Weekend Warrior: Walt Tennyson, 51

JOB: Chaplain and Director of Community Service, Rhodes College

SPORT: Running, biking, swimming

FAMILY: Wife, Jody; three children, Harris (13), Kyra (15), and Olivia (18)

FIT CLUB: Team Rhodes St. Jude Marathon

FAVORITE FITNESS ACCOMPLISHMENT: Returning to the weight I was when I played football in high school!

MOST MEMORABLE WW EVENT: My first marathon in Nashville began with a new pair of running shorts and an energy gel packet in each pocket. I had not untied the knot in my waistband, so before I evan ran 100 yards, my shorts were sliding off! I spent most of the first mile untangling on the go before cinching them up and finishing a very hilly race!

MOTIVATION TO STAY FIT: I feel more fully alive when I stick with my workouts. A few years ago I had a health scare (at Disneyland of all places) and discovered I had high blood pressure. While that initially motivated me to lose weight, I find the positive energy and mutual encouragement in the running and triathlon community to be my strongest motivation to stick with it.

“I feel more fully alive when I stick with my workouts.”

WW MUST-HAVESMy students at Rhodes gave me an expensive Garmin GPS watch—something I wouldn’t have ever purchased myself. It has functions only a Navy SEAL would need. I can’t imagine life without an altimeter along with its mystifying ability to count laps in an indoor pool.

BUCKET LIST: Escape from Alcatraz triathlon in San Francisco.

BEST EATS: The Black Eyed Pea burger at Belly Acres in Overton Square. I’m not a vegetarian but I try to eat more like one and that burger doesn’t make you feel like you are missing something.

VICE: My kids recently told me my car smelled “like sweat and coffee.” I love good espresso. And make it a double!

WHAT FAMOUS PERSON WOULD YOU LIKE AS A DINNER COMPANION: Stephen Colbert. Our culture is so politically and socially divided and I find the people who keep us sane and honest are the comedians.

IF YOU COULD COME BACK AS AN ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE: Sea Lions get to enjoy life on the beach and in water. And we have similar tastes in food.

ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND: The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It

FAVORITE QUOTE: “A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” – GK Chesterton


Interview by Hailey Thomas. Photo by Sarah McAlexander

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