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Feature
Where are they now? John Disterdick, USA Triathlon’s first member
One longtime triathlete’s sage advice for sport and life:
‘GET INVOLVED’
By Kim McDonald
 


That’s the simple, two-word piece of advice that 75-year-old John Disterdick gives friends and others when they ask him how to remain healthy and happy in their golden years.


“Nike’s motto is ‘Just Do It’,” he says. “Mine is ‘Get Involved’. Just get involved in something. Try something. Whether it’s walking, riding, swimming. Get involved in something that you can enjoy.”


Disterdick can speak with some authority on the subject.


He was USA Triathlon’s first member and competed in more than 100 triathlons, including the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii, over nearly four decades. And throughout his life he’s not only dabbled, but become rather proficient in a range of sports — from boxing to rowing to speed and slalom waterskiing to skydiving, track and field, swimming, cycling and running.


“My theory is that there’s no age that you can’t start getting involved in something that will promote a better lifestyle, and triathlon happens to be, in my opinion, the best — if you can do all three disciplines.”


He also practices what he preaches.


“I have a little log and every single day I write down what I’ve done physically. And I don’t want to put a big zero down on that page. I want to put something down on there. Running my dog. Taking a bike ride. Swimming at the Y. You know, something.”


34 | USA TRIATHLON | WINTER 2018

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