A Lifetime of Adventure
Christian's Athlete and Runner Resume
My sexual abuse does not define me, it fuels me to make change. I am not a victim, I'm a fighter. I have completed over 100 races of marathon distance or farther. I have raced over volcanoes, through tropical jungles, across deserts, and infested swamps. As of 2017, I have successfully completed the Fuego Y Agua 100K Trail Ultramarathon in Nicaragua more times (3) than anyone else in the history of the race.
I'll never be a one-trick pony. In my early years, I missed a lot of potentially great experiences because I thought I was "too cool" to do anything but beach sports. Now, I want to try everything and do anything healthy and productive that challenges my body, mind, and spirit thoroughly. My motto is Live for a Living. I strive for it every day.
- 2017 History Channel reality documentary series, The Selection: Special Operations Experiment.
- 2017 NBC American Ninja Warrior participant.
- 2016 World’s Toughest Mudder, 50 miles & 170 obstacles completed in under 24 hours.
- 2015 Survival Run Australia - Queensland, Australia.
- 2015 Monsters Inside Me, Season 6, Episode 2, on Discovery's Animal Planet.
- Fuego Y Agua 100KM Trail Race - Isle de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
- Over 100 marathon/ultramarathon races, six 100-mile races & eight 50-mile races.
- Over 20 obstacle course races including Spartan Beast, Iron Warrior Dash & Rugged Maniac.
The Selection: Special Operations Experiment
40 Athletes. 8 Instructors. 4 Finishers.
January 2017: History Channel aired the reality documentary The Selection: Special Operations Experiment. The eight-episode television series brought 40 athletes to Los Angeles, for 16 total days, to see if we had what it takes to endure the challenges of Military Special Forces Selection training. Borrowing from the Navy SEALs, Rangers, SERE School, and other special operations training, veteran instructors hammered on us relentlessly, trying to make us give up and quit. We were gassed, tormented, trained, exercised, and tested around every corner. For example, one night, we were tossed into 9ft of water, hands tied behind our backs and feet tied together, to either survive for five minutes or fail the challenge. It was an utter beat-down, but in the end 4 of the 40 participants completed The Selection. I am one of the proud finishers. It was the hardest physical challenge of my life. It's taken me over a year off just to collect myself and get back on the fitness horse again.
Why Did I Do It?
1) My grandfather flew P-51 fighter planes during WWII as part of the infamous Flying Tigers group. He is my biggest hero and I am his biggest fan. Never having served in the military, I wanted to have a taste of what he went through to become a elite fighter pilot.
2) I almost died in 2012. I laid in a hospital bed for weeks thinking I was going to die. Standing at death's door has a way of changing a man's perspective. From that moment on, I refused to let fear and insecurity prevent me from challenging myself and vowed to take on things that appeared seemingly impossible.
3) I wanted to prove that your past does not have to be your future. I am not proud of who I have been in the past, but through my current relationships, EMDR therapy, and a solid dedication to change, I have turned things around. Am I perfect? Nope. But I will never stop trying. I will never, ever give up.
What Did I learn?
I learned the "Man In The Arena" (recited in the video below). This snippet of a speech by Theodore Roosevelt had a huge impact on me. The fact that I nailed it with almost no sleep over 48 hours, under the intense and intimidating stares of Navy Seal Instructors, proves it meant something to me. Listen to it. If it doesn't resonate with you, you are made of stone.
I learned to never judge a book by its cover. People with tough attitudes who seemed like they would make it through didn’t, while a few who I never expected to make it past day one gutted out tremendous effort and outlasted many others.
I learned you can always do more than you think you can. To never, ever quit. Never. Not even when someone tells you that you are too old, too slow, not strong enough, and not keeping up. You go until the wheels fall off... and then you ride the axles. Never quit. Never.
Man in the Arena
"The Man in the Arena" is a famous quote by Teddy Roosevelt that all participants were asked to memorize before coming on the show. In this video, after a candid and emotionally difficult interrogation, the instructors called on me to recite it. I nailed it. Not because I'm that cool, but because the quote means a lot to me and has since become my personal motivator.
The Selection: Special Operations Experiment
Season 1 Finishers
American Ninja Warrior
But Don't You Work?
I live in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, where I run my own digital communications strategy firm called, Live for a Living. I also serve as Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy for Freebairn & Company, an advertising agency in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia, as well as technology leadership roles for a number of other smaller companies who need the expertise.
What does all that mean? In normal people, non-business-geek-speak, it means:
- I build robust, responsive, current websites.
- I show companies how to engage in social media.
- I teach web teams how to rank better in search engine results.
- I manage paid advertising campaigns with those same search engines and social networks.
- I write stuff. Sometimes, it's good stuff.
- I take pictures, tweak pictures, and add creativity to projects where it can make an impact.
And, I have three principles I follow in my company:
- I only work with people I like. This allows me to do my best work, and enjoy it.
- I only work with people who believe in me. If there is no mutual trust and respect, it won't work. Not in friendships. Not in relationships. Certainly not in business.
- I only work with companies who and individuals who give back. Life is not all about profits. People and experiences come before money, every single time.
If business is your measuring stick, or you're just interested in my path, LinkedIn has it all.