Cycling changed Jason White’s life.
That sounds like an exaggeration. It sounds like an overstatement. But really it is the perfect way to start Jason’s story.
In early 2016, Jason White was stressed. As the owner of a successful company in Southern Utah, Dixie Heating and Air, White was experiencing many of things busy people encounter. Along with extreme stress came bad eating habits, alcoholism, weight gain and low self esteem. He was unhappy and knew that his unhealthy lifestyle was taking a toll.
“The first thing I did was quit drinking. I realized I was most unhappy because I was unhealthy,” said White. “I was unhappy in my life and with myself.” White realized his weight was an obstacle and decided to go for a run. “I think I was in bed for two days because my back hurt so bad.”
Then White dug out his old bicycle. He cleaned it up and went for a ride.
“The first couple rides were five minutes long and I was totally exhausted. I remember thinking I would make a commitment to ride every day as much as I could.” Although White’s early bike rides were short and draining, his body recovered quickly and he was always ready and excited to go out again.
“I started making friends in the cycling community. One friend drug me out on my first 30-miler and I remember thinking it was insane. It was a really difficult ride and the very next day I wanted to do it again,” White said. His excitement after that 30-mile ride propelled him to continue cycling. Running hadn’t worked for him in this stage of life. With a lot of extra weight and an intense desire to burn a lot of calories, cycling was something White felt he could do. “I was still at least a hundred pounds overweight at this point. But I was able to go out and ride my road bike for 30 miles. I knew I had to put a lot of time in to achieve my health goals and it had to be something that I could actually do. Cycling made sense to me.”
To keep his motivation strong, White continued to make friends in the cycling community. “I used to go to Rapid Cycling just to hang out with people who were healthy and riding bikes. I looked forward to group rides because cycling is social.” Working with a cycling coach, Richard Nelson with Faster Cyclists, has also helped White identify his goals and design a training plan. Having a coach has been a huge support in staying on track.
White joined a cycling team to be part of a group with similar goals. “Not only is being part of the team motivation to keep going, but it was been good to be part of something bigger than me. I joined the Rapid Cycling team and got interested in racing because of the Desert City Crit Series. That was a huge change for me.” By nature, White admits to being a competitive person. The introduction of bike racing provided another outlet for his energy and kept him focused on his goals.
The rest, as they say, is history. At the end of 2017, Jason White is no longer overweight. He is no longer an alcoholic. He is happy and healthy and on one of his bikes almost every day. He’s graduated from struggling through 30-miles rides to competitive racing all over the United States. He has energy and is proud to say he outlasts his daughter now. White is currently working on his body composition and becoming a Cat 3 racer for this season.
Cycling has helped Jason White reduced his stress and be more productive in his professional life as well. Jason White’s final words of advice, “Embrace the journey. Keep finding ways to improve and keep setting new goals.”
---- Published in St. George Health and Wellness January/February 2018