Growing up in the flatlands of Northern Indiana, you don’t really get to explore epic mountains and it kind of lacks any real adventure, so I had to create my own. At a young age, I started climbing every tree that was possible and when I was finished climbing those, I would climb my neighbors’ houses.
My mom would get phone calls at work saying, “Your son is on my roof again!” I just had all of this energy and excitement for the outdoors, and needed to expel it. I grew up in a family that didn’t really teach or understand the proper nutrition. I love my parents, but it was an open cabinet policy and for the most part, I could snack on whatever, whenever and however I wanted.
After gaining the nickname of “Fat Tom,” I started a challenge where I would only chew gum for 100 straight hours. This somehow turned into anorexia without me knowing, as I would eat an orange and then not eat for two days. After graduating, I eventually gained all of my weight back…plus more. I joined a gym and the owner took me in like her son, not only teaching me about nutrition, health and fitness, but also getting me into yoga and triathlons.
This eventually turned into my first project, where I rode my bike from Newport Beach, CA to Boston, MA. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of what I could do, and I became eager to challenge my mind and body. I followed the ride with a project known as “More Than Just Miles,” where I ran from Seattle, WA to Daytona Beach, FL in support of bringing awareness to a genetic disease known as Cystic Fibrosis.
This led to the creation of the “More Than Just Me Foundation (MTJMe),” which I founded in April 2013. The whole basis behind MTJMe was to use adventure to drive awareness to different causes around the world.
Later that year, I started my third and current project, known as “More Than Just Mountains,” where I climbed the Seven Summits around the world with two of my friends and filmed it, while shining a brighter light on Cystic Fibrosis. In late February of this year, we finished our Fifth of the Seven and hope to head to our next peak in early January 2018.
Perhaps the most critical factor to being successful in any one of my adventures is nutrition – whether it’s running, cycling or climbing, your body needs to obtain the proper nutrients to continue to excel. Navitas Organics has provided me with just that through its delicious superfoods. Whether it’s the Snack Bars or raw ingredients I use to make my acai bowls, I know it’s full of nutrition and I feel it.
It’s hard to get that proper nutrition when you are in one of the most remote places in the world, but thanks to Navitas, I can not only get my nutrition, but I can enjoy it…and share it…kind of.