February 3, 2015

Inspiration of the Month: Kevin Takeguchi (Guest post from the Endurance Athlete Center)

Guest post by  Kristin Sykes, DPT, The Endurance Athlete Center

This month we are throwing the spotlight on Kevin Takeguchi. Kevin is a member of Team Z , a local triathlon team that was started by Ed Zerkle. What makes Kevin unique is he competes in triathlons even though he has lost the ability to see. He has had multiple brain surgeries that left him with impaired vision. This hasn’t stopped him! Through the encouragement of friends and family he returned to competing and has completed Nations triathlon six years in a row! Now, you may ask how he does this. For the swim and run he is linked to a partner via rope to keep him on track and the bike is completed on a tandem. This is not without mishaps, Kevin tells a story of accidentally running into a man while training at a local track. Initially the man was going to pick a fight until he explained why he’d not seen him. Triathlons require a great level of dedication and perseverance to complete but with impaired vision, it’s taken to a whole other level. Team Z has provided him the environment in which to thrive, with comradery and support that Kevin needs to continue competing.


Q&A with Kevin:

1) What races have you completed ”“ Where & When?

** Presurgery (highlighted races not all)

Before 2nd and 3rd surgeries in 2006 and 2007
”“ 2003 South Carroll County Sprint
”“ 2003 Charollesville Sprint
”“ 2004 Columbia
”“ 2004 Spud
”“ 2004 South Carroll County Spring
”“ 2004 Reston Triathlon
”“ 2005 Eagleman
”“ 2005 Ironman Florida

Post Surgery
”“ 2009 Nations Triathlon
”“ 2010 Nations Triathlon
”“ 2011 Nations Triathlon
”“ 2012 Nations Triathlon
”“ 2013 Savageman Relay (swim)
”“ 2013 Kinetic Sprint
”“ 2013 Nations Triathlon
”“ 2014 Nations Triathlon (see picture of finish below!)
”“ 2014 Reston 1 mile swim
”“ 2015 Reston 2 mile swim
”“ 2015 Nations Triathlon

2) What was the most challenging aspect of returning to run, swim, &/or bike?

The hardest part to get is the run.   I have had a bad case of planar fasciitis that Fast Track Physical Therapy has slowly gotten under control.

3)  Who inspired or encouraged you to begin racing again?

It was no one in particular.   It was merely the need to get back to my normal life.   I am very fortunate to have great family and friends.  They have encouraged me to get back on the saddle.  I do not think I would have handled this as well if I went through this much back in high school or college.   I have a better sense of independence and more comfortable accepting of myself. I am trying to live my life to the fullest.  I believe if you have great family and friends you can accomplish anything within your limits.

Screenshot 2015-01-25 at 3.43.26 PM

4) What organizations or groups helped you (that could also help other vision impaired racers) get back into racing again?

It is Ed Zerkle whom I met in 2003.   He allowed me to join to join his Triathlon racing club, Team Z.   By becoming a member of Team Z, it became easier to find workout and race partners.

5) What is your favorite quote?

“Get Busy Living or get busy dying.” ”“ Andy from Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

6) What is your favorite food?

Lau Lau (a Hawaiian dish) slow cooked pork, beef, or butter fish wrapped with taro leaves and Ti leaves (do not eat Ti leaves) and steamed for a few hours. That with poi and lomi salmon (raw salmon mixed with vegetables).

Brought to you by:

Kristin Sykes, DPT, The Endurance Athlete Center
See Kristin’s Profile HERE.

This blog post was courtesy of The Endurance Athlete  Center.  To learn more about the EAC and the services they provide, please visit their website at  http://enduracenter.com/.