Saturday Spotlight- Jason Taylor

Name: Jason Taylor
Nicknames: Jay; Satan, DBag and a couple that I should not say in this forum
Age: 44
Hometown: Greenlawn but now in Medford
Marital Status: Single
Pet: I had Orgazmo and Chodaboy (cats) for 16 years but they both passed away in the past couple years
Occupation: Investigative Auditor; High School / JHS Track & Field Official

I want to start by thanking Lou for giving me the opportunity to be the Warrior of the Week. I am extremely shy at first. Talking about myself this week will take me outside my comfort zone but over the last couple of years I’ve forced myself to try things such as taking ballroom dancing lessons and going to San Diego by myself for a Spartan Race.

I was born at 6:40 AM on 6/6/74, which is why my lucky number is 6 (and part of the reason my nickname was Satan in high school). I spent the first 12 years growing up in Levittown and my life revolved around playing and watching sports with my friend Mike. Although I played wiffle ball, football and street hockey with my neighborhood friends, soccer was the sport that I loved. I started playing soccer when I was five. My first couple of years I wasn’t good. But then I was given advice that I was not aggressive enough (being short and shy does that) so it was the first time I came out of my comfort zone and I started playing a more physical style. I continued to play through high school (my dad would drive me back to Levittown from Greenlawn to play on the travel team). My high school freshman year I was given the choice of varsity or JV and I chose JV to get more playing time and develop. Over summer break I broke my hand and was not cleared to play soccer so I joined the cross-country team. Alicia, one of my best friends in high school convinced me to stick with cross-country for my junior year since she was graduating but my HS soccer coach warned me if I didn’t play soccer he wouldn’t play me my senior year and it would cost me scholarships. Being a rebellious punk and metal head (the other reason for my Satan nickname) I decided to run instead. My coach held true to his word and I rode the bench in my senior year. However, I was still recruited for track and soccer by a couple of small schools. But I decided that I should concentrate on my studies and stop playing organized sports. I went to Stony Brook and dormed with my best friend from Levittown. The studying didn’t last a day and by the next year we were kicked out of school and I put on 80 lbs. (it wasn’t muscle). Failing out of school was a wake up call. Although I still hung out in NYC every night watching hardcore and metal bands, I also started studying and was on the Dean’s List at SCCC and eventually Dowling where I graduated with a degree in accounting (not what I ever expected to be).

Eventually I started running again (5ks to a half marathon) and then my friend Alicia (from HS) said her office is doing the Tough Mudder in NJ. Want to join us? I never heard of it but said OK. We started training with “the Mudman” for my first obstacle course race (OCR) and by the time I finished it I had a torn meniscus. I had surgery and rehabbed my knee and lost 30 lbs. in a month. I was scared something was wrong and went to the doctor. All my tests were clear but my doctor asked if I started exercising and I said I run 5 miles a day but I always have. My doctor responded but you stopped exercising for your surgery. My body was in a holding pattern for years and stopping exercise for a month or two and then jumping back into vigorous exercise shocked my body into losing weight. That peaked my interest into nutrition. Although I was a vegetarian for years I ate pizza and pasta every night. Now I started cooking for myself and eating healthier options such as vegetable shakes, ACV and Tulsi Tea (to name a few).

The injury did not discourage my passion for OCR (after 1 race) and I started running every race I could find including 17 Spartan Races last year all over the country (FL, CA, NV, WV, PA, VT, NC etc.). Part of the reason I fell in love with these races was my fear of heights and enclosed areas. These races made me face my fears and conquer them.
OCR led to meeting some awesome people including Michael and Annette who convinced me to join the SHW and do Rob’s Run along with Tatiana. Since joining the group I’ve met many fun and inspirational Warriors and hope to meet some more.