Final Surge Podcast Episode 6: Justin Park
In this episode we interview professional triathlete Justin Park. Justin discusses how he overcame a life-threatening heart condition to pursue his dream of competing with the top athletes in the world in the sport of triathlon.
Imagine if I wrote a movie script about a kid who was a successful high school runner, swimmer and soccer player who received a scholarship to play soccer and run at a major Division I university. Before he even made it to his first collegiate practice, he was told that his career was over because of a heart issue. Then seven years later, on a bet, enters a triathlon against doctors’ advice, winning the entire race. He becomes hooked and would transition into leaving a successful law firm to become a professional triathlete. I would either have a Hollywood blockbuster, or I would get laughed at for being too unbelievable. Today, we bring you the story of Justin Park, who did all of this. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did.
Below are highlights of what we discussed in this podcast:
1:20 Everyone has their story on how they got started in running or endurance sports, can you tell us how you first got your start?
2:45 What events did you do in high school?
3:00 You had success as a high school runner, you even had a course record until some guy named Alan Webb broke it, is that correct?
3:40 After high school how did the transition to college running at Duke go?
4:40 Justin was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, a heart rhythm condition which was supposed to have ended his competitive sports days.
5:30 After college you went to law school, so how did you end up with your second phase of endurance sports and getting involved with triathlons?
6:40 Was there health concerns with your Long QT Syndrome when you started getting back into athletics?
8:30 It had been seven years after you last completed before you did your first triathlon. What was the comeback process like?
9:30 After you did your triathlon on the bet, where did your training go from there?
11:20 You were an attorney making great money and you decided to leave that to pursue a professional triathlon career. That is quite a pay cut. What lead you to the decision to train instead of continuing to practice law?
12:45 How did the process go after you decided you were going to make the career change?
14:45 When you have a bad race, how do you come back from the setbacks?
16:00 You are now doing some work as an Executive Wellness Consultant. How did you get into that and what does that entail? You can find out more about his work at justinparkracing.com.
21:30 What is the next race for you?
Justin had a great race and finished in the top 10 at the race he mentioned, running a 1:15 half marathon after swimming 1.2 miles and biking 56 miles.
Justin is involved with the SADS Foundation which is a non-profit organization to help those with heart-related issues.
Follow Justin's adventures on Twitter.
Justin's website can be found at JustinParkRacing.com
Listen to the Podcast
Stream it right here:
Team Final Surge