Saturday Spotlight- Michael DiBartolo

Name- Michael DiBartolo

Age- 53

Occupation- IT (currently looking for a change!)

I was born a poor boy in Tupelo Mississippi, loved my mamma, moved to Memphis, drove a truck, became the biggest singer the world has…..Oh wait, that’s Elvis’s life! A guy can dream right!

Although I would skip the fat Elvis stage! Reality is I was born in Mount Vernon NY, lived in Flushing NY and moved to Long Island (Deer Park) when I was seven. Guess I had a typical upbringing, as was common in the day, my parents married young and had all their kids by age 25. I was the oldest, and have a sister and brother, one benefit to being the oldest back then (no camera phones), was I had the most pictures taken of me, my brother, the youngest, thinks he is adopted! As I think back on growing up, I realize how lucky I was. I had parents that loved each other, and supported us in whatever endeavor we chose. Everyone thinks the time they grew up was idyllic, I’m no different, the 60’s and 70’s were groovy baby (ha) we seemed to have a lot less fear than we have today, summers involved leaving your house on your bike in the morning, and being home by dinner. Vacations were simple, camping, visiting upstate NY, Howe Caverns, Baseball Hall Of fame. The smell of apple pie…. OK I’m getting carried away! The point is I was a happy kid, no complaints. With the exception of Little League, I never played organized sports, my parents were not really sports people, my dad would feel bad that the coaches sons got to pitch and play infield, I played right field. I did enjoy playing sports with my friends, tennis, handball, stick ball, and later Frisbeer (a drinking game) Right after high school, I joined the Navy, attended technical school in Millington Tennessee, and was stationed in Meridian Mississippi, I was an “Aviation Electricians Mate” which sounds cool, but mostly I just changed light bulbs on planes! I did enjoy my time in the Navy, met people from all over the country, and the time away made me appreciate family, the southern girls liked the NY accent, so I went around saying caaah (car) all the time When I came back home in the early 80’s a recession was in full swing, jobs were hard to come by and I wound up driving a propane truck, (those bubble trucks) delivering to residential homes, got plenty of exercise doing that, every once in awhile it would dawn on me that I was driving a huge bomb! The Yada Yada part, got married, had two kids, got divorced. In between I got tired of driving the truck, went to Suburban Technical School and started my IT career, which I did for 25 yrs, I was recently part of downsizing, and now have the opportunity to explore other options, any ideas? I’m burnt out on IT. Currently living in Farmingville, I have Two daughters ages 26 and 23, a girlfriend (Roesanne) of 7 yrs and 3 stepchildren (all girls) 20,18 and 14, yes I do dye my hair! Never a dull moment, and I’m taking donations for razors and shampoo! How did I come upon running? For years , the only time I ran was when I wanted to lose weight, running plus Slim Fast! My brother in law at the time, kept telling me about this great race he ran every year, called Cow Harbor, I blew him off for years, then in 96 I decided why not. To train, I ran by myself a few times during the week and with him on weekends. I felt confident on race day, although never having run a race, I didn’t know what to expect, what if I got lost? Well the experience was great, I finished and came in under an hour so I was happy, the race was very exciting and I have been running races ever since, I keep track of all my races on a spreadsheet, and have run 149 so far, which some people run in a year or two. It is fun to look back and see your times and how you were running at a certain point in your life, some years I was slow, some faster, hey, I don’t think I have peaked yet!! For whatever reason 95% of my running was done alone, I was not part of a running group, just GLIRC for the magazine. I would go to a race alone, run, and go home. I did see this guy at many races who I dubbed “Prince Valiant” which I now know as Rick Secor, I would always wonder why he finished ahead of me, and thought “that ain’t right”!! I figured there was a story to go with this guy, and I was right! The hills were introduced to me by my girlfriends cousin John Giordano in 2012, I ran them once and had an injury which kept me off them for awhile, I returned in June of 2013 and have been running them ever since. Well I did have a four month hiatus when I broke my foot on the hills. After running mostly alone for 16 years it is great to be part of a like-minded group. What I like most about The Selden Hills Warriors is it’s all inclusive mentality, if you run slow great, if you run fast great, do the hills once a week, twice or once a month, there’s a place for you. I love the saying “A rising tide, raises all ships” this group definitely motivates me, I may not want to run these ultra races, but when I see someone else do it, I know I can do more. I have met many great people who I now consider friends. A special shout-out to Lou Lafleur who keeps this informal group going strong!!

What else? I have done some sprint TRI’s, enjoy weight training, and long walks on the beach, as some of you know I’m a goofball! Not afraid to make a fool of myself if It will make you laugh, gotta have some fun!! Looking forward to spending the week with ya!

Trying to keep this short, will fill in more of the yada yada on those hills!

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