Colorado Dental Practitioner Goes from Unable to Swim to Top Athlete in Five Years
At Bedford Dental Group we like to support people living healthy lifestyles, because oral health is being linked more and more to great overall health every day. ADA News reported that in Boulder, Colorado, active dentist Dr. Tom Bogan will participate in what some call the globe’s most difficult sporting event: the World Ironman Championship in the middle of October this year.
The competition consists of competitors swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles — you know, all in addition to running the requisite 26.2 mile marathon. Some consider securing a spot at the invitation-only competition alone a great feat in itself.
Overcoming the Odds
Dr. Tom Bogan’s situation is especially unique. He overcame a crippling fear of water, learning to swim just five years ago (he was then aged 52 years).
Dr. Bogan was 5 or 6 when he fell into a swimming pool, breathing water into his lungs before choking and coughing it back up after a responder rescued him. Needless to say, the experience kept him away from most bodies of water for the majority of his life.
“It left a strong impression on me,” Dr. Bogan said.
Dr. Bogan did find other ways to seek adventure. He went skiing often and dabbled in running, but admitted that he’d never been much of an athlete. That is, until just after Christmas in 2012, when he’d become sedentary, working out inconsistently, and gained a considerable amount of weight. He was too busy taking care of others and not himself. His blood pressure was at an all-time high and he began experiencing headaches.
He decided to make a change. He joined a gym, started working with a trainer. His trainer encouraged him to sign up for his first triathlon.
Back for the Fourth Time!
Since 2012, Dr. Bogan has actually completed 3 Ironman races. That’s 7.2 miles swimming, 336 miles biking, and 78.6 miles running — and that’s just in competition mode. That doesn’t count the infinite number of miles he must have clocked in the months and years of training it took to reach his current level.
Bogan spends up to 14 hours per week training — running, cycling, swimming, or strength conditioning, all of which prepare his body and mind for the Ironman competition. He does that on top of managing his dental office in Boulder four days per week! Talk about a multi-tasker.
Dr. Bogan considers his extracurricular efforts “a celebration of what I’m capable of doing.” Now that he’s dedicated his life to wellness, he adds, “I’m never going back.”
Dr. Bogan conditioned for many months with cardio and light weight training. Initial attempts to get into the water fell flat. He also had so little body fat from training that he couldn’t float in the water.
People would say ‘just relax and you’ll float.’
“I’d relax and I’d sink,” Dr. Bogan said.
After weeks of failed attempts, after a little research, Dr. Bogan ordered wetsuit pants. This outerwear is actually commonly worn among Ironman competitors. Wetsuit pants aid with buoyancy. Bogan credits his wetsuit pants as the gamechangers he needed to get going in the water.
He practiced his first swim in open water the weekend before his first triathlon. Dr. Bogan notes that he loves the thrill he gets from these physical and mental challenges that grueling training and race days represent.
When the Ironman race director in Boulder came to Dr. Bogan’s dental office earlier this year, he came with news that Bogan was one of 10 Ironman Boulder 2017 entrants. They were completely chosen at random to compete Oct. 14 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii at the World Championship. Bogan sees it as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I was absolutely floored by the whole thing,” Dr. Bogan said, adding, “I’m still pinching myself.”
Dr. Bogan’s patients cheer him on, praising his athletic feats. He makes sure that he saves his energies for his patients especially.
“I’m humbled by [the experience] and amazed,” he said.
We always like to celebrate dentists who kick butt. You can watch and cheer on Dr. Bogan this coming October. Live coverage of the World Ironman Championship will be available online at Ironman.com.
If you want to enhance and support great overall health, make sure you have a great oral health plan as well. Contact Bedford Dental Group today to learn more.