Just start living. Anything is truly possible.

Get Out Of Your Own Way

An Interview With Nick Roumonada

At age 13, Nick survived bacterial meningitis but due to the devastating disease had to undergo below the knee amputation. At that time, Nick’s family could not afford to purchase the specialized prosthetic equipment needed to participate and compete in sports and became physically inactive. Since receiving his first prosthetic running leg finally at the age of 30, he has lived an increasingly healthier active lifestyle. In 2009 & 2010 alone, Nick ran his first 5k, first 10k, first half-marathons and first full marathon. Soon after, he began competing in triathlons, which included podium finishes with able-bodied athletes in many of those races.  Most recently he’s had the honor of competing with the US Paratriathlon Team in 2 ITU World Championships both in New Zealand and London. On the top of his list of accomplishments includes fulfilling a life long dream which was completing Ironman in a time of 11hours and 13minutes… a time he aims to beat here in 2014. Contact Nick at www.runnickrun.com

One of our main missions at ZIDILIFE is to inspire people to go beyond. At what point in your life did you take a risk, a leap of faith, or face a challenge to grow into the person you’ve become today?

Losing my leg to bacterial meningitis and then losing my music career to focal dystonia I decided there was something/someone telling me that my life was only going to get bigger and better as long as I pushed forward. I started running, went back to school, speaking about my struggles, changed careers, started a life as a full time athlete and my life continues to improve with each and every moment/event I choose to step out of my comfort zone and see that that’s where life gets exciting!

What originally motivated/inspired you to change/evolve/take the next step?

Partially my own desire/stubbornness to be a victim of my newest challenge.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in life while working towards your goals?

The physical challenges.

How have you overcome those challenges?

Trained my body and mind. I’ve learned to find joy in my abilities and not dwell on the things that limit me.

What personal mantras do you abide by on a day-to-day basis?

Take what you’ve been given and Run With It!

What advice do you have for those seeking to “go beyond”? How should they get started?

Stop spending time and energy thinking and dwelling on the past and the “what ifs.” Our biggest competition should be and is ourselves. Get out of your own way first and decide to start making things happen. Nothing is done alone. Pick a team and run with them. Everyone has a story of challenge, it’s the folks who have decided to take control of their challenges and turn them into opportunities that we hear about and acknowledge. Decide to be that. Don’t just do it for yourself either. Do it to inspire your friends, family, and colleagues.

“Everyone has a story of challenge, it’s the folks who have decided to take control of their challenges and turn them into opportunities that we hear about and acknowledge.”

Looking back at where you are today, versus the places you used to be, what advice would you give your previous self?

Just start living. Anything is truly possible and if there is a cliché that is 100% true, it is that one. I’d tell myself to treat my body and mind better and stop trying to numb it from the pains of the past, and simply face them, use them for the good that they have to offer, and become something you always wanted…. And go beyond that and MORE! And, You Are Worth It!!

What are you next goals/dreams/desires and aspirations? How will you get there?

Continue to move forward with my current career that includes helping new amputees deal with this new transition in life. I want to help create a world where disabilities are no longer seen as a negative but simply a transition into a life unknown… A new path, although not always as cleanly groomed, may lead to something truly beautiful and awe inspiring.