When you first see Thomas, it’s hard to believe that he’s 56! Not only is he in fantastic shape, he’s won multiple Battlegrounds races and competed in the OCR World Championships in 2015. However, it’s not just Thomas’ athleticism that inspires us, but his outlook on life and pursuit to spread happiness. Oh, and did we mention that he’s auditioning to compete on American Ninja Warrior? Check out his audition video! (Warning: It may inspire the happiness out of you.)
What 3 words would your friends use to describe you?
“Never stops moving!”
What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your life?
Losing my home and life savings and being forced into bankruptcy as a result of the largest real estate scam in the history of Missouri.
What does life’s better when battled mean to you?
I believe life’s better when battled because in the middle of adversity lies the greatest opportunity for personal growth. You don’t become an avid or proficient sailor by sitting in still waters. Smooth sailing is not a time of expansion or personal growth. Growth and expansion (and excitement) require pointing your boat downwind and heading out to open waters, open to experiencing the challenges and turbulence of the sea.
What was your most memorable Battlegrounds race?
I have competed in all but the very first Battlegrounds race, winning a couple but, more importantly, enjoying the camaraderie and competition through all of them!! My most memorable Battlegrounds race was 2 years ago when I competed with a 102 temperature; definitely did not post my best time but had to “battle it out” more than any other race just to cross the finish line! It made me appreciate my good health more than ever.
Words of wisdom:
People are amazingly resilient and capable of almost anything. No one can imagine overcoming financial ruin, accepting a negative health diagnosis, or losing someone they love. Yet, everyday people do. And every day many of those people accept the hand they are dealt and rise to the occasion, oftentimes finding greater happiness than they had known prior to the loss. We not only prevail and survive, but flourish, becoming stronger and shining brighter, thankful for those experiences that we so strongly resisted and feared. As Marianne Williamson, author and speaker, suggests, “Sometimes we come out on the other side of a dark time with an inner knowledge, some sense of the soul we didn’t have before.”
If you find yourself in a situation or a place you prefer not to be, make a change. If you cannot change the situation or distance yourself from it, try to change the way you feel about it. Wayne Dyer, author of “Change your thoughts, change your life” said “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Accepting the situation frees up resistance and helps you to feel more at ease. My suggestion is to practice finding a way to enjoy the ride even in turbulent times.