Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jay Unver Interview from 2011

My week is going well so far, but today I thought I would post an earlier writing that would help bring my readers up to speed on the complex relationship between Randy Beets and me. Following is Part I of an interview Jay Unver did on me in December of 2011. Tomorrow, or the next day, I will post Part II of the same interview. Besides attempting an explanation on Randy Beets and why he is so difficult to get along  with, Big ASS Endurance is once again contemplating the launching of an amateur MMA league for endurance athletes. Earlier attempts at a fight league failed to gain traction. Dr. Timothy Nomann, President and CEO of Big ASS Endurance, believes now is the time for a new ASS group.

Jay Unver Interviews Zane Hodge (Part I)
I conducted this interview with Zane Hodge on Thursday morning, December 22, 2011. The purpose of our chat was two-fold, one of which was to discuss the Fasttrack Fatties Athletic Club along with the new Association of Sports Strikers. We sat in his living room talking and drinking coffee while outside the December rain watered the earth.
Unver: Good morning. Should I call you Dr. Hodge?
Hodge: No. Call me Zane, please.
Unver: Zane, the first thing I wanted to ask you about is The Fasttrack Fatties Athletic Club. And by the way, is it The Fast Track Fatties or The Fasttrack Fatties?
Hodge: Both, either or. You find it in our literature both ways. As informal as we are, I don’t think it really matters. Personally, I like Fasttrack better, but Fast Track has better initials. That way we are FTF athletes.
Unver: I understand you founded this organization?
Hodge: I did, several years age. I was overweight and trying to get back into shape. We are a very loose-knit group. It started with a relay triathlon team. We were looking for a name, and since I was the one who registered us, I came up with the name The Fasttrack Fatties.
Unver: So it’s just a name, it’s not a real group.
Hodge: Oh no, we are a real group. I expanded the idea after the triathlon to garner support for my weight loss and general fitness goals. We became a group, mostly of former fat people, who control their weight and improve their health through endurance athletics.
Unver: So what do y’all do?
Hodge: We meet up and have eating contests. No, just kidding. We encourage one another through e-mails, phone calls, text messages, and Facebook. Not only that but we get together and train. An e-mail might go out calling for a Fattie bike ride or a Fattie swim or a Fattie run. We even lift weights sometimes.
Unver: How fat do you have to be to join?
Hodge: Actually, you don’t have to be fat at all. If you’re even concerned about the possibility of getting fat you can become a member. My son falls into that latter category. He’s never been fat, but he doesn’t want to become another porky man. So he joined and is an active, loyal member.
Unver: That’s interesting. How many members do y’all have?
Hodge: Oh gee, I don’t know. I never made a list. I guess I need to, but like I said we are very informal. There are no dues, you just say you want to be a Fattie and we claim you as one of our own. Off the top of my head, besides me and my son, there is Randal Beets, Petya Petrova, Robin Bond, and Harris Powers. Maybe there are some more. I suppose I should work on our membership this summer and maybe come up with a few rules.
Unver: What have y’all been doing lately?
Hodge:  Running and a lot of weight lifting. We have our own gym.
Unver: Really?
Hodge: Yes. It’s called Plate City Gym and it’s located in my back yard.
Unver: Wonderful. I find it interesting that endurance athletes now more than ever include resistance training in their workouts.
Hodge: I think strength work is very important. We have a super time doing whatever we do together. Almost all of us get along really well.
Unver: Almost all of you?
Hodge: Well you know how it is. You get a group of people together and there will often be tensions and bad blood.
Unver: Bad blood?
Hodge: Maybe I overstated that a little.
Unver: So you have an issue with somebody in the club?
Hodge: I didn’t say that.
Unver: Who is it?
Hodge: Nobody, really.
Unver: You can tell me.
Hodge: Stop, please.
Unver: Is it Beets? At this point Hodge looked uncomfortable, squirmed a little in his chair, and took a long sip from his coffee mug.
Hodge: Who?
Unver: Randal Beets. Hodge turned slightly red and didn’t say anything for a moment.
Hodge: You mean that tall guy?
Unver: Yeah that tall guy. The one you raced in Chattanooga. The one you have a match race with this June. Hodge looked most distressed, squirmed some more, and his eyes shifted from side to side.
Hodge: No comment.
To be continued.