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The Return of the Triathlete: A 20-Year Journey

Ryan Olson's triathlon come back!My kids, daughter 6 and son 4, are my life. I love spending quality time with them. They are so active and game for anything. I needed to lose weight and get healthy for them. So I lost 60 lbs and 60% of my body fat and allows me some great options for life. As a Coach I am honored to get to help people reach their health and fitness goals. And after taking over 20 years off from the sport, I am absolutely thrilled to participate in triathlons at the competitive level again.

A 20-Year Triathlon Break?!?

Ryan Olson preparing to compete in a triathlon.When I left triathlons in 1990, I didn't think I would necessarily be back since I was going to focus on running with hopes of going to the Olympics. Every young boy dreams of being in the Olympics, right? But life had a different path in mind for me and I am back full circle!

Here is a little story about me and my transformation. In my younger years (1987 thru 1990) I competed in over 40 sprint and Olympic Distance Triathlons. I loved to swim, bike, and run, but running was always my best sport of the three. I decided to focus on running during my Junior and Senior year in High School (1991 and 1992). Even though my times weren't good enough to get a full ride to USC, I tried out for the Cross Country Team and despite a knee injury before the season began, I made the team, qualified, and ran at the PAC 10 Championship Cross Country Race the last year they ran the full 10k (1992) at Stanford University. I started the track season shortly after that but ultimately left the team due to a lack of focus in their distance program. I tried to make a comeback on the triathlon scene in 1994, and even raced in the Lake Castaic Triathlon Series, but my competitive spirit just didn't want to make an appearance anymore. After that my body slowly began to change through college into a Recreation Sport model.

After college I worked in Construction Management which is essentially a sedentary job. I got married, became the father of two amazing kids, received my MBA, and then found myself getting divorced. I never thought that this would be my life. Soon I realized that what was actually the most important to me was no longer living near me anymore. I didn't think there was anything I could do about it. I began eating horribly, drank alcohol pretty much every night, and worked out seldom, if at all. I traveled every other weekend, seven hours each way, to spend about 30 hours with my kids. My performance at work began to suffer and it seemed like nothing was going right in my life. Everything was spiraling out of control and I didn't see any way out.

Life has a funny way of presenting you opportunities to make changes in your life that actually mean something. We just have to recognize those opportunities and act upon them.

I needed to find a way that would facilitate my ability to achieve my goals: (1) Spend all the time with my kids I am able to; (2) Get healthy; (3) Become financially secure; and (4) Help people to learn how to do the same. Since I had been introduced to P90X, I remembered that one of my friends was big into Team Beachbody and was doing really well. I called him up a couple days after New Years 2012 and told him that I had taken a few steps towards changing my life and that I was ready to take the next step, embrace Shakeology, start P90X, and go for it! So I signed up and began the new journey towards a healthy life. The transformation over the past 16 months has been amazing. I have lost 40 lbs, 60% of my body fat, and started competing in triathlons again! Imagine being able to do something that you loved so much after 20 years of inactivity and having the chance to do it well and be competitive. It is quite an amazing feeling!

Now I have the opportunity to try new systems and programs to improve my performance. I am currently working through the TriCore Program which uses the EVO Fitness Bike. The goal is to increase my strength, endurance, and balance which all will benefit me as a triathlete. I am sharing my journey in hopes of inspiring people to do the same. Now that I am reaching my goals, I am looking forward to helping you reach your goals as well!

Timeline of Transformation

Ryan Olson competing in a sprint triathlon.

  • September 2011 - Weighed 226 lbs and had an assumed over 25% (possibly 30%) Body Fat - Cut out alcohol from diet.
  • Jan 1, 2012 – Quit drinking all soft drinks.
  • Jan 14, 2012 – Weighed 206 lbs and 24.1% Body Fat.
  • April 12, 2012 – Completed the P90X 90 Day Challenge - Weighed 180 and 11% Body Fat.
  • Apr 19, 2012 – Weighed 175 and 10% Body Fat.
  • Apr 30, 2012 – Started P90X2 - 14 week program.
  • May 6, 2012 – Created this health and fitness blog site - www.fityak.com.
  • June 3, 2012 – Became certified as a P90X Professional.
  • July 12, 2012 – Weighed 167 and 7.7% Body Fat and achieved my goal of being at a competitive running/racing weight.
  • July 14, 2012 – Competed in Castaic Lake S print Triathlon Series Race I - Had not competed in this triathlon since 1994. Placed 3rd in 35-39 Age Group and 19th Overall - 1hr 0m 15.58s.
  • Aug 5, 2012 – Completed P90X2.
  • Aug 11, 2012 – Competed in Castaic Lake S print Triathlon Series Race II - Placed 2nd in 35-39 Age Group and 13th Overall - 54m 45.9s (5m 30s faster in 4 weeks - attribute this to Phase 3 of P90X2 - Post Activation Potentiation).
  • Sept 30, 2012 – Competed in Bakersfield Triathlon - Olympic Distance - Had not competed in this race since 1989 - Placed 2nd in 35-39 Age Group and 4th Overall.
  • October 8, 2012 - Start date of Insanity: The Asylum with the goal of becoming an Elite Athlete.
  • December 3, 2012 - Started Round 2 of P90X2.
  • April 8, 2013 - Started Insanity: The Asylum for a second round to further develop my Leg Speed and Agility.
  • April 29, 2013 – Started TriCore with Relay Fitness Group - Testing how TriCore on the EVOcx will improve my Strength, Endurance, and Balance as a Triathlete.

Author Information:

Bio for Ryan Olson

Ryan Olson
Ryan Olson is a triathlete that chronicles his fitness and competitive journey at Fityak.com. Fityak.com was created on May 2, 2012 (launch date May 6, 2012) by Ryan Albert Olson with the mission of being a Blog and Social Site dedicated to sharing the most up-to-date information about Health and Fitness. Find out more.

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