Miller’s Fall Doesn’t Break Spirit

mr.millerrunning_triathlon_photo

Photo Courtesy of Curt Miller

Mr. Miller was determined to finish his Iron-Man Distance Triathlon on Nov 7.

Unfortunately, 80 miles into the cycling portion, he had an accident, puncturing one lung, breaking his clavicle and snapping two ribs.

He was released from New Hanover County Hospital on Nov, 11 and is resting at home in North Raleigh.

It’s hard to imagine our high school staff having lives outside of school, especially when they participate in something as time-consuming and character-defining as a triathlon.

Mr. Curt Miller is one of those teachers. On Saturday, Nov. 7, he participated inthe Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Race.

This endurance-focused race consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a marathon (26.2 mile) run.

With situations like these, it is important to look at the bright side.

In 2003, Miller weighed almost 200 pounds, which is problematic for his 5’8” stature. He also has a family history of heart disease, so it became a dire matter for him to lose the weight.

“My father died of a massive heart attack at age 60 before my children were born, so he never became a grandfather.  When I almost hit 200 lbs, my doctor put me on cholesterol medicine and told me I better do something with my history of heart disease or else.  I knew I had to do something to get into shape, so that I can live a lot longer and hopefully meet my grandchildren,” said Miller in an interview via e-mail.

A neighbor talked him into trying the Marine Corp Marathon.

Although some of his colleagues laughed at his plan to attempt, Mr. Miller was determined.

“I finished the Marine Corp in November 2006, swearing that I wouldn’t do that again.  I did the Raleigh Marathon the next year,” he said.

Miller was addicted. He wanted to do more than just run, though, so he bought a cheap bike and a bathing suit.

“I was hooked on triathlons almost immediately.  I did 7 triathlons in the next 1 1/2 years at all the distances except the Iron Distance.”

He completed the sprint Iron Man, International/Olympic Iron Man and the ½ Iron Man.

“After finishing several shorter triathlons, it seemed like the next big goal of mine,” said Miller.

Training is brutal and time consuming. Every day of the week involves a certain distance workout to be able to complete the race safely.

“Having a strong support group is the only way to get through the training. I bike with Charlie Stephenson [LRHS physics teacher],” said Miller of his perseverance tactics.

His support group also includes a wife and three kids, all under the age of nine.

“I have a very caring wife, but she told me this was the one and only time I will ever do something so time consuming,” said Miller when asked about his family’s support.

Since his first marathon, Mr. Miller has lost over 30 pounds and reduced his cholesterol by over 100 points. His story is an inspiration to both athletes and coach potatoes.

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