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Here We Go!

By Scott Simpson

November 25, 2009

Why have I decided to write a blog?

Mostly to share my triathlon training and racing journey as I prepare for Ironman (IM) Louisville 2010, but I also figure, by being public about living with HIV, I can help educate people and reduce stigma and discrimination. In short, effect positive change. Life's too short not to be following passions. The grim reaper lurks closer every day. Maybe that's whom I'm really racing.

I am a former pack-a-day tobacco smoker, heavy drinker (National Team) and partier (you name it, and I've probably smoked, snorted or swallowed it), and have weighed as much as 240 lbs whilst subsisting on chips, cookies, and cakes. Ah, good times.

So, as I move into the 45-49 age group next year -- my theme is 'Alive at 45' -- I'm looking to get fit and get to the finish.

As always, goal number 1 is to have fun in the process of getting fit, and have fun at races themselves. I ALWAYS get the volunteers to draw a happy face on my calf at races -- a reminder of my priorities.

Goal number 2 is to hit the finish line at every race, but especially at Ironman. My first two attempts at Ironman were a complete disaster and near disaster respectively. But that was five years ago, my immune system has recovered a lot since then, and I'm a lot fitter. But I'm also older and you never know if injury or illness will prevent even starting. Fingers crossed.

Goal number 3 is time based -- and I'm going to go out on a thin limb here and make an early goal time of 12 hours. Seems kind of daunting now that I've written it. Maybe because I'm delusional.

Goal number 4 is to get on the podium in local races as many times as possible. This year I raced 16 triathlons (that's not a typo -- I raced almost every weekend in our race season) and had 7 wins and 3 thirds.

I managed to snag a gold medal at the World Out Games in Copenhagen and -- this was the real shocker -- become Provincial Long Course champ by winning my group at the Bracebridge half-Ironman. Who'da ever thunk?

Number 5 is to win the season points in my group in the local HSBC series. We'll see how it plays out starting 7 or so months from now.

This morning I weighed 163 lbs, but I'm at the end of the 'get fat and slow' phase of my training year, so expect to get skinny -- for me -- for race season.

If you have any questions -- training, racing, HIV, personal change -- or non-judgmental comments, send 'em along. But I gotta be honest -- I'm busy with school, work, training, speaking, and some semblance of a social life.

And so there you have it. Let the drama unfold as fate's fickle finger strums the strings of said theory.

Happy training!


To contact Scott, click here.

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HIV+ Triathlete: Til I Drop

Scott Simpson

Scott Simpson

Scott Simpson is an HIV+ triathlete, student and inspirational speaker avoiding real work so he can find more time to train and learn. A former party boy, Scott has gone from the fictional national drinking team to the real Canadian national triathlon team and is current provincial long course champion in his age group. Scott is also founder of, and inspiration for, the Race for Dignity, which is both an annual spinathon in Toronto and annual school campus events coordinated by Dignitas Youth chapters. Cumulatively, they have raised almost a million dollars for the medical humanitarian NGO Dignitas International, contributing to over 11,000 people living with HIV/AIDS gaining access to ARVs in Malawi. Scott is currently training for Ironman Louisville 2010.

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