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Michael DreamChaser Smith | Extraordinary Athletes Doing Extraordinary Things
In honor of Black History month, we are highlighting extraordinary athletes doing extraordinary things. In this episode of The Run Wave Podcast, Kim chats with Michael DreamChaser Smith, Army World Class Athlete, Para-triathlete, 2-Time Ironman, & 4-Time Ironman 70.3 Finisher.
Michael tells the harrowing story about how he became an arm amputee, while fighting to maintain his active dudy status in the army. He talks about his transition into the sport of triathlon, his non-profit organization, Swim Bike Run 4 Equality, and much more.
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LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON: APPLE | SPOTIFY | GOOGLE | STITCHER | IHEARTRADIO | AMAZON MUSIC | PANDORA | SOUNDCLOUD Sponsored By: E P I S O D E 60 On this episode of The Run Wave Podcast, Kim is...
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON: APPLE | SPOTIFY | GOOGLE | STITCHER | IHEARTRADIO | AMAZON MUSIC | PANDORA | SOUNDCLOUD Sponsored By: E P I S O D E 59 On this episode of The Run Wave Podcast, Kim is...
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON: APPLE | SPOTIFY | GOOGLE | STITCHER | IHEARTRADIO | AMAZON MUSIC | PANDORA | SOUNDCLOUDSponsored By:E P I S O D E 58On this episode of The Run Wave Podcast, Kim is...
[00:00:00] Kim: [00:00:00] Extraordinary athletes doing extraordinary things, a featuring para athlete, Michael dream chaser Smith.
[00:00:18] Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the runway podcast. I am your host cam. If this is your first time tuning in, welcome to the show. If you are a return listener, welcome back. I truly appreciate you listening. Week after week. If you didn’t know, it is a black history month for the entire month of February.
[00:00:40] Although I celebrate black history 365 days a year, but we are continuing with the series of extraordinary athletes who do extraordinary things. And I had the wonderful pleasure to chat with Michael Smith. Mr dream chaser. [00:01:00] He is a para athlete who has a amputated arm. He participates in the sport of triathlon and he tells me his harrowing story of how he became an amputee and how he got.
[00:01:15] Into the sport of triathlon. And trust me, this story will have you on the edge of your seats. So let’s get into it. So slab two time iron man, four time Ironman, 70.3 finisher, triathlete and para athlete. Michael Smith. Welcome to the show, Mike.
[00:01:37] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:01:37] Thank you. I appreciate it. Welcome
[00:01:39] Kim: [00:01:39] again. We’ve been trying to do this show for our people.
[00:01:42] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:01:42] Yeah, no, this has been crazy. Yeah. Yeah. Well, we got it now. So
[00:01:47] Kim: [00:01:47] yes, if only email the technical difficulties that builds down behind the scene,
[00:01:53] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:01:53] man, I’m good. I’m good. I’m good blasting. No, just [00:02:00] making everyday count.
[00:02:02] Kim: [00:02:02] That sounds good. So where are you originally from?
[00:02:06] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:02:06] So I was born in Amarillo, Texas, which is the Northern panhandle, um, but raised, practically all my life and may like age of five on in Dallas, Texas.
[00:02:18] And so I just claimed Dallas, I don’t know, really, you know, speak of Amarillo too much. Hear
[00:02:24] Kim: [00:02:24] a lot of people come to Amarillo these days. Why am I thinking of like aardvarks and Hey bells, when I think I
[00:02:34] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:02:34] Amarillo that’s exactly what it is like. Yeah. Well, the most famous line got there is the Cadillac ranch.
[00:02:42] I think that’s out there. You ever heard of it? No. And then, uh, uh, the big Texan steak that like the biggest steak or something like, Oh man, I ain’t nothing in Amarillo.
[00:02:55] Kim: [00:02:55] That’s why you probably move. Right. Your parents lie. We outta
[00:02:58] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:02:58] here. [00:03:00] Yeah. And then at the age of five, I was still like, yes.
[00:03:06] Kim: [00:03:06] What part of the country are you in right
[00:03:07] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:03:07] now?
[00:03:09] Uh, I mean, uh, right now I’m like in castle rock Colorado, but I’m currently moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado, which is right down the road. It’s about an hour down the road
[00:03:18] Kim: [00:03:18] and what’s prompting your
[00:03:19] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:03:19] new move. Um, so my goal, so my whole intent to come to Colorado Springs was to training out there too.
[00:03:30] Um, and then. Not only that, but you know, the Olympic training center centers here. Um, so my goal for 2021 or 2022 is to make the, um, the residents team. So that’s where, I mean, you know, that’s where everything is. So, you know, with my goals, I have specific goals and specific benchmarks that I want to meet and, you know, being in close to that place as one of them.
[00:03:56] So yeah.
[00:03:58] Kim: [00:03:58] So what’s the residents [00:04:00] team.
[00:04:02] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:04:02] Uh, it’s basically, um, it’s the people that’s on the national team and we live on the Olympic trying to send a campus. Um, and you get this, like, it’s like the best of the world. Like you get the best of everything. You get your, your chefs, your, your training, your coaching, your recovery, your housing, um, your, your races are paid for your travel is paid for it.
[00:04:28] I mean, It’s a, it’s a legit situation, you know? I mean, like it’s a, it’s a situation that any Olympic athlete would want to want to be in if they, you know, if it was possible,
[00:04:39] Kim: [00:04:39] sounds like a dream. I would love to have a chef one day.
[00:04:44] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:04:44] Um, yeah, I’m pretty fortunate though. Like I have, I have a friend, that’s a chef.
[00:04:48] She, um, owns a restaurant and she does all my meal prepping for me every Sunday. And. So I don’t, yeah, I don’t do any cooking. She just brought it over the other day. And [00:05:00] I mean, they’re like, I don’t know if you ever pay attention to my Facebook or my Instagram. They’re like Gore made meals and. Yeah. So you’re
[00:05:09] Kim: [00:05:09] set for the whole week.
[00:05:10] All you have to do is throw it in the microwave or the oven and you’re good to go.
[00:05:14] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:05:14] That’s it? That is it. Yeah.
[00:05:17] Kim: [00:05:17] What is your, your background and sports? Did you, were you into sports as a youngster?
[00:05:24] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:05:24] I was so, um, just, I guess, a typical texting where he used in football and basketball. I saw play football, play basketball, ran track, and.
[00:05:34] That was the gist of it. Um, yeah, just that was it. And then, you know, went to college and went into the army and still continue to play basketball in the army. And, um, you know, still ran every single day of my life in the army. Uh, but it’s funny that you never had, like, I’ve been running in the army for like the past 23 [00:06:00] years.
[00:06:00] And then when I got into triathlon and running marathons and stuff like that, You realize that you don’t really know how to run? Like, it was crazy to me when I, when I got into like endurance running, I was like, Oh, this will be easy. I’ve been running 10, 15 miles my entire career. Yeah, no, that’s a, it’s a different world, different world.
[00:06:23] So you
[00:06:23] Kim: [00:06:23] joined the army after college.
[00:06:26] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:06:26] So I actually joined. Right after high school, but I did like the college prep program. So it gave me an opportunity to do both. So I was doing both. Um, and then after that, I just, you know, stayed in the army. Cause not the college. That’s like a, this college is like a business, you know, come out of college and debt and to find something really fast.
[00:06:49] And the army was paying for my education and I didn’t have a lot of debt, but I also wanted to find something that I felt like. Um, was worthy of my time and get [00:07:00] paid for in the army. Was it? And I told myself, I was like, Oh, okay, well, I’ll do this five-year contract. And yeah, here I am. 23 years later, still in.
[00:07:10] So. That’s interesting
[00:07:11] Kim: [00:07:11] because we know about the army, but I don’t think I really know how it works on the backend. So everyone that comes in has a contract for a certain amount of time.
[00:07:22] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:07:22] Yeah. So when you joined the military, initially, you said you pick your job. And a lot of times based on the. Based on the job that you pick determines the length of the contract that you could pick.
[00:07:36] So like if you pick like nursing or something like that, just know, like that’s a long-term commitment. I believe it’s like a six year commitment, like off the rip. Um, but something like infantry or something lower grade, um, that doesn’t require a lot of schooling or a degree. Um, you could do anywhere from two to like four years.
[00:07:59] Um, [00:08:00] I did five just because I wanted that. I wanted that experience and I wanted that background. So when I did get out, I can say, yeah, I did this particular job for five years versus two. Um, and I knew that would speak volumes. So that’s what I chose to do.
[00:08:17] Kim: [00:08:17] So, what was your specialty in the army?
[00:08:20] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:08:20] Initially, my specialty was, uh, I came in as a artillery, so I didn’t know, I was just trying to get my school and pay for it. So I just picked anything. And then, uh, that job led me to go on to, uh, combat a couple of times. So then I learned really, really quick. Maybe I need to change my job and do something a little more technical, a little more serious.
[00:08:43] So I became a, I became a career counselor for the army, and then I went into recruiting and then I took over recruiting. I took over a company to recruiting command. So, um, yeah.
[00:09:00] [00:08:59] Kim: [00:08:59] So for those of you that are listening and now watching, although you can’t really see anyway, Michael is an amputee. See, and I I’ve, I mean, we’ve been following up yeah.
[00:09:13] For a long time, probably through a black triathlete and you know, I’ve, I’ve always, you know, that’s, everyone knows that about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard your story of how it happened. So tell me
[00:09:25] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:09:25] little bit about that. So, um, I had just like legit moved to, um, Nashville, Tennessee from California.
[00:09:36] Um, and I took over like the city of Nashville as far as recruiting. I had assumed that city, um, and I’ve been riding motorcycles practically my entire life kind of grew up on them and, um, yeah. I was on a highway with a group of other riders one night and this one particular night where I wasn’t acting crazy and I wasn’t [00:10:00] doing anything foolish, he wasn’t speeding.
[00:10:02] And I just so happened, had on all my gear, but this car, uh, came onto the on-ramp or enter the on-ramp. And as she was coming, I could see like I could legit see her. Um, cause it’s like 10 o’clock at night. I could see the glow from our phone into her face was told me she was on her phone. So as he was merging into my lane, uh, I was honking my horn.
[00:10:26] I would rather my engine and she looked up and it started her. You could see his, I could see his starter. So, um, of course, you know, there’s cars in front of me. So she slows down. She puts up her hand as to say, I’m sorry, or whatever. And she still managed to hit me. My I still, to this day, people that were with me had no idea how she still hit me, but he still, she clipped me from behind, which forced my back wheel to turn all the way around.
[00:10:54] And it threw me over the guard rail into oncoming traffic. And [00:11:00] before I could hit the ground, another vehicle hit me and severed my arm. So I remember all of that vividly because it was like once I got into the air, It was like, I could see everything. It wasn’t like a split second or it would probably was a split second, but it was like time slowed down and I could see everything.
[00:11:20] And if there was a one particular time where I was twirling upside down and I just remember being able to see the truck coming, it was a white F-150. I was able to see the truck coming and I just remember going, man, if I hit, like, I’m probably about to die right now. And. Um, it hit me, but when it hit me, it hit me and it stopped me, which in hindsight, it’s a blessing that that vehicle did hit me the way it did because it had, I hit the ground and tumbled.
[00:11:52] I wouldn’t be here today. Um, you know, I, it would hidden that ground going that type of speed. Yeah. It wouldn’t [00:12:00] have been good cause he hit me and I was, I was doing at least 75, 80, cause I was a speed on this. So I know I was doing 75 or 80, so. But when that car, when the vehicle hit me, it stopped me and I hit the ground.
[00:12:11] The only injury I had was to my arm. That was it. That’s. I mean, and it, I think when I, my head hit the ground and knocked me out, but I remember coming to, and just military experience going to combat, uh, I knew I was injured, but I also knew I was on the highway, so I needed to get off the highway. So I was trying to scoot back and I managed to get to like, The concrete barrier.
[00:12:35] And I tried to stand up and as I’m standing up, I legit put my left hand into my right hand, not knowing. So my arm is all the way on the other side. And I began to like pull it out of my jacket and like that’s when it just hit me, like, okay, I’m in trouble. And I just, I pass out. And then when I pass out, uh, [00:13:00] I think it was probably like seconds later or minutes later I come back to, and when I come back to, um, my head was laying in this lady’s lap and I could fit her tugging on my head, but she was trying to take my helmet off.
[00:13:14] And, um, I remember, uh, her talking to me and, uh, once again I hit that fight or flight and she. No. I asked her immediately, like, what’s wrong with like, where am I injured? Cause I had already forgotten like my arm and she was like, you’re losing, I mean, enormous amount of blood and I’m gonna have to like stop the bleeding.
[00:13:35] And I told her, I was like, look, look, uh, on the inside of my motorcycle jacket, I have a tourniquet. Like I was prepared like that. So it was like a little tourniquet that I had that we used to carry you around in combat. And. I never thought I would use it for me. I thought I would use it for somebody else, but I had it and she took it out of my jacket and I was about to, excuse me.
[00:13:58] I was about, I was about to tell [00:14:00] her how to use it. And she goes, she was like, I’m a Navy corpsman. I may be corpsman is a nurse for the Navy. And it’s like, soon as she told me that I passed out, like, it was like a relief. It was like, it was like a relief. I was like, Oh, well I don’t have anything if she’s trained to do this.
[00:14:18] So. The next time I woke up was like two days later. And by the time I woke up my mom, my grandma and my uncle, and they were all there in Nashville. So yeah,
[00:14:33] Kim: [00:14:33] my heart is beating fast. I was like, Out of a movie. What happens to the woman that hit you?
[00:14:41] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:14:41] Oh, it was a hit and run. She kept going hit and run. So my friends that were with me, um, saw the whole thing happened and they said that my motorcycle caused so much debris and smoke on the highway that they had to wait to get around it.
[00:14:59] And by then [00:15:00] they said, by the time they got around my motorcycle, she was. Often often there’s on-ramp or she was gone, like nowhere to be found. And the crazy thing it was right in front of the Titan stadium, which normally that part of the highway or that part of the, yeah. That part of the highway is monitored as cameras.
[00:15:18] And that particular day, all the cameras were down for a service.
[00:15:22] Kim: [00:15:22] Wow. That’s crazy. Yeah. Well, hopefully karma caught up with her somewhere. That’s
[00:15:30] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:15:30] perfect. I mean, if, if I’m pretty sure, like if it didn’t, it will, and if it didn’t have a tire, it’s happened to somebody that she cares about and, or it’s eaten away ahead of our consciousness.
[00:15:41] Like there, there could be no way I could live knowing that I, him some
[00:15:47] Kim: [00:15:47] money to keep going. I know it’s crazy. So the woman that was in the Navy course, she, she just stopped, pulled over when she saw the accident. Yeah.
[00:15:58] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:15:58] So the crazy thing. So [00:16:00] there’s not a Navy base in Kentucky and she was from Clarksville or she was from Nashville and she was driving home on leave and Seesaw the Seesaw, it happened and she stopped.
[00:16:14] So to this day, like I don’t even. No who this woman is. I haven’t seen her. Like I legit have people. I have services looking for this woman. Like I’ve had the night, I’ve done tons and tons of interviews. And I’ve had people like, watch the interview and be like, Oh, I can help you find her. And I have people like professionals, legit looking for this woman.
[00:16:37] So she saved my life. This was 2011.
[00:16:43] Kim: [00:16:43] What was your recovery like?
[00:16:46] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:16:46] Ah, man, it was, it was like a roller coaster. Um, so the first thing I remember saying is when I woke up, I noticed that my arm was in a cast and I couldn’t really move. [00:17:00] And I think I was just for a day and my mom was staying at the end of my bed.
[00:17:03] And I remember raising my head and I asked my mom and I was like, I just have a couple of questions and I was like, one, I was like, is my face messed up? And she was like, Nope. That was your first question. Yep. Yup. Then I was like two hours, like two hours, like, um, I was like, did I lose any of my manhood?
[00:17:27] She was like, you’re all in tech. I was like, Oh, okay. That’s a
[00:17:30] Kim: [00:17:30] good second question. Now, what was your
[00:17:33] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:17:33] third question? No, I didn’t have one. I was, I was at ease. I was at ease. Cause those are, those are the two main things. Like I could have no legs, but as long as my manhood work, I still have a chance on getting married.
[00:17:44] So I’m good
[00:17:47] Kim: [00:17:47] at that point. Did you know that you were, what were you amputated at that point?
[00:17:53] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:17:53] No. So what happened was so they try to save my arm. So, um, [00:18:00] Yeah, basically they call it a limp cyber. So they basically reconnected my arm and tried to save it. Um, and like I knew, I knew it was a long shot, but like, uh, I was legit out of the hospital within a week after that, um, accident.
[00:18:19] Um, so I was at home and, but I was just going through it. Like the pain was just, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t put that on my worst enemy. That pain was something serious. And, um, it was just my, it was just everything. It was just a traumatic, you know, injury. It was just a lot. And, um, I just was going, so I went back and forth to the hospital, like going back and forth, back and forth because I was having infections and it was like leaking and all types of stuff.
[00:18:51] And one particular time, um, I just remember sitting on the couch and I looked at my mom and I was like, I think my hand is dead. And she was like, [00:19:00] why would you say that? And I was eating, I took my fork and I was like, and it sounded like wood. Like, it sounded like, yeah, I was like, like that. And my mom was like, maybe we should go to the emergency room.
[00:19:13] And then like, they amputated my hand and it wasn’t a problem. Cause it was dead. I couldn’t even feel it like. It wasn’t like my first surgery. So each time, each time I went to the hospital, I was facing another amputation. Like it was amputation at the amputation, not the amputation. And I remember the whole time the doctor kept telling me, my Sergeant kept telling me, he was like, as long as we can keep it below the elbow, you will have an opera.
[00:19:41] You will have a chance on living our regular life. So I was like, that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to try to keep it below the elbow. Like I went through a series of like, Six different amputations and they was doing it little by little trying to catch this. Um, [00:20:00] wait,
[00:20:00] Kim: [00:20:00] they were cutting your arm little by little, every time.
[00:20:04] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:20:04] Every time, every time I went to the hospital, every single time they were just amputation and amputation amputation, then it got to a point where, um, I was just below the elbow and I had my elbow joint and I had, uh, A couple of inches below my elbows. So it got to the point where I could bend, like I can bend my elbow and I was like, Oh, like I have feeling I can be in my elbow.
[00:20:27] So I think we’re in the clear. So my mom, uh, we had just found out, so during this whole time we have found out that my aunt had got stage four cancer. She found out that she had stage four cancer on the day that I got into my accident. Which is crazy. She didn’t even know she was sick. She just went in for a checkup and she’s a nurse.
[00:20:49] She just went in for a checkup. That’s it. And then they called her back on the day that I got into my accident and told her she has stage four cancer. So my mom was getting ready to go back to [00:21:00] Texas, to be with my aunt. And, um, we go into the hospital and the doctor, like my mom is sitting in a chair and I’m sitting on the edge of the bed.
[00:21:12] And I’m laughing, joking over my mom or whatever, and we’re talking about my aunt and he comes in and he was like, Hey, so, uh, let me, uh, let me just, let me, let me squeeze your arm real quick. And I was like, frosted, I stitches at the end of this thing. Like, what do you mean? He was like, yo, he was like, I’m just, I’m just kinda curious, man.
[00:21:34] He was like, it’s not looking like it was before, but I’m just kinda curious. So he took his hands and he squeezed at the bottom of my arm. What do you do here for man artists? No. Tell, tell, tell, tell me, discussing all this stuff came out. My mom passed out, like passed out. Yeah. And then he tells me, he goes, yeah.
[00:21:59] So, [00:22:00] uh, you got another infection. He was like, I was like, you know what? I was like, Take the arm where it initially got severed, just I’m over this, I’m past this clearly it’s in the land that we’re trying to save and it hasn’t got that far up. And I was like, I’d rather take it where it was initially severed then to keep doing this whole process.
[00:22:25] I was like, I legit can’t take anymore. Like I’m so through with this I’m so beyond this right now. So, um, We did all of that and they took it. Um, my mom left and that was like the end of the surgeries. Um, and then, yeah, my mom goes home. She’s at home for like a couple of days. Um, my best friend, his name is Sammy, Sammy G.
[00:22:52] We used to call him G but really close. He moved in with me, became my roommate tech, like legit take care of me. Like he was [00:23:00] bathing me as a grown man. Cause I had no function. Um, but I was sitting on the couch and he was cooking and I just remember raising up and I told him, I was like, Hey man. I was like, I think we need to go to the hospital.
[00:23:11] He was like, wow, what’s going on? And I was like, where I’m dying. He was like, what? I was like, I was like, I’m dying. I was like, I’m not joking. I’m dying. Like, I’m about to die. He was like, no, I’m in, it’s probably your mayor’s. Cause at, by this time I’m on like whole bunch of just crazy narcotics, just. I mean just crazy stuff.
[00:23:30] So it would make me just, I was zoned out like 95% of the day. So I get up, he follows me to my room cause I had a bathroom in my room and I turned on the shower. All I do is stick my hand in the shower. And I passed out. I woke up that like a day later in the hospital. Um, they didn’t know why, but when I came to the lady was like, I have no idea how you’re even awake or how you’re even talking to you right [00:24:00] now.
[00:24:00] Cause you’re supposed to come out of this with Brian damn. And she was like, your blood pressure was so high that we like where we were prepping your family to let them know that she was going to have brain damage. And I’m looking, I’m looking at like, I’m looking at my friend, like, man, what else? Like what else could go wrong?
[00:24:19] Kim: [00:24:19] looking out for you at that accident and through all of this goodness.
[00:24:24] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:24:24] Oh yeah. So I’m thinking I’m about to go home. Like I’m thinking like, okay, they’re going to give me some blood pressure medicine. They going to get it down on my go home. They admit me into the hospital. I stay there for two weeks and I’m just like, man, I couldn’t eat.
[00:24:37] Like I was like losing weight. So I’m back then to my average walk around weight was like, Between two Oh five to 10, just doing a lot of working out and Sue weeks, I had gotten down to like a hundred and like 10 pounds in two weeks. Yeah. So I knew something was wrong, but I knew [00:25:00] something was really wrong when my surgeon and like people from our motorcycle.
[00:25:06] Cause they were coming and say their goodbyes to me. And I was just like, one of my surgeon did that. I was like, wait, wait, wait. I was like, are you like telling me that I may not, I’m not coming out of this. Like, um, Diane, he was like, ma’am Mike, I’m just, he was like, nobody knows what’s going on. They were running tons and tons of tests.
[00:25:27] And he was like, I’m gonna tell you, cause your doctor won’t tell you straight. He was like, man, you’re you’re legit. Like you’re slowly just you’re going. No, I’m like, man, what is going on right now? So. Fast forward. My aunt is dying, so she calls me and she goes, Hey nephew, what are you doing? I was like, yeah, man.
[00:25:51] I was like, I’m going through it. I don’t know what’s going on. She was like, well, I’m just calling you to tell you that I’m going to take your place. And [00:26:00] I was like, you’re going to take my place so immediately, like just this man is, my mom is in the background. I could hear people crying and I’m just like, Like, what do you mean?
[00:26:15] She was like, yeah, I’m throwing myself a going away party right now, but this is a part of my going away party. Like see through her, she was throwing herself apart, like invited friends, family over there. Cause she knew she was gone. She wanted to be able to help me. So she was like, I’m supposed to take your place.
[00:26:30] And I’m just like, and this is all on speaker phone. Like we’re crying and I’m just going through it. And um, my doctor comes in and he was like, is everything okay? And I was like, No, my aunt goes, Hey, let me talk to the doctor. So she goes, you need to check my nephew for kidney failure. And like this light bulb, this aha moment came to him and he was just like, he looked at me.
[00:26:59] He was [00:27:00] just like, I’ll be right back, finished talking to you. So I’m talking to my aunt and she was just like, um, that’s my way of taking, like, taking your place. And then. Because he was stays for us. He was hospital’s like this. He started talking crazy and all this stuff. So I knew what top was and got the phone, got the phone the next morning they take, they do all these tests.
[00:27:23] And I had renal kidney failure. That, that was the whole thing. And the doctor was like, had they not caught it when they caught it? I was checking out like I will, legit was checking out. They put me on dialysis and all this and all that. A couple of days on dialysis. My, I think it was my sister or my mom.
[00:27:44] I think it was my mom called me. She was like, well, your aunt really wants to see you before you go. Now. I was like, what do you mean? She was like, yeah, like it’s not looking good. We don’t think she’s going to last another [00:28:00] 24 hours. So I called my friend, Sammy G I was like, bro. Look on my dressing. I have some spare keys in my top drawer.
[00:28:10] I was like, I don’t want to hear no, I don’t want to hear no nonsense. All I need you to do is at eight o’clock tonight. When the nurses are doing a switch over and I’m off dialysis by five, I was just like, I need you to come sneak me out of the hospital. He came up to the hospital, snuck me out, jumped in my truck and we drove straight to down 12 hours.
[00:28:33] Bam drove straight to Dallas on the way there. I’m throwing up out the window. He wants to pull over. I’m like, no, bro, like, let’s go. I’m throwing up and all this stuff. And I get there. I legit drive. I’d drive up to the house. I didn’t tell nobody else coming. I drove up to that house. I walked in the door.
[00:28:53] All my family is like standing in the living room. All my family. Like I walk up, like, [00:29:00] it was like they seen a ghost. Like I walked in, they kind of just like moved. I walked into my aunt was I grabbed her hand and she passed away. Wow.
[00:29:12] Kim: [00:29:12] Yeah, I know y’all are listening to this. Cause if you see, you see my face, like every time he’s just reliving this story just, wow, that’s crazy.
[00:29:24] You like, how long was this period after the accident or the surgeries? How long
[00:29:29] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:29:29] was that? And this is like a couple of months. Maybe it was like, bam, bam, bam. Like it was a couple of months, but it felt like. Days, it felt like everything was moving so fast. Cause I went through all those surgeries and I was standing in a hospital for extended amount of time.
[00:29:47] And I was in like, I was in the hospital for like almost a month with Gil on my kidney stuff. And then while I’m in Texas, I go to church the next day with my mom [00:30:00] and I pass out in church. Like, I go to stand up and I pass out. Next thing I know I’m waking up in the ambulance and the doctor’s asking me, like, he’d be like, what’s going on with you?
[00:30:09] Tell me about you. And I was like, well, I just lost my arm. I’m on dialysis in Tennessee. He was like, excuse me. He was like, what’d you say? I was like, yeah, man. I was like, I ain’t even supposed to be here. Like I was snuck out the hospital.
[00:30:29] You mean
[00:30:31] Kim: [00:30:31] other hospital now?
[00:30:33] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:30:33] Yeah. So they drove him to the hospital in the ambulance and then they airlifted me from Nashville to back or from Dallas back to Nashville. Yeah. The people at my hospital were like, what? Like, what are you doing, bro? Like, you could’ve died. Like you just got on dialysis. We’re trying to say
[00:30:55] Kim: [00:30:55] that you could have killed yourself, but you had to say body.
[00:30:58] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:30:58] Yeah. [00:31:00] Yeah. Sorry,
[00:31:03] Kim: [00:31:03] two months. How was that? Like on you mentally? Cause we know like the physical was hard,
[00:31:08] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:31:08] but like a whole other thing, it didn’t even hit me until when were it didn’t hit me until after I started. Getting better. And I started getting off meds is when it really kinda hit me. Um, I just don’t for the first,
[00:31:32] I don’t know for like the first six months, maybe I like that six months felt like it just went by so fast, but I was medicated that entire time. You know what I’m saying? Like, so I’m really not. I’m really not having my own thoughts. Like I’m just in a daze, like the entire time. I’m just in a daze. I just I’m telling you, I’ll send you an article in my article, a whole bunch of articles.
[00:31:59] I stayed. Like [00:32:00] there was a time period where I’ve bought, like in the course of a year I bought like eight cars. Yeah. Eight cars, like. I had a hat fetish and I never wore hats before that. I probably went through a series of like five cell phones changed my number, like five times like that those meds had, I was on one.
[00:32:24] I just, it got to the point where like my roommate and my mom, like everybody was like, do not let this dude watch TV. Cause everything he sees, he wants, I saw a truck. A white truck. Like I had a thing, well, white cars, I saw a white truck. I had to have one. I forced my uncle to go make me to go take him to the dealership and buy a white truck.
[00:32:47] I bought it. I saw, I saw a white Cadillac, CTS. It just came out. I went to the Cadillac dealership, bought a Cadillac. I saw a white drop top. CLK three 50 [00:33:00] Benz. And I wanted one. It was a hard time beans. And that was my first time seeing it. And. I wanted one, I went and bought one. I went and bought an Acura.
[00:33:11] I went and bought a BMW. I went and bought a Camaro. Like I was just buying cars like left and right. I don’t I, to this day, I don’t even know why. Yeah. I don’t, I don’t know.
[00:33:24] Kim: [00:33:24] So you were still army at this time though, right?
[00:33:27] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:33:27] Yeah. And so, yeah, the crazy thing is, is. I was re I was in the army, but removed for almost like two year, almost a year and a half.
[00:33:41] I didn’t hear nothing from my army. Like nobody called the checkup on me. Nobody, nothing. Like I legit went home to Dallas tech. Like I went home to my mom’s house so she could like take care of me. And I was still getting paid. Nobody said nothing. [00:34:00] Um, And how I ended up going to recovery center in San Antonio was my cousin is in the air force.
[00:34:07] And my, my mom called me. My cousin was like, Hey, I’m really worried about Michael because he’s on these meds. And now he’s going through this crazy depression and he’s drinking while he’s on these meds. And like, I feel like something is bad is about to happen. So she was like, he’s in the army. Like, what can we do?
[00:34:28] She was like, nobody has called him from the army. And my cousin was like, I thought he was in her like a recovery center for the army. And my mom was like, no, he’s been home for almost a year. So yeah. My cousin told me about this place. I legit once again, out of my mind, I draw, I get it. I jump in my car the next day I drive all the way to Kentucky.
[00:34:55] To this place it’s called the warrior transition unit. So when you’re injured in the military, this is a place [00:35:00] that you go to receive care. I drove from Dallas to Kentucky. I walked into that place and I was like, Hey, so how do I get taken care of? And they looked at me like, who are you? And how did you lose your arm?
[00:35:14] And I told them, I was like, yeah, I legit live right, right down the street and Nashville. And I lost it like almost a year and a half ago. And when I told him that, Oh my goodness, like it was like world war II. I wouldn’t talk to the base commander. They was all these people was coming in, talking to me, interviewing me and was like, we don’t even know who you are.
[00:35:37] We had no idea that this even happened. So like, of course people were getting fired from where I worked at. Like, cause nobody, nobody checked on me. So did
[00:35:46] Kim: [00:35:46] you slip through the cracks? Like what happened.
[00:35:50] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:35:50] Probably, I don’t know. Um, I don’t even, I don’t even know how that happened, honestly. I don’t know. I know that I don’t, I don’t want to say they forgot, but, but that’s
[00:36:00] [00:35:59] Kim: [00:35:59] your call ’em up and say, Hey, I had an accident.
[00:36:02] Like, you know, I’m going through
[00:36:04] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:36:04] it. They, so they knew because they came and saw me in the hospital when I initially got hurt. So they knew it’s not like didn’t nobody know, like my whole command, my command team came and saw me. Which is crazy. Like, and G my roommate, he, we worked in the same office and I would talk to him all the time and I’d be like, bro, is anybody say anything?
[00:36:25] He was like, nah, man. And nobody said nothing. I was like, they ain’t saying nothing. I guess they got it under control. But what happened is they didn’t report it up. They didn’t tell anybody. So, yeah.
[00:36:40] Kim: [00:36:40] But what happened at this center that you went to. What is that? Or what is
[00:36:46] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:36:46] it? Yeah, it’s like a, it’s basically like a medical treatment center for soldiers, like for all four different variations of injuries, illnesses, things like that.
[00:36:57] Um, so they ended up, they [00:37:00] asked me, where did I want to go? And by this time, they’re just like, you can go anywhere. You want me? And like, we’ll, we’ll send you like. We owe you so much. We, you can go wherever you want. So the only one in Texas was in San Antonio. Plus my cousin lived in San Antonio, so I was like, all right, just send me to San Antonio.
[00:37:16] So when I got to San Antonio, um, that’s when I went through all my treatments and started getting better and getting healthy. And that’s where I learned. That’s where I kind of like discovered this whole new person that I wanted to be. You know what I mean? And that’s when I did the rock and roll half, then the rock and roll full.
[00:37:38] And then that’s when I started discovering all these things that I do now.
[00:37:44] Kim: [00:37:44] So when did you like go back to work? So active duty, how much further down the line
[00:37:51] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:37:51] was that? So
[00:38:00] [00:37:56] 2015. 2015. So between 2013 and 2002, it took me on, well, it took me almost two and a half to three years to fight, to stay on active duty service. So to see an arm amputee on active duty service is like unheard of. Um, I only know one other person that’s done it, but they did it after me. So the entire time I was fighting to stay in and this, that, and the other, and.
[00:38:29] Yeah. I mean, if it wasn’t for good old, uh, president Barack Obama, when I met him, it wasn’t for him. I definitely wouldn’t. I mean, I had the idea of what I was supposed to do, but like he pushed the envelope for him, you know, he wrote me a letter and stuff and to stay in and yeah, that letter to the army, they was just like, yeah, well,
[00:38:51] Kim: [00:38:51] Perfect.
[00:38:52] Well, I’m gonna say this. Okay. So yes.
[00:38:56] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:38:56] He sees something in your boys, so I guess y’all need to too. So [00:39:00] yeah.
[00:39:01] Kim: [00:39:01] So how did you segue into, cause you didn’t return, did you return to like recruiting?
[00:39:07] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:39:07] Yeah, so, um, yeah, I just retired well, so first they denied it and then, um, I had several people that I had met and.
[00:39:19] You know, that was on my side and they helped me get a formal board. And I went into the board and proved Rocca, stay in and then the other. And they said I could. So like legit, I stayed in and they sent me to like, not armpit of America. They sent me to Arkansas. So I went to Arkansas. Yeah. I just went to Arkansas.
[00:39:40] I hate that place. Oh my goodness. I’ve never heard in my life. Somebody say we’re going to go on vacation. Yeah, let’s go to little rock Arkansas.
[00:39:55] Kim: [00:39:55] I heard about little rock. Is that marathon with that big old metal?
[00:39:59] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:39:59] Yeah, [00:40:00] that’s it. And then the, yeah, and then, you know, the Clinton library, cause that’s where Clinton is from. But other than that, yeah, I got some really good friends do Ironman. That’s from, that’s some veteran BTA that’s from Arkansas. I gave them, I gave him crap all the time, but yes, I went to recruiting in Arkansas and did that a while in Arkansas is when I.
[00:40:27] Somehow I got into skeleton bobsledding, um, they called me and I was like, Hey, would you like to come to a camp and do this and do that? And I was like, yeah, I’ll go. Why not? And then I find out it’s skeleton bobsledding, which I’m from Texas. I didn’t even know what that was. Little did I know you’re laying on your stomach head first, going down an ice track going seven months, 70 plus miles an hour.
[00:40:52] But I did that and got good at it. And. Made the national team and then was like ranked third in the [00:41:00] world and, um, was doing that full time and, and doing recruiting. So I became like a little local celebrity and them in Arkansas was didn’t mean much because it was in Arkansas, but, uh, Yeah. Um, I guess a lot
[00:41:16] Kim: [00:41:16] of people, are they going to come for you?
[00:41:20] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:41:20] Listen, they could do it. Cause they don’t want to be in Arkansas either. They just stay, they just start there. Cause a family they can leave. They would, ain’t nothing in Arkansas, but yeah. So preparing for the Olympics and then all of a sudden, like that year of the Olympics, I mean, there’s like a lot of people dying and stuff.
[00:41:38] Were you supposed to go to, uh, uh, I think it was PO Chang or. Yeah, something like that, Korea, something like that. But, um, there was like a couple of people had died and then they was just like, yeah, there’s no way. There’s no way we can let you go down this track anymore because I was the only, so I was the first and only person to ever do it, [00:42:00] that sport with one arm.
[00:42:02] So imagine, imagine being in a rollercoaster with, with no seatbelt and you’re just in a seat. Going to take an
[00:42:11] Kim: [00:42:11] audience. It looks crazy.
[00:42:13] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:42:13] Yeah.
[00:42:16] Kim: [00:42:16] Go down the first time. Like what goes through your mind? Like,
[00:42:22] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:42:22] a lot of stuff that I did. I was like, you know what? I’m already lost the arm. What’s the worst that can happen when people started flying off the track and dying.
[00:42:30] And then I was just like, Oh yeah, I need to think about this. But when they told me, like, I could no longer do it, I wasn’t even mad. I was like, that’s cool. Because in the midst of training for the Paralympics, for the actual, not the parents before they miss them and this attorney for the Olympics for that sport, um, that’s when I did my first half iron man, like a friend of mine invited me to go to Augusta.
[00:42:57] Um, and it was like, Hey, do you want to do a triathlon? And I was like, [00:43:00] yeah, that’s cool. Because I had been swimming and running and biking and artists left. So I was like, you know, I mean, a triathlon how’re could that be? I had no idea what an Ironman was, had no idea what a 70.3 was. So when I get there, uh, they’re telling me they like, they’re like, Hey, you’re going to need a Western.
[00:43:19] But I need a wetsuit for it, bro. And we’re just going to swim in a pool. He’s like, yeah. He was like, nah, I’m sitting in a river. I was like, hold on. I never, even I’ve never swim in open water. I was like, what are you talking about? He was like, yeah, this is a half iron man. So I get on my phone and I was just like, Oh what?
[00:43:40] Wait a while. Hold on, man. Google was like, yeah, you don’t got yourself in some mess. That’s what Google said. Great.
[00:43:48] Kim: [00:43:48] Isn’t Augusta. The one that takes you practically found the river.
[00:43:53] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:43:53] Yeah. So let me tell you about that. Yeah. That’s yeah. That’s yeah. That’s what it’s supposed to do. When you have two arms propelling you [00:44:00] down the river, you see what I’m saying?
[00:44:02] Like they, they, they try to give me the whole bag of potato chips. Like you could put a bag, like put it in the river and they go, yeah, man. Yeah. They feel to mention like when you weigh like 200 pounds, That slows the process down that slows gravity down. Like you’re not moving as fast as you think. Yeah.
[00:44:22] So, and I never put on a Wester before, so I’m hyperventilate and I’m scared. I’m the guy that was swimming with me was like, man, turn over on your back. I was like, listen. I was like, I ain’t trying to no, go no back in no open water. And he stopped me. He was like, all right, let’s just stop. He was like, listen.
[00:44:46] They’ve never found anybody at the bottom of a river or Lake or ocean with a wet suit on, I looked at him like what?
[00:44:57] Kim: [00:44:57] It’s true because you float in a wetsuit. [00:45:00] He didn’t
[00:45:00] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:45:00] know that though. I didn’t. And I’m looking at him like I legit white dude, and it was white people didn’t invite him. And he said, it’s not a problem, but I’m looking at him like, Bro you trying to sabotage my life because what you said doesn’t even make sense.
[00:45:18] Like that sounds stupid, but we finally, and I wasn’t supposed to do the whole thing. I was just supposed to do a relay. I was only supposed to do the swim and the bike. So I legit wore vans to the, uh, to the, um, transition area. The guy that was going to do my run was a double leg amputee. So he was just going to do the run.
[00:45:47] I get the transition. This dude is nowhere to be found nowhere to be found some might. So the God has slammed the guy that, uh, slammed with me. He was doing the whole thing. He was like, [00:46:00] Okay, well, I’ll get word to him, to the team and they’ll find him and get him. Maybe he’s on the course somewhere, or maybe he had to go to the bathroom, but we’ll, they’ll let him cut through and just meet me.
[00:46:10] So I was like, all right. So I put on my vans with no socks and I’m running. And as soon as you come out of transition, I think like maybe a quarter, a mile into the run, but there’s a, there’s an aid station. There’s a bang. And it’s do goes, are you. Are you about to do this in vans? I was like, I’m not supposed to be doing the run.
[00:46:30] And he, he took off his running shoes and gave them to, and I took off like I’m running, I’m trying or whatever, like doing my thing or no, no, no, no. That was after the bike. So I did the bike and then yeah, Gwen put on my vans and did all this and yeah, like I get to the first aid station. The guy gives me a shoes I’m running like, and I had never felt this type of pain.
[00:46:53] Cause I’ve never done all three together. Hmm. Like, and not knowing that I’m gonna have to run [00:47:00] I’m on the bike. Just getting it. Like I’m trying to, like, I’m trying to make up for the swim time. The dude that’s with me, he was like, Oh man, like, you’re really like, he was like, you’re really moving. I’m passing people.
[00:47:10] I’m gassed up, like feeling myself and had a little did I know I was about to die on this run. Like it was crazy, but got on the run and got somebody else shoes. This dude meets me at like mile eight. And I looked at him like, nah, brother, you can gone wherever you get came from. And you can just go bang.
[00:47:31] Now you
[00:47:32] Kim: [00:47:32] get in the metal at the finish
[00:47:33] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:47:33] line shoe. I was like, there is no, I was like, there is no way I’m giving up this chip. So I just
[00:47:40] Kim: [00:47:40] it
[00:47:42] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:47:42] something about the excuse was his hands were overheating. So they had to go find him some gloves, put ice in his gloves, which made no sense that had nothing to do with the writing.
[00:47:53] I was. Baffled. So I was like, all right. So I just kept running. I kept doing my [00:48:00] thing and I finished. And that, that was the birth of my love for triathlon, like that day. Cause it was so hard. I just remember when I crossed the finish line, like I was crying, like I legit was crying. I had never done anything like that.
[00:48:15] Never wanted to, I never had a desire to do anything like that. I felt like when people were telling me. At the, uh, like at the little symposium or the little thing that they have before the racist, like people were telling me the distances and I was like, man, who, why would, why do people do this? This is Don.
[00:48:35] Kim: [00:48:35] So that was your foray into triathlon, a 70.3. Most people start with sprints. So you just went like right into the big dog?
[00:48:46] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:48:46] Yeah, I will. Yeah. I went right into it. Um, I found me a another half. I did. What did I do? What was the other half? I did. I did.
[00:48:57] It was another, it was, I have, but it wasn’t an Ironman. It was an [00:49:00] Ironman represented was by rev three, but it was a half distance. So I did that. And then, um, I ended up doing the DC fool, Texas, or the Maryland, Texas and Chattanooga. And then I went back and did, uh, another Augusta. Um, and then that’s when I switched over to sprint and to this day, I think have, or fools are easier than sprint triathlons.
[00:49:31] Kim: [00:49:31] Bernstein. I was with spoken about sod from Varella offline, but he was, we were talking about that. The same thing, like sprints, your adrenaline is like going the whole time for that short amount of time. But when you’re in like a long whole race, you have, you can chill. You’re not chilling on a bike, but you have that time, you know, mellow.
[00:49:55] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:49:55] Yeah. You get like a transition bag. You can eat. Put on socks. You can [00:50:00] take your time. You can, you can make a mistake, but make up for it. You can legit do like a walk, run scenario. If you need to. You’re not in any big rush you have this time cap sprint. It’s not like that. Like my heart rate I’m in zone five.
[00:50:17] The entire time I look at my heart rate and every time, like I’m always, I look at training pieces with an, or a Strava and. My heart rate is just like through the roof. It stays like at, at least one 90 the entire time, like just there. So, yeah.
[00:50:35] Kim: [00:50:35] So you’re still active duty in the army right now, right? So what is your job today in the army?
[00:50:43] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:50:43] So there’s a program in the army that not hardly anybody knows it’s called a world-class athlete program. And basically, um, when you have the potential to. Um, term pro or go to the Olympics. The main objective is to go to the Olympics, but when you [00:51:00] have the potential to make the Olympics and you’ve made a development or a national team, the army basically comes to you and is like, Hey, we’re going to support you.
[00:51:09] And we’re going to, we want you to be an athlete. All we want you to worry about is being an athlete, representing the army as a soldier and an athlete. And you know, we’re going to provide you the tools to get to the Olympics and. I mean, that’s what I’m doing. I mean, soldier athlete
[00:51:27] Kim: [00:51:27] and they pay you to be a soldier athlete.
[00:51:30] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:51:30] Yeah, and I get probably pretty good. I mean, I’ve been in the army for a good little bit, so 23 years, you know what I mean? So
[00:51:38] Kim: [00:51:38] what the, what the benefits look like,
[00:51:44] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:51:44] and I mean, I get, I get housing allowance so that doesn’t come out of my pocket. They pay for that. Um, they paid for my equipment. I mean, I just, I got two brand new bikes this year that are. Both of them are $20,000 plus [00:52:00] with all the stuff, the wheels and all that stuff. And they pay for some of my races, not all of them, but they pay for most of my races, um, because I’m injured.
[00:52:11] Um, a lot of the opportunity to take advantage of veteran, uh, non-profit organizations. So they give me money. Um, and then, you know, local races when they offer a bag. You know, for podium like money, I can keep that. So I’m in a very, very, uh, unique in
[00:52:34] Kim: [00:52:34] a good, a good deal here.
[00:52:37] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:52:37] Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a great, it’s a great position to be in.
[00:52:42] Kim: [00:52:42] So did they invite you into the world-class athlete program or did you inquire about
[00:52:47] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:52:47] it? Um, so actually I had a friend who is missing a leg and I. Did my first para race was national. Like I happened to [00:53:00] qualify for it because I’ve been doing Ironman and it was my first short course. And I didn’t see them the whole time, but when I crossed the finish line, he wasn’t like, bro, like you legit just to fourth place and you’ve never done this race.
[00:53:15] He was like this. He was like, have you been trying it? Yeah. He was like, have you been training for me? So I was like, nah, man, I’ve been doing iron mans. And I was like, I don’t even really. Training for that. I was like, I’m still running our recruiting station in the armpit. So, um, yeah. So, yeah, so, um, I went back to Arkansas and they transferred me to, um, Fort Knox, Kentucky, which is another armpit.
[00:53:46] So I’m in Fort Knox in the middle of nowhere, all these crazy places, but so I’m there. And they sent me to San Antonio to go talk. Like, I, they love me like a dog recruiting command loves [00:54:00] me, but I asked him, I was like, Hey, I want to inquire about this place. Can I fly to San Antonio? They was like, yeah, we’ll fly you there.
[00:54:07] So I was like, okay. So they flew me there and got me a rental, got me a hotel. I met my friend. They took me in, I talked to the boss and I was like, yeah, I was like, I ain’t going to lie to you. I don’t know if I’m going to make any kind of scene, but if you provide me the opportunity, I promise you like. I won’t let you down.
[00:54:23] Like, you’ll get a hundred percent of me and if I don’t make it, it’s just going to be, because I’m older, I’m aging and there’s somebody out there that’s younger and faster than me, that, that, uh, beaten. I was like, but along the way, I was like, I promise you, like I will make headlines and I’ll make the army proud.
[00:54:40] And, um, you know, uh, I’ll, I’ll be that representative that, you know, the army needs I’ll be that good news story. I’ll be the face. So he was just like, yeah. I’ll give you a year to make some team. And my first, like it gave me an opportunity and my first year was like, [00:55:00] it was, it wasn’t anything I expected.
[00:55:02] Like you it’s like you immediately turn pro it’s like going from novice to pro immediately. Cause your whole life changes. You get all this money and now your job is to train and race. I wasn’t used to that and I was, I kept getting injured. Um, I couldn’t race. I think my first year only raised twice because I was injured the rest of the time.
[00:55:25] Um, and it was just, it wasn’t, it just wasn’t good. And I had to hit my 20 year Mark and in 20, in the military, 20 years, you can retire. And I was like, man, I’m going to take my little a hundred percent my 20 year retirement, excuse me. And I’m going to run and. Yeah, excuse me. I was expecting them to let me go.
[00:55:50] So I go in and I’m talking to him and I was like, yeah. So, you know, you didn’t hit any of your benchmarks [00:56:00] and you know, this is just not what we expected. No. What do you want to do? I was like, well, I’m at 20 years and I was like, you know, I’m 38. Yeah. I think I’m on gone. And. Call it quiz. And he was like, well, when you, when you, you know, when you retire, what you going to do?
[00:56:22] I was like, I’m going to cook. I’m going to still pursue this. I was like, this is like, I’m hooked on this sports. I’m still going to do the sport. And because I’m pear, I still have opportunity. He was like, Oh, well, we’ll keep you. I was like, all right. So the next year I raised may nationals. We had a couple of world races.
[00:56:42] So now I’m, I’m starting to hit my benchmarks. I’m starting to become a little known. People are starting to recognize who I am. And, uh, now as one, because I’m doing these bigger races now I’m starting to now I’m, I’m looking around. I’m just like, [00:57:00] and I’m like, am I the only black dude? I was like, nah. So I asked the director, I went to her, I was like, Hey, so, uh, is there any other black people that do this race?
[00:57:12] And she was like, Mike, you’re the only one she’s like, I’m surprised. You’re just not asking me. She was like, you’re, you’re the only one in the country. She was like, you may be the only one in the world. And I was like, really? She was like, yeah. So me, I don’t. Particularly pay attention to that. But once he brought it to my, when I started noticing, I started noticing, and then I started noticing how people were treating me.
[00:57:36] And then I was just like, okay. I was like, all right. And only one time where it was really noticeable where the race director came up to me and was like, Hey, so what station do you want to be at? Um, I was like station. He was like, yeah, he’s like, aren’t you volunteering? I was like, no I’m racing. He was like, no, for real.
[00:57:55] I was like, Are you asking me? Because I have [00:58:00] one arm. He was like, well, no. I was like, Oh, so you for asking, because wait, this is
[00:58:08] Kim: [00:58:08] blood triathlon.
[00:58:09] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:58:09] Yes, there’s this. So are the Paralympic racists are separate from. The pros, but we raised it, the FSA venue on the same day, we just raced that a different time.
[00:58:22] But see, there’s no pro there’s no pro black athletes are protracted because there’s one as a max maximum. Yeah. There’s one, but he doesn’t even do it anymore. Nope. Which is, that’s a whole nother conversation. I’m so, I’m so disappointed with that. Like, I don’t know. We’re friends, we’re friends on Facebook.
[00:58:47] We’ve had a conversation, not
[00:58:52] for you to be a pioneer turn pro in it. Stop by what was the [00:59:00] objective like? That was that debt that blows my mind. But anyway, so even when all the races together, I’m still the only one. So. How
[00:59:10] Kim: [00:59:10] could you not notice though? Even when, when I go to races, even running races, like I say, Hey, to every black person, I know.
[00:59:18] Cause they ain’t that many of us there and triathlon is even worse. I’ve been to a race where I could count on my hand, how many of us it was there.
[00:59:28] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [00:59:28] So I think it was because, um, because I, at that time I was so new to the sport. That my nerves were so bad. Like I would legit fly in, get my stuff together and I’ll go do my, whatever my coach wanted me to do.
[00:59:45] And I was just in a different world. I was just in my own space. So I didn’t, I just, it just, I just didn’t notice. I mean, and I’m not growing like that either. You know what I mean? Like I wasn’t raised like that. I wasn’t, I’m not like that. I’m not that guy. [01:00:00] Uh, So I did it just didn’t Dawn on me until I started to be treated like I was the only black person in this sport.
[01:00:08] So, um, but in the, in the, in lieu of all of that, like I’m doing my thing, I’m hitting my benchmarks. And, um, it became a, it became a good situation. Um, 2020 was my, I mean, best year for training, but now more than ever is the issue like, um, Even with the sport, all these sports is trying to be inclusive and diverse, you know, include diversity.
[01:00:39] I feel like, I feel like it’s more of a problem now for me personally than it ever has been. Um, I was on a podcast with, uh, a organization, um, that, um, belonged to, and. I [01:01:00] don’t want to S I don’t want to say a name, so I don’t want them to be out at crazy, but I was on the podcast and, um, a lady asked me, she was like, um, you know, how did w what is it like for you and triathlon?
[01:01:15] I was like, honestly, I was like, uh, I’m going to go another direction with this. And I told her, she was like, yeah, please go ahead. And I was like, Being black in triathlon is like being a black man in America. And she just kind of looked we’re on a zoom call. There’s like 60 of us on there. I’m the only black dude.
[01:01:38] And she was like, what do you mean? I was like, so think of it. I was like, everybody on this call is white. I’m the only black man on is not the only black person, but I’m the only black man. I was like, I fear getting pulled over. I fear being in public and something happens. Then everybody’s going to look at me.
[01:01:59] I was [01:02:00] like, not only that, but I I’m full of tattoos and I have goatee I’m from Texas. I’m from South Texas. I’m a Southern. And as they get, I was like, but until I opened my mouth or you talk to me, you don’t know how educated I am. I was like, but along with that, I get treated like I’m the only black person in this sport.
[01:02:20] Seems like, well, what about now? Like you’re on this call. So like I am I’m, I’m an on USA T ambassador shift team. Right. And I’m the team captain. So I’m the team captain of that ambassadorship team. I’m also man of the year for USA team. So my question was, and I’m very appreciative, all that. And I’ve worked my butt off to get to where I’m at now at this elite status.
[01:02:46] Like I raised all your races now and I have all this sponsorships and people doing all this. But my question is is if we wasn’t going through what we’re going through right now had joyful, had that not happen. Had America [01:03:00] not witnessed him being murdered. Would I be in this position right now? What I even, would I be on the ambassadorship team?
[01:03:08] Would I be the captain? What I had gotten man of the year. You see what I’m saying? Like,
[01:03:14] Kim: [01:03:14] and these companies are like trying to fit into today, but there’s still so ignorance of what’s really going on. You know, and, and it’s, I mean, I can understand some people where they live in middle America and they don’t see any black people, but if you’re from like a mid to big city, how can you not know?
[01:03:41] Like you’re, you’re walking around with blinders on. There’s no way that these people do not know what’s going on. They just choose. Not to look at it or be involved in the situation, which is sad, but it’s good that you’re, you’re getting these opportunities because now your voice is being heard in these [01:04:00] spaces and that’s, what’s lacking.
[01:04:03] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:04:03] So, so, okay. So I’m glad you said that. So with that being said with these opportunities that I have, it’s almost like a double edged sword, right? Like, am I, am I playing the token? You see what I’m saying? Like, I, you have to, I feel like I have to be careful with that because I’m not, I’m not trying to be anybody’s token at all.
[01:04:27] Like that’s not the role I’m playing because at the end of the day, like, I’ve accomplished way more than most to army and had in my life. And this short time span that I’ve been on arm amputee, but I’m not trying to be a token at the same time, but I do want to take advantage of these opportunities because like you said, I want my voice to be heard.
[01:04:48] But when I had this platform and expressing my views, our views on behalf of us and not only triathlon, but in running. I have [01:05:00] to be careful on how I articulate to them, our point of view and where we’re coming from, because it’s so easy to get labeled as that angry black man. Right. It’s so that’s so easy and it’s so easy for them to be like, Oh, well, he’s still complaining.
[01:05:21] And we were trying to give him everything and he’s still complaining. So you gotta, you gotta.
[01:05:31] Kim: [01:05:31] Because we, the reason why we’re in the rooms now is not a good reason, but it is good that we are there because I mean, I just saw an ad, which is ridiculous for Gucci, right. It was a Jamaican. It was supposed to be the flag of the Jamaican colors. Did you see that?
[01:05:53] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:05:53] Yup.
[01:05:56] Kim: [01:05:56] It was the Guyana flag colors. I’m like who is in the [01:06:00] room in these companies.
[01:06:01] And that’s the problem. We are not in the room to say that this is not correct. So yeah, I understand what you’re saying by you not wanting to be that token, but. It’s I like that you are. And you know, you can put a positive spin on this and bring your perspective because you’re not the poster boy for black people and men in America, you know, you’re speaking for
[01:06:24] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:06:24] you.
[01:06:25] Right. And I, and I don’t want to be, because there’s so many different viewpoints, we have so many different, uh, experiences. You know what I mean? So I don’t want to be the voice of it, everybody, but I would like to be the starting point. You know what I mean? Like I would like to say my piece and be like, and be able to pass it off and be like, so this is my experience, but let’s go talk to so’s from Barlow and see what his experience is because I guarantee you, my experience is so completely different.
[01:06:58] Me and him have had a couple of conversations, [01:07:00] our experiences, the way we grew up. Not even the same, um, and how we grew up, you know what I mean? So in our experiences, I’m from the South, so it’s different. Um, yeah, so I mean, yeah, I do try to use, utilize the platform, but I also think sometimes they give us positions and they give us these opportunities to shut us up.
[01:07:25] Right. So like they just had the endurance exchange and I just knew I was going to be a part of that endurance exchange. And I wasn’t got it. So I’m the team captain and I’m the man of the year, but I don’t get invited to the endurance, like sayings at issue with that. So I shot an email to the people who are like, Hey, so very articulate.
[01:07:49] I shot. I told him, let it rest. Um, and then I just started really noticing stuff. Like I belong to. Um, a triathlon program that [01:08:00] specialized in, you know, it was, uh, a veteran non-profit, that was a triathlon program. It was a, like a starter program. And I just remember, excuse me. I was like, I did everything I could to promote them and making posts.
[01:08:18] And my social media presence is too. So I was like putting them my mind, doing everything. And then I noticed I was like,
[01:08:27] I was calling people that I knew. Yeah. I was calling people. I was like, Hey, so did you just get this grant? And they was like, yeah, they gave me $5,000. So I’m calling people and they’re getting stuff. So I, I do my little grant. I get email, email back immediate, like yo. So we don’t have the funding and we haven’t had the funding for this for like quite some time.
[01:08:48] So I immediately, like, I threw a fit and I’m not gonna lie. Like I. I didn’t use choice words, but I immediately told him, I was like, listen, I’m not, I don’t appreciate this. And I was like, I [01:09:00] know for a fact of X, Y, and Z, I was like, so at this particular time, I’m going to remove myself from your program. I was like, please don’t reach out for me for nothing else.
[01:09:09] I don’t need you guys. Like, I’m fine where I’m at. You haven’t done anything anyway, so that’s fine. And they immediately went to social media. And like try to, they didn’t show me, but they tried to do this whole black lives matter campaign. I was like, man, you got out of control. I hate that. I really
[01:09:32] Kim: [01:09:32] hate that.
[01:09:32] And you know what? You know, who’s in it for the right and wrong reasons, because there was a season like we’re ebbing and flowing and you know, we’re in the downturn of it now. And you can see how companies have switched. You know, they jumped on the bandwagon and they’re like off of it. They’re like we put our posts, we put our black squares up, we did this and you know, we’re done with this.
[01:09:59] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:09:59] to [01:10:00] align yourself with now, If you pay attention to commercials just when you’re watching TV, if it’s not an interracial couple it’s, uh, it’s, it’s something about black culture, but it’s, uh, a white company doing it. And you can tell that there was not, not one person of color in that room when they made that commercial.
[01:10:22] For example, I saw the Louie Baton commercial the other day for the first time. And I’m looking at this commercial, like. Who did this,
[01:10:32] Kim: [01:10:32] like, it’s a,
[01:10:36] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:10:36] it’s a Louis Vuitton commercial. And like they’re doing like some kind of, it’s supposed to be like some kind of, it’s supposed to be an, an African culture type dance to, to some crazy music.
[01:10:48] And then they have to, they went and found the two darkest black people they can find. I was just like, is this real right now?
[01:10:58] Kim: [01:10:58] These companies are going to [01:11:00] misappropriate our culture until the end of time. And we, we, if we keep supporting them, they’re going to keep doing it. And that’s the problem. That’s the problem.
[01:11:10] Right? Look we go enough on a, a we going down a long
[01:11:13] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:11:13] road. Yes. So I will say this, I will say this what’s going on right now. Is it just because it’s popular even within our sport, right? So w w. Within the sports that we do, um, it’s, it’s popular to be inclusive and to diversify it’s popular. That’s what’s going on.
[01:11:36] So like, um, if you notice, like these companies are posting what they’re going to post, but there’s no, there’s no action behind it. And the people that they are choosing, they’re choosing people that they feel like, okay, like if we choose them, we choose this group. They’re they’re subtle enough, just enough to not make a lot of noise, [01:12:00] but they, they can represent us.
[01:12:02] You see what I’m saying? So when that happened to me, that’s, that’s one of the reasons why I created my nonprofit, my own foundation, because I want it to be a part of change, but I wanted to do it my way. Like, I don’t want anybody to tell me how to run my organization. I’m going to do it the way I want to.
[01:12:19] And we’re going to create change the way I see fit amongst like our culture. You know what I mean? And using sports brings everybody together. You know what I mean? No matter what race, creative background, whatever everybody comes together, when it comes to a sporting event. So I’m using the sport of triathlon and endurance running to bridge that gap.
[01:12:46] And I mean, so far it’s, it’s been, it’s been remarkable. I mean, I’m getting the opportunity to do it and I’m doing it the way I want to. So,
[01:12:56] Kim: [01:12:56] and your foundation, that’s called swim bike run for [01:13:00] equality. I was going to ask you about that, but you already started talking about
[01:13:03] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:13:03] it. So no, I knew I had to react.
[01:13:05] They’re like get off. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I was going to ask
[01:13:08] Kim: [01:13:08] you about that next, but yeah. So what’s your, what’s your like, goal of this foundation? What’s the mission?
[01:13:16] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:13:16] So my goal is to. It is too. I want to, so people would like what true inclusive, like to be inclusive mean and what diversity really looks like.
[01:13:30] So when you hear inclusiveness and diversity, people automatically take it to the race off top. When you hear those two words, all these organizations, that’s what they’re doing. It’s, they’re trying to involve people of color, right? Well, Absolutely. I want to do that because I do want to bridge that gap.
[01:13:50] But to me and to my board, that’s not all that it means it means race, religion, [01:14:00] whoever, or whatever you identify yourself. Like it doesn’t matter. Everybody has to get the opportunity. To be who they are. Right. Is this about being a good human? So that’s what we’re about. And the reason why I did that instead of becoming the pro black organization, I originally wanted to is because one of my good friends who is one of those girls, he’s from, uh, Wisconsin, R C from like Wisconsin or something like that.
[01:14:31] And she’s white. Not a black person in sight, but me and her were really close. We were super close and she’s a pair of athlete. And she went at Georgia, Florida incident happened, she called me hysterically crying and she wanted to do something and she wanted to say something, but she didn’t want to offend anybody.
[01:14:49] And she wanted to know what she could do. And so he made a comment on Facebook and people just drug her for like, cause you know, the whole white privilege [01:15:00] thing was super, super huge. And they was, they was just dragging her. And I went to her defense and I was like, y’all can’t why are y’all dragging this young lady?
[01:15:09] Just because she doesn’t know if you don’t live your, if you don’t live, if you live in that life and you are not experiencing anything else, then how you supposed to know? That’s like asking you, how does it feel to be rich? Well, I don’t know, because I don’t make over it. A hundred and some thousand dollars a year.
[01:15:26] So I don’t know, I have bills for real, for real. So how are you supposed to know? So that bothered me. So me and her got together and we wanted to create a platform where people can educate and be educated, but do it on a, on a respectful manner. But you know what I mean? Like I’m, I’m all about just treating people with respect and dignity.
[01:15:48] You know what I mean? Like just be a good human. Um, don’t crucify me because I don’t know. I’m sorry. I didn’t grow up like that. So educating show me, you know what I mean? So, [01:16:00] um, and that’s what, that’s what we did. And before like legit, I added another person, lolly she’s a phenomenal person, sees a teacher in San Antonio.
[01:16:09] So before I knew it, like we had over a thousand members within like a month. So then, and it was prominent people on there. Like there’s. CEOs and people that I never even knew was on there, but they’re reaching out to me and they’re just like, Hey, so yeah, you really should think about making this about profit.
[01:16:31] I was like, yeah. I was like, I’m a full-time athlete. I do not have time. I just don’t have that kind of time. I mean, training every bit of like six to eight hours a day with one day recovery, my window recovery is not going to be trying to be messing with this. And I was like, I just don’t have that time.
[01:16:50] So I talked it over with the two girls and they was like, yeah, we’ll form a board. We’ll add another person who will take care of her. They was like, Mike, you just be the face and you can speak when, you know, [01:17:00] and you can be the prejudice on the other. You’re the founder, but we’ll take care of everything else.
[01:17:03] And it just clockwork. It just the three young ladies that I have I have on my board. They just, I mean, within two months we were a nonprofit. All the paperwork taken care of. And I, I would ask him, I was asking questions. It would take people years to become a nonprofit. And we did it within two months. Um, and this has been a great experience and we are providing like, you know, A platform for people to reach out and this, that, and the other.
[01:17:32] And, um, we’re creating like a kid right now for our own foundation with zoop, um, which is, you know, a team I belong to. We aired, uh, we added, uh, a brother on the team by Derek Britton. Do you know Derek?
[01:17:48] Kim: [01:17:48] No. Born in Derrick.
[01:17:51] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:17:51] Yeah, that’s a good dude, man. Um, and I met Derek because I teamed up with base out of Colorado.
[01:18:00] [01:17:59] And he had an issue with that and he let me have it, like he messaged me. Yeah. He messaged me and he let me have it. I mean, one Oh one side and down the other. And then he said, after he let me have it, he told me to call him. So I called him. I was like, listen, man. He was like, no, you listen. He was like, I’ve been in this sport way longer than you have.
[01:18:21] And you have no idea. What storm you’re about to create. And he just, he schooled me like he schooled me and I listened. We talked for like a couple of hours and he schooled me. And from that point on every time I was getting ready to make a decision, I will call him, I’ll call him. And then I would put him on a zoom call for our team meetings.
[01:18:39] So finally, I was just like, I mean, why don’t you just be on this board, man? Like, why don’t you just be the vice-president like, I kinda need you right now. And he accepted it like right there on the spot. Like, so. And he’s a zoo ambassador as well. So now that I have him and I mean, it’s been cool. It’s been a great [01:19:00] situation, you know, we’re, we have big plans and, um, you know, my goal for 2022 is we’re going to create an ambassador team.
[01:19:07] And, um, so we’re going to have our own ambassador team like zoo and, um, we’re going to sponsor, uh, three, uh, three people of color. So one woman, one, man, and then one I’m gonna go find a pair athlete. So I won’t be the only one. So we’re going to fully sponsor down to do races and we’re going to get them bikes because I have a deal with a failed.
[01:19:27] So we’re going to get them bikes and get them gone and whatever diff, whatever discipline they want to do, whether it’s sprint Olympic for half, you know, we’re gonna, we’re going to do that. And then, you know, of course, you know, Derek is a runner just like. Uh, lolly, they’re both, you know, endurance runner, so we’re going to create a running program.
[01:19:49] And so we’re going to have a separate endurance running program, and then we’re going to sponsor three other athletes. I’ve met Ian, and we’re just gonna, you know, try to make the sport grow.
[01:19:58] Kim: [01:19:58] Well. It sounds like [01:20:00] you’re, you will be doing big things with your nonprofit in the future. I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s going to become.
[01:20:08] And on that note, talk to you
[01:20:10] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:20:10] all day. All day.
[01:20:15] Kim: [01:20:15] Well, we’re going to wrap up this interview because you know, folks got a short attention span. A they might have clicked out by now, but not after year after year harrowing story. Cause you have me on the edge of my seat. I loved every minute of it and it’s okay.
[01:20:28] It’s just amazing to see what you have become after that experience. I mean, not many people, the bounce back. That’s why I asked you the mental question, because mentally that can like, just kill people and, you know, you came out on the right side of it and. You’re doing good. And you’re setting a great example for others that are going to come up behind you.
[01:20:52] So I really commend you for that. And it was just great talking to you as first time we chatted, you know?
[01:21:00] [01:21:00] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:21:00] Yeah. I see. We’ve been friends on social media for a hot second,
[01:21:04] Kim: [01:21:04] not a black triathlete world is this big. So like we all know each other, but yeah. Long time, but yeah, it was great having you on the show.
[01:21:13] Um, when you know, you get those ambassador programs going, definitely send me the information and I’ll put it out there because you know, athletes are always looking, triathlons are expensive, you know, we make it look good and easy, but people you don’t know, like triathlons are expensive. All of the gear we have to buy the bike.
[01:21:36] I remember. That’s it. I never said a way triathlon because I didn’t want to pay to ship my bike with me. Like it’s, it’s expensive and people don’t realize that. So when they’re, when we get opportunities to get sponsorships, it’s, you know, we have to let our community know because they’re not going to let us
[01:21:57] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:21:57] know.
[01:21:59] Right. Yeah, [01:22:00] absolutely. Yeah. And that’s, I mean, that’s one of the things like throughout this whole time and developing relationships, That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to do an ambassadorship program because I’ve developed all these relationships and I developed a relationship with bike flights. I know me, I hate flying with my bike.
[01:22:15] Like I hate standing there that conveyor belt waiting for my bike to come down like, Oh my goodness. Like I have no idea what this bike is going to come out, looking like in. Yeah. I hate that feeling. So, you know, develop a relationship with, by flight. So I should like my bike every time now. So, and I met people that don’t even know about it.
[01:22:36] Like, people don’t know that
[01:22:38] Kim: [01:22:38] there’s another one as well. Right. That they pick up, you bring them your bike, they dismantle it and ship it and put it back together.
[01:22:45] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:22:45] Right. Yeah. So, so yeah. So Mike flies, what you do and you take your bike to like your local bike shop. They do everything for you and they ship, they, they ship it from your bike, from your shop to a local bike shop where the [01:23:00] race is going to be.
[01:23:00] And then by the time you get there, it’s already put together, you know what I’m saying? And you just. Bam do it again. And that’s what people like me
[01:23:09] Kim: [01:23:09] need, who can’t even change a flat tire.
[01:23:13] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:23:13] Listen,
[01:23:16] Kim: [01:23:16] how you tire camps. I’ve been, and I still can not change a flat tire.
[01:23:20] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:23:20] I, if I get a flat tire, I tell people all the time they be like, man, you don’t ride with like an extra inner tube.
[01:23:25] What I look like, come on, man.
[01:23:30] Kim: [01:23:30] I don’t have the whole kit, you know, in the back, but. Um, Sol, if I get a flat tire on the road somewhere,
[01:23:40] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:23:40] I had a dude try to show me how to change a tire with my feet and my hand. I was like, listen, brother, if I ever get a flat tire, if I ever get a flat tire, the last thing going to see me do is be on the side of the road barefoot and trying to attend to the tire.
[01:23:54] But I get a flat I’m done. I’m a call sag vehicle. We’re going to the house. So rap. Oh,
[01:24:00] [01:24:00] Kim: [01:24:00] God. That’s like my, my nightmare. That’s why I never bike alone. I bike with someone that can change my flat
[01:24:09] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:24:09] smart. Yup.
[01:24:11] Kim: [01:24:11] All right. Thank you again, Mike, for being on the runway podcast, I will leave all of your socials down below so my listeners can follow you and. That’s it. You have anything else you want to add
[01:24:27] Michael DreamChaser Smith: [01:24:27] preset, you have in me. And I appreciate what you do. You know, it’s platforms like this man that, you know, people run across or they hear about, and it encourages them to get out and, you know, do get outside their box.
[01:24:41] You know what I mean? So, yeah. I definitely appreciate you and what you do, and I appreciate you having me. Yeah, of course.
[01:24:47] Kim: [01:24:47] All right. So we will chat at another time. I would like to thank Michael for being on the runway podcast. Did his story, have you on the edge of your [01:25:00] seat? Like it did me. If you’re listening, I want you to watch this on YouTube when it drops the following Tuesday.
[01:25:08] So you can see my facial expressions. And so you can make those facial expressions right along with me because his story was just. Oh, my God. Unbelievable. And I’ve been following him for a long time. We’re both black triathletes. The black triathlete space is very small and I never knew his entire story.
[01:25:28] So this was the first time that I heard it as well. And all my God, he is just such an inspiration. It’s been amazing what he has been able to do in the sport of triathlon. And I just wish him a whole lot of luck. So. All of his details will be down below. So be sure to follow him on Instagram, look out for his nonprofit organization.
[01:25:51] They are going to be doing great things, uh, coming soon. And if you are a triathlete, definitely hit him up. He is [01:26:00] a wealth of knowledge and he is willing to share and mentor other athletes, which is great because not everyone is. That nice in the sporting world. So again, I want to thank you for tuning into the show.
[01:26:15] Please come back next week to see what extraordinary athlete I will be featuring next. And I will catch you on the next one later. Thank you so much for tuning into the show. Be sure to subscribe to the runway on your favorite podcast app and leave us a review of the show on Apple podcasts. It would really help me out if you are a runner that has a story to tell, and you will like to be on the show.
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