“Before I got sick I could never imagine doing something like this,” said Kevin Favieri as he relaxed on his basement couch eating a large bowl of Cheese Nips. “But now, after being in remission and feeling good again, I have a whole new perspective and a desire to try new things. I want to really live life now!”
Favieri, an avid football and NASCAR fan, completed watching his first televised triathlon only 3 months after getting a clean bill of health from his doctor.
“I took it slow at first, only watching the swimming part for a few minutes then I’d turn it off and take a nap. I’d then watch another triathlon and try to make it through the bike leg,” Favieri said as he adjusted his flannel pajama bottoms and propped another couch cushion behind his head.
“My friends thought I was crazy. I mean, this isn’t fun stuff and takes a lot of determination and focus. It was pretty exhausting, plus, knowing that you are only one of a select few doing this makes it even harder. But I persevered and started getting into it and understanding the mentality it takes to finish. I got in the zone and started enjoying it. It must be like one of those ‘runner’s high’ I’ve heard about. Really awesome!”
Defying the naysayers made this personal triumph even sweeter for Favieri. “Two years ago, my doctors thought I was a goner, but I beat cancer and proved them wrong. I took that defiance and never-say-die attitude into the basement with me when I started training. A lot of my pals thought there was no way I could watch an entire triathlon without flipping on something else and getting distracted, especially with all those Real World marathons on at the same time. It was tough; I love when those kids scream at each other and eat bugs and stuff.”
On a late August Saturday afternoon with temperatures at a cool 74 degrees (air conditioning setting), Favieri completed his viewing in just under three hours and even watched all the commercials. “The commercials were tedious and I almost bailed, but you gotta be a 100% committed, or just don’t do it at all.” He then cooled down by watching an hour-long Bowflex infomercial.
Now realizing the world has much more to offer than the same sports he watched for hours on end, Smith now changes the channels with an open mind and stops on such exotic fare as Tour De France, indoor lacrosse and women’s 9-ball billiards. “You really learn a lot about yourself when you expand your horizons and your TiVo programming choices.”
Taking advantage of his new lease on life, Favieri now gets up at 8:45 a.m. every morning – an entire 45 minutes earlier before the cancer diagnosis – to get in some viewing practice before he starts the day.
Asked if he’d attempt another one soon, Favieri replied, “Definitely, I think I’m getting addicted. But I am hoping there is some sort of ‘fantasy triathlon league’ online, you know, to add some extra interest.”
Favieri takes a moment to reflect.
“I just don’t want to live my life saying ‘I wish I watched this or I wish I watched that,'” the cancer-survivor relates as he wipes a tear from his eyes and opens another can of beer.
“There’s a great big world out there for me to experience. On TV.”
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