When Steve Cadell was sitting on his couch, 30 kilograms overweight, watching TV and eating junk food he had no idea that one day he’d be on the start line of an Ironman.
But that’s exactly where this former junk food addict will find himself when the gun goes off to start the Cairns Airport IRONMAN Cairns on June 9.
Initially it was discovering running that helped the 24-year-old Cairns local drop a few kilos.
“I just got sick and tired of being teased/bullied and wanted to see what I was really capable of so decided to take up running. That’s when I found out I could run long distances and not die,” he said.
A chance meeting then saw him turn his attention to triathlon.
“I liked the idea that the sport wasn’t a single discipline, you really have to get your head around three very hard sports and then put them all together, really it’s quite crazy,” he said.
“Before I decided I would try a triathlon I was doing a lot of running and cross country races, this was when I was at Uni still studying Physio.
“I was in Cairns on holidays one weekend when I ran into my year five teacher who was an Ironman in her day and had been to Kona so she really sparked the idea of trying a triathlon and aiming to achieve finishing an Ironman. So I tried my first triathlon last year, got 3rd in my age group (20-24) in the Coral Coast Triathlon and 12th in my age group in the IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns.”
While Cadell was surprised by his success in his first two outings, no one was more surprised than his Grandmother.
Cadell explains: “I still remember taking my 3rd place medal over to Grandma’s and she said “what, you got 3rd?”
“I was just as surprised as she was. The races were a stab-in-the-dark as well, I didn’t have a training program or coach, so my technique was rubbish and I made so many errors.
“That’s one of the great things about triathlon; everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, you learn so much from other people.”
Cadell is enjoying his new found fitness, and encourages anyone who is overweight to do something about it.
“My life is fantastic now; I am a very lucky man. I have an amazing family, friends and girlfriend who have been so supportive throughout this event,” he said.
“I definitely notice the difference in life; I can actually look in a mirror now and not feel embarrassed. I can do everything I’ve always wanted to do fitness.