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Michael Callahan


ACE Profiles |  Michael Callahan

By the time I had reached my late 30s, I had ballooned up to 270 pounds. I smoked two to three packs of cigarettes everyday and I was always suffering from some sort of bug. I was a long-haul trucker and had been for a decade, an active alcoholic and miserable mentally, physically and spiritually. I was given the gift of willingness back in 1999 and that gift led to me escaping that life and lifestyle and ending my addictions.

In 2002, a miserable breakup and a staunch, unwavering commitment to getting in shape which began. Several of the trainers at the little gym I joined would show me proper form and how to use equipment out of the goodness of their hearts because I had little money at the time. I started a crash diet at the same time and to my utter amazement I began losing weight like crazy. I went from 256 to 188 pounds in 96 days using no drugs or stimulants. As the fat melted off and the muscles started to grow, so did my self-esteem and confidence. I would throw away old clothes as they became too big, vowing never to return to them.

In time I had reached my fitness goals in the gym but I wanted to take my fitness further. I began running, which I hated at first but once I discovered the zone, I grew to love it. I have always loved to swim and living steps away from the ocean, I started using it regularly but still, there was something missing, I wanted more. It was suggested to me to check out doing a triathlon. With zero knowledge but a lot of desire, I purchased and old bike and cycling shoes and entered The Long Beach Triathlon back in 2006. I was amazed at the turnout, the people and how exciting it was to be a part of. I managed to finish (and not last) and I drove away knowing in my heart that I had found my new passion.

I noticed many of the men and women at the following events I attended with these "M" looking tattoos. Finally I asked what it meant and I was told "Ironman". That was the day I made the decision that I would be getting my own tattoo because I was going to be an Ironman! My training now had clear purpose. Within the next 18 months, I did another sprint and an Olympic distance triathlon and again, I didn't finish last. In fact I was far from last. In the next 18 months I did my first half-Iron distance triathlon and signed up for the big one, Ironman Wisconsin.

I have published articles about my experience completing my first Ironman yet still, I find it hard to find the words that describe such an experience. All of my training and all of my practice came down to that one day and I experienced a dream come true in Wisconsin on that perfect September day. Since then, I have completed Ironman Arizona, breaking the twelve-hour mark at age 51, which I never before thought would be possible and yes, I now have my Ironman tattoo!

My passion is inspiring people to embrace lives of health and vitality, no matter what their current level of fitness is. I try to teach them that if we can go there in the mind, the body will follow. 


  • Lauren Evans

    RENO, NV

    I wake up every day with the drive and passion to help my clients reach their goals, whether it is completing their first triathlon or running a Boston Marathon Qualifier time.After spending...

    See More »
  • Teresa Ma

    KATY, TX

    To say that fitness is a way of life for me wouldn’t do it justice. To give credit where it’s due, fitness saved my life.I started running at the age 12 and was forever on whatev...

    See More »
  • Karen Woodmansee

    Lebanon, CT

    When I first thought about telling my story, I wasn’t sure I would have anything remarkable to say. I spent a great deal of time reflecting upon what I’ve done that could be called &ldq...

    See More »

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