Dave O’Brien, a businessman from a small town in Ireland, learned exactly how important marathon nutrition is when training. He would have never become the oldest male competitor to run the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon series in a single year if he had based his dreams on the perceived limitations of his age.
“A few people thought, ‘well, good for you.’ But others thought that I was crazy to even attempt it, that there’s something wrong with me upstairs. ‘Dave, you’re 56 years old. Shouldn’t you be taking it easy – maybe watching the television a bit more? Or mowing the grass?’” But by focusing on a healthy and nutritious marathon runner’s diet, Dave was able to turn his dreams into reality.
In 2010, Dave completed all four of the 155-mile endurance races that comprise Racing the Planet’s 4 Deserts series (4deserts.com). He conquered Chile’s Atacama Desert in March, the Gobi desert in China in June, the Sahara desert in Northern Africa in October, and “The Last Desert” in Antarctica in November − quite a feat for anyone, especially a 56-year-old.
What drives a person like Dave O’Brien to reach so far? “Maybe it began for me when I was young,” he suggests. “My Dad left us and my mum was left with five young children aged between 12 and 2. She had to leave our family home as she had no way of paying the mortgage and the bills, plus feed and educate all of us. “I remember the day the open-bed truck came to our house and we filled it with all our belongings,” he says. “We were taken from Finglas East, a well-to-do part of Dublin, to Finglas West, which was the complete opposite – a different world. The truck driver dumped all our belongings into the garden and then drove away. I can still see that look on my mother’s face.”
Without a father, Dave’s mother became his role model. “Mum worked every hour there was to keep the family together. She was and still is an amazing woman.” The family scrambled to make ends meet. “I remember my older brother Peter and myself taking the #40 bus into town, each of us with a handful of my Dad’s beautifully bound classic novels, headed to the pawn shop on Gardner Street to get money for Mum. I remember the books. They had red covers and were bound in gold. I also remember that the man in the pawn shop did not give us much money for them.”
When he was 16, Dave left school and took a job servicing printing machines. “It didn’t pay much,” he tells us, “but my three brothers and sister Janet were still in school, so it was important to help Mum financially.” Despite his relative lack of formal education, Dave worked hard and moved steadily up the corporate ladder to management positions at multinational companies Gestetner and Guilbert. He eventually left the corporate world and has since built his own successful Juice Plus+ business in Ireland. Why does he do these endurance races? “I guess I do them just to prove to myself that I can – that I have the strength of mind, the strength of character, to go out and do it,” he explains.
How does he pull them off? “I’m able to do them not so much on fitness, but rather because of my health and my mental attitude,” he says. “I’m also doing it to show people the sheer power of the body to heal if we give it the right nutrition.” That’s where Juice Plus+ comes in. “When I’m out on the course, I usually double or triple the amount of Juice Plus+ I take,” he reports, “and Juice Plus+ Complete is my main source of food. You’re putting your body through so much. You’ve got to have that extra nutrition to help reduce all the extra oxidative stress you’re generating.” Dave understands that running ultramarathons across deserts isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. So what does he recommend to others who want to Live Life to the Plus+? “I tell my kids, ‘whatever it is you want in life, have a passion.’ I don’t care what it is, but have a passion for something. Have a passion for life. Start painting classes, do yoga, learn to swim, climb a mountain, run naked around the garden for God’s sake – anything.” Dave knows that however one chooses to
Live Life to the Plus+, you need good nutrition to do it. “I’m not an elite athlete and I’m certainly not superhuman,” he concludes. “I’m just like anybody else. For me, it’s just a matter of feeling well all the time and being healthy.
Thank God for my insurance policy. Thank God for Juice Plus+.” See more at: http://www.juiceplus.co.uk/