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When politicians crash

Post by David Seago on July 31, 2008 at 5:19 am with No Comments »
July 31, 2008 5:19 am

In this case, that would be Tacoma City Councilman Rick Talbert, a recent fitness convert who’s had a rough spring and summer.

I posted here earlier this year about Talbert and Pierce County Councilman Shawn Bunney, who are good friends, teaming up to lose weight and get fit. Both took to bike riding and got advice from nutritionists and a trainer. Talbert set a goal of participating in the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon in San Francisco.

Both shed a lot of weight, but Talbert has hit roadblocks (and I don’t mean Frisko Freeze.) In May, he tore a hip flexor 11 miles into the Tacoma City Half-Marathon. Then during an early June bike ride with his son, his son stopped suddenly to avoid a turning car, but Talbert, following behind, didn’t.

The result: a broken left femur, at the point where the joint meets the hip. Talbert reports:

I landed just right, and the rest is history. I’m now the proud owner of a nice-sized (hip) implant and will be spending the rest of my life setting off metal detectors in the airports.

I have been on crutches pretty much since the half-marathon . . . I got permission last week to start exercising on my stationary bike and to swim. I’ve managed, thankfully, to keep the weight off by bird-dogging my diet and upper-body aerobic activity.

The doc says no running until late November, but I will be able to start on an elliptical (machine) in a couple of weeks.

Talbert, by the way, is chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health – which has been looking for ways to combat both child and adult obesity. I think he figures he should set a good example – but let’s all avoid bike crashes.

Another local public official, Gary Geddes, managed to stay upright all last week in the 36th annual bike ride across Iowa sponsored by the Des Moines Register. RAGBRAI, as the event is known in cycling circles, draws more than 10,000 riders. This year’s route covered 477 hilly miles.

The photo shows Geddes bedecked in the official headgear of Team Crab, purchased at the Point Defiance Zoo gift shop. Geddes, who runs the zoo and Northwest Trek for Metro Parks, declined, however, to paint his toenails purple and pink to match the team mascot.

Yours truly proudly did so, as did two other team members from Tacoma. I will spare you the photos.

Taking notice
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