When Triathlon Becomes Everything – AD Rosa

March 16, 2018

“My dad told me, ‘Only crazy people do that kind of stuff. Those people are insane.'”

8-time Ironman Adriano Rosa reflects on a lifetime of triathlon, and his darkest years pursuing its holy grail. Drew and AD talk about what happens when we take something good, and make it everything.

From his coming of age in Brazil, to the months spent in the Amazon, and his transition to West Michigan, where the love for triathlon started, AD relays the details.


2:40 Growing up in Goiania, Brazil. Vivid childhood, camping, fishing, hunting with 35 family members. Full month of July spent in the basin of the Amazon. 300lb catfish.

5:45 Trading alcohol, sugar with the tribes for hunting and fishing spots. AD’s first longbow.

7:30 Entering the exchange student program. Home in Grand Haven, MI and the importance of sports in America.

10:12 Sports Medicine at Grand Valley State. Biomechanics & Sports Science world.

11:05 Work injury. Two fractures to the lower back. No kickboxing for a year. I’m thinking I’ll go out of my mind.

13:01 First Triathlon. Finished with tears in my eyes. All these people congratulating.

15:07 The importance of success.

16:00 The beginnings of a psychological addiction.

17:16 First bike – a Centurion Ironman Dave Scott. $375 Dollars!? What’s layaway look like?

18:00 Not just the conditioning, but the massage, the recovery, the nutrition, etc.

19:15 Going from 2-3 races per summer to five.

20:48 Road to Kona. Friendships geared towards who can help me get faster. Only very influential people can help me become a better athlete.

21:55 Just like someone’s an alcoholic or a drug addict, Triathlon became my drug. “You’re going to have to pick… our marriage or Triathlon…I’m gonna search every corner of this world (to get better).

23:48 Biomechanics, improved footwear. Fixed the chain. Running hard. Qualified for Hawaii.

25:39 Poop, food, bikes, training. It’s all they talk about.

26:41 Divorce, depression, and counciling. Addictive personality.

27:50 Re-marrying, the dark side (of Triathlon) returned.

29:31 “God will break you, before he makes you.”

31:55 A wake up from life. Started a small company making a third of what I was. Sold the 4,000 square foot home in exchange for 1,000 sq feet.

34:44 Planter Facia. Spending more time barefoot. Proper footwear.

36:07 “The Enigma of the Incas” A book on the depth & sophistication of the Incan people. Prosperous empire, a great relationship with nature.

38:14 Brazilian BBQ. Rock Salt, fat and an open fire.

39:04 Depression and recovery.

40:11 “You can ask (God) all you want for answers, but if you’re not willing to hear the answer, it goes right down the tube.”

41:26 Tips for a healthy triathlete.

46:26 Excellence is the journey.

47:25 Orthotics are not a magic bullet, they’re one- third of fixing someone. AD Rosa, Certified Orthotist. www.gravitusinsoles.com 




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