In order to highlight and show support of our awesome athletes, The Endurance Project (http://www.meetup.com/The-Endurance-Project/) will be choosing one athlete per month, who represents the project in every desired way. The Endurance Project, aside from seeking hardworking, dedicated and talented athletes, also looks for other traits that set their athletes aside from others. Selflessness is one of the most desired traits that we seek in The Endurance Project and, this month’s athlete exemplifies that on a daily basis.
So without further adieu, I introduce David Mick
Most recently, David has been kicking ass in the Spartan Race scene! In the past month, David has placed in the top 15 at Spartan Race Amesbury, MA at Spartan Race Wintergreen, VA and yesterday at Spartan Race Tri-State, NJ.
But, it’s not David’s recent racing success that has made him September’s “Athlete of the Month”. As his coach, his friend and as founder of The Endurance Project, it’s David’s selflessness that takes precidence over any and all other athletic success and is what sticks out the most to me.
You’ll never hear David boast or brag or talk about himself. In fact, David is first to talk up someone else, rather than himself. He puts his teammates, his friends and his family first, in both athletics and in life. An example of his character: Earlier this year, myself, along with another runner, was to pace and be seeing guides for Michael Davis (a blind athlete with Team Hoyt VB) at the 117th Boston Marathon. Last minute, the other runner could not join me so, I called David and asked him to be the other guide for Michael. Without a moment’s hesitation, he said YES! There was no “well let me think about it” or “let me see how I recover from Shamrock marathon”…..oh yeah, I forgot to mention, he had just ran a PR 3:03 marathon a few days earlier and was still recovering. He simply said yes, not because of any attention he would get or that because it was the Boston Marathon…he simply did it because a friend needed him.
On Wednesday evenings, you’ll find David (also assistant coach), working with New Energy P.O.W.E.R at Mt. Trashmore (https://www.facebook.com/NewEnergyPower). NE POWER is a running/fitness club for children with special needs. You will see David out there, pushing his friend Katiana and running along, with a dozen or more kids following in pursuit. They all love Coach David!!
In August, David was slated to push Katiana for Team Hoyt VB at the Alan Stone Memorial 5k…well, turns out that Katiana desired to take part in the RUN/SWIM/RUN portion of the Alan Stone. True to his nature, David agreed and, without any recent swim training, strapped on the harness, put Katiana in the raft and completed his first RSR for Team Hoyt VB.
To provide a quick back story, David joined our running group in December of 2011. He was a former standout wrestler, who had let the daily grind of life and work catch up to him and had put on some weight and had gotten out of shape. He had recently been a pack a day smoker and the stresses of life were catching up to him. After joining our group, David immediately started showing some natural athletic talent but, it was his work ethick and dedication that really made me take notice. His personality and sense of humor was also a great fit for our group and for my coaching style.
Since then, David has been one of the most dedicated and hardest working athletes I have had the pleasure to work with. He has consistently dropped his times in all race distances from the mile to the marathon. He completed the Spartan Ultra Beast last year, where he got lost and ended up turning a 26 mile race into a 32 mile run..but rather than quit, he stuck with it, finished and showed a ton of heart (many of the elites who got lost with him, quit at that point). David will be competing in his 2nd Ultra Beast in two weeks and is a favorite to make the podium and possibly take the top spot.
No matter the challenge or the task, David is always right there, willing to take it on. If I ask him to pace another athlete in training or a race, he does it, no questions asked. When I needed support for the 24 hour run for Team Hoyt VB, he was there, lending his time and services anyway that he could.
David is also one of the most loyal people I know and if you are his friend, there is nothing the guy won’t do for you. There is no doubt that whatever David decides to do, he can excel at. Aside from continuing his focus on the Spartan Races, he has signed up for the summer Spartan Death Race for 2014 and has mentioned doing a few ultras and triathlons.
I look forward to working with and competing with David throughout the upcoming months, year and, beyond.
Here is to many great things to come, David!
Who will be the featured athlete for the month of October? Stay tuned and in the meantime, Happy training!