By Ben Welnak (Twitter at @Bwelnak) with Josh Tostado (www.joshtostado.com)
The last interview with Kelly Magelky has stoked my motivation to seek the perspective, background, and motivation that makes endurance athletes tick. I hope to turn these two into a series of interviews with endurance athletes, including mountain bikers, triathletes, and other cycling related athletes, from Denver, Boulder, and around Colorado. Throughout the process, I’ll strive to go beyond the normal questions of training and nutrition by showcasing their personalities, motivation, and maybe even those little thoughts that get them midway through an all day adventure. Kelly made it an easy start to this adventure and my second interview, with endurance mountain biker Josh Tostado, continues to make it a smooth, interesting start to the series.
After only two interviews, some themes are emerging. It’s a classic chicken or the egg story. Is it the nature of endurance sports that humbles athletes, makes them enjoy the entire process of training, and forges an unmatched mental toughness? Or, do these humble, hardworking, and mentally tough athletes gravitate towards endurance competition?
Josh is a down-to-earth guy who truly lives life to the fullest every day. Riding for Bach Builders (www.bachbuilders.net), he experienced a successful 2010 racing season that started with a strong 6th place showing at a very muddy Cohutta 100 in April, picked up mid-season steam with an amazing performance at the Breckenridge 100 in July, and culminated in an inhuman championship performance at the 24 Hour National Championship in Moab in October.
The interview was an interesting conversation about training, racing, and life because Josh was able to draw several parallels between riding, endurance, and life - important lessons for all of us interested in cycling and especially endurance events.
[303Cycling] Where did it all start?
Josh got his start in cross-country skiing and mountain biking while growing up in Southern Maine. Like many Coloradans, he started out as a ski bum. He was immediately drawn to Colorado after skiing at Arapahoe Basin in June during a road trip. Josh has lived in Breckenridge since.
[303Cycling] So, it’s not easy telling your parents you’re going to be a ski bum, is it?