Name: David Curtin
Marital status: married to my best friend for almost 16 years. We have an amazing 13 year old daughter and a 1 year old rescued leonburger “puppy” (he’s 115 pounds and still growing)
Occupation: I would say that I’m the Jerk of all trades. I’m a NYC Firefighter stationed In Brooklyn for 16 years (4 more to go). I also work for a moving company. I’ve been doing that for 14 years. My wife and I own our own jewelry company called Origami Owl, which is a customizable locket which tells your story through little charms. I also work for a contractor doing home renovations. So to say I’m busy is an understatement.
Hometown: Farmingville NY (literally in the shadows of the hills)
Current residence: South Setauket. Until I retire and we move down south to Texas in 5 years when my daughter graduates
Ok so where do I start! Picture it Sicily 1977. Sorry, bad Golden Girls reference, but it all started in 1977. I was born in Brooklyn to a woman who gave me up for adoption to my parents when I was 3 days old and I had a pretty good childhood.
I didn’t play any organized sports because my parents didn’t have a lot of money and my mom didn’t want me to get hurt (typical overprotective Italian mother. No offense to the Italian moms here) but I did do a bunch of activities as a kid. I used to play baseball in my backyard till I broke the kitchen window from a foul ball, I used to play hockey in front of my house all day from basically sunrise till like 10 pm.
I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up but the ones I did have were 2 of my neighbors. I had a bunch of acquaintances but I mainly kept to my neighbors because I could be myself around them (although we had our issues from time to time like most kids do). The reason why I didn’t have a lot of friends was because I was bullied as a kid because I was raised to not fight back and I wasn’t part of the “In crowd”.
Running was never my thing growing up. I used to dread running the mile in school and like most people. I tried to do everything I could to get out of it probably because of my low confidence (more on that in a couple days) so I just stayed to myself and played baseball and hockey. Those 2 sports are my life. I’m a Die Hard Mets and Rangers fan (so much so that my daughters name is Shea Madison after Shea Stadium and Madison Square Garden).
Years went by and and like most kids I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life until I turned 17 and the Long Island Wildfires happened. I wasn’t old enough to join the Volunteer service but I was drawn to try and help somehow. So when I turned 18 I joined my local volunteer firehouse and I was hooked. From there I took the test in 1999 to become one of New York’s Bravest. I didn’t do as well as A lot of people so my list number was kinda low (it is a civil service exam) so I wasn’t sure if I was going to get on but that all changed on 9/11/01. 2 years after that tragic event I became a firefighter in the greatest city in the world. My dream was achieved.
While training to get through the vigorous training I developed shin splints and ended up starting the fire academy with shin splints. I hated the running part of it. I had to do a mile and a half in 12 minutes. I ended up doing it in like 11:30 lol. Throughout the fire academy training we ran various distances. By the end of it I was running 6 miles and hated every mile.
My love for running started about 3 years ago but it didn’t start as dramatic as it may seem. The end of June 2016 we went on a family cruise with a bunch of friends as well and we had a great time. Everything was great until I started seeing the pictures and was kinda disgusted. Here I was, on a cruise looking fat and gross (in my eyes. More on that another day). I was the heaviest weight I ever was 261 pounds and knew I had to make a change. So I started eating right and I started to just walk. Everyday I would walk in the summer heat and the pounds started to pour off of me. I told myself that after I lost 30 pounds I’d start running a bit again, so I called my wife’s cousin who was never a runner either but started training to run a marathon and she told me about a couch to 10K app that was free to build up to a 10K. So I started it and finished it in about 10 weeks because I’d run literally run 5 days a week and I was actually enjoying. My wife was enjoying it too because I was so much nicer after my run lol.
One day one of the neighbors in my development saw me and our kids are in the same class so at the next school function and we started talking. That person is a little spitfire beast of a triathlete named Kristen Baumann Desimone. So we would talk a lot and answer all my annoying “beginners” questions and telling me to sign up fo a race. I kept blowing that off. I never did a race Then she invited me to go to the 2017 Champions performance Christmas Eve Run and I was nervous but I went. I knew there would be all these amazing runners and triathletes and that I didn’t belong but I went. I got lost because I was doing my own program and they all were done way before me. I ended up doing 7 miles that day which was huge. While there I saw some people wearing the Selden hills shirts and I also remember seeing those shirts during the NYC marathon (my firehouse is right on the course around the 13 mile mark) and I asked Kristen about it. So she explained it to me and I wanted to join. She warned me that it was tough and she’d be willing to do it with me when I was ready.
I put that thought in the back of my mind and just kept doing my routine throughout 2018 until April. I signed up for the Murphy run 2018 and was looking forward to my first ever race. That’s when things went crazy. I became Facebook friends with Lou LaFleur and he hooked me up with the couch to 10K hills edition so I started the program. After the week 2 run I wasn’t feeling well and ended up in the hospital for 4 days with a GI issue. I wasn’t able to run for 4-6 weeks till they found out what was going on. After I was cleared it was back to the basics of building up. I ended up doing the Murphy run under trained and basically limped across the finish line gasping for air. I was out of shape lol. In November of 2018 I saw a post from my Friend Ken of Champions performance about a brewery training run program and I said “what the hell”. I needed something to hold me accountable and even though I wasn’t signed up for that race I did it anyway and by the end of it I was doing 10 miles. I felt great.
I told Kristen that I think I was ready and she agreed so she invited me to the New Years Eve Run this past year and she held to her word and he stayed with me every step (sometimes even talking me off the bridge). With her help I ended up doing the course in 1:02 I believe.
After my induction to the hills I made a New Years resolution to step out of my comfort zone more so I decided to sign up for my first ever half marathon and what better one then the LI half in May. I did it. I was going to do my first half in May, but that was until I was “bullied “ (hahaha)by Kristen to do the ice breaker half. I was nervous but seeing some of my original running groups friends from Champion who happen to be hills members and Kristen by my side I knew I was in great hands and sure enough I did it. I felt so proud of myself that I almost cried (I would have if my tears wouldn’t have froze to my face).
I can’t wait to see what my running career has to offer. I know I’m probably going to do my first marathon next November in NYC. Thank you all for taking the time to read this and I look forward to sharing more of me for the rest of this week. Thank you Lou for this awesome opportunity.