his penultimate Tour. Lance is a year older than me, and there he was scaling the Pyrenees while I ate a mountain of ice cream. So I decided then and there to get fit.

[*Lance Armstrong has since been sanctioned by USADA for doping offenses. I have posted some thoughts about this on this blog.]

I flew back from NS to AZ, and stopped at REI to buy a bike - on my way home from the airport! Within a few weeks, I was run-walking my way from couch to 5k. I started doing boot camp classes in a Dairy Queen parking lot (ah, the irony!). And I ran my first 5k - a Turkey Trot - on Thanksgiving Day in 2009, and my first triathlon - a mini-sprint - in February 2010. The rest is history. Sort of.

2010 was filled with lots of races - at least one each month. My fitness soared and my weight dropped to a healthy, stealthy 195lbs. Alas, in 2011 other commitments crept back in, and I allowed my training to lapse. With it went my positive outlook, and so my mood plummeted. While I was still racing, I was heavier (closer to 240lbs) and slower and sadder.

In August 2012, I turned 40. I'm still heavier than I want to be. But I am back in training and happier than ever. I am well supported by my family (especially Wanda) and friends (especially at Sole Sports and Team Chances). I will complete my first marathon in November 2012, and my first half-ironman triathlon in December 2012. And I'll certainly be fit by 41!