Name: Todd “I-Know-A-Guy” Metro
Occupation: NYPD Detective
Family: My wife Liz (yep, married a younger woman), daughter Hailey (14 going on 21), and son Corey (8 going on 15)
To run a marathon, to sustain a relationship, to overcome illness with dignity–all are lessons in physical and spiritual endurance, knowledge hard won indeed. I think we can all relate to its meaning and to say the least…been there, done that! Having said that, here’s my Saturday Spotlight…
I have never been a shy or introverted person in life or with anything I do. I still consider myself a ‘newbie’ to the running community. My running genesis comes alive in early January 2012 after a routine annual physical exam with my primary care physician. I was never overweight but always had the worst eating habits; loved TV dinners (everyone remembers them, admit it), cookies & milk before bed, no portion control what so ever, and imbibed in lemonade & ice tea round the clock. All the ingredients in my aforementioned favorite meals and snacks had finally caught up to me, elevating my blood lipids (cholesterol) to dangerous levels for my age. My doctor’s ultimatum was either cholesterol medicine or start doing cardiovascular exercise. Hesitantly I selected cardiovascular exercise.
Simultaneously around the same time I was diagnosed by my pulmonologist with sleep apnea & mild asthma. He is ecstatic to hear that I had added cardiovascular exercise into the routine of my daily life, but whose daily life is routine? Certainly not mine. I immediately became a test patient or “guinea pig” for my pulmonologists aggressive medicinal tactics for treating my asthma. After huffing on various types of inhaler’s at different dosages, countless times inhaling and exhaling into the pulmonary function test (PFT) machine, and a chest x-ray/MRI here and there, I was additionally diagnosed with pleural thickening of the lining surrounding my lungs, more prevalent to one side than the other. Nothing diagnosed here is a show-stopper in my life but definitely needed to be closely monitored and continually evaluated for any potential changes.
In just a short period of time, about a year from my last blood work-up, it was time for a retest to see what my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers had in store for me. Well in this case it did pay to listen to the doctor’s orders, as my lipid levels dropped and to this day have consistently remained well below nationally recognized limits. With some small changes to my diet, picking things up and putting them down in the gym, and some swim-bike-run mixed into the pot, I feel that I have created a balance in my life. The groundwork for all happiness is good health.
Slowly I began to increase my running distances and was amazed how quickly and ever so rapidly my running has become an addiction. I’m sure many of you have had this same experience. In some way, shape and form in mid-2013 I am introduced to Lou LaFleur who invites me to run a 10K “hilly” training run on one of the hottest days of the year. To make the run even more interesting, he brings Rick Secor with him to run with us. Well didn’t I learn a lot that day!
I register for the first of many 5K races for myself. As I continue with my running endeavors, I quickly find myself winning awards for placing in my respective age group. Race after race and training run after training run I begin to meet many new people who offer kind words of encouragement and support within the running community. At the end of my second year since entering the sport of running, I have amassed an inspiring collection of awards for not only race/event participation but for age group placement; 13-age group awards, 4-Half Marathons, 2-Full Marathons, 1-Triathalon, & 1-Tough Mudder. I have always set high standards for myself in life. Having completed the Cedar Beach Triathlon this past October, in not the nicest of weather conditions, I was immediately hooked on competing in the three disciplines of a triathlon. So following up on my motto…“go big or go home” I recently signed up for the Timberman Half Ironman. Having made the commitment to this race, I am immersed in an intensive training program to prepare myself. This training will consume the majority of the spring and summer of 2014 for me. Of course the thoughts of a full Ironman are swirling around in my head, but I need to get past the half Ironman first and foremost. Wink, wink, nod, nod…Ironman Maryland 2015, just sayin’!
I apologize for the lengthiness of my story, but it is here that my spotlight will make a quick variation in a direction off me. Although my tenure in the running community is short, I feel it important to recognize the two most significant topics for my spotlight; FAMILY and FRIENDS. Training/preparing for any life event is hands-down one of the most time consuming sacrifices that we make in our daily routine. It is imperative to pause a moment to recognize the sacrifices that our families make on a daily basis for us, in order to support our commitments to be successful. I would not be able to do what I do within the running/exercise community without the loving support of my wife and two kids. I am truly thankful to them for their sacrifices and being given this opportunity in my life.
In this Spotlight it would be a travesty if I did not end my spotlight talking about friends, both new and old. I begin with the word “WARRIOR”. The dictionary definition of a Warrior is…a person engaged or experienced in warfare; or a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness… The definition clearly sets the foundation for friendships that have been made over the short period of time that I have been a part of the Selden Hills Warriors. I cherish the new friendships that have been fashioned and look forward to personally introducing myself to others that I have not yet had the opportunity to meet from the Selden Hills roster.
In closing, I was truly humbled when I received the call from Lou LaFleur to be “Warrior of the Week” and immediately panicked about my writing obligation for my Saturday Spotlight, Memorable Monday, Wonder Wednesday, etc…Lou, thank you so much for this awe-inspiring opportunity to tell my story. Once my fingers hit the keyboard I found it easy to transcribe this part of my life, from thoughts in my mind to words on paper, putting myself and my story in front of everyone. I have read each and every Spotlight posted since the beginning and look forward to reading future spotlights of other Warriors. The closing of my Saturday Spotlight for me is analogous to descending that last hill of the Selden Hills course; I exhale with exuberance and immediately look for that next breath of excitement. I hope that each and every one of you enjoyed reading “my running story” as much as I enjoyed writing it.