Almost three years ago, we set out to pioneer new ways to bring our planet’s most nutrient-dense and sustainable food to the people. Charting a new course is rarely smooth sailing. Less of a rocket ship taking off, more of “one step forward, two steps back” (and repeat).
It requires a strange brew of traits to thrive in such a role. Like all those who have set off into the little known, we try to embody those traits:
The courage to venture forth.
The mettle to continue in times of trouble.
The vision to see what’s on the other side.
Naturally, we are inspired by those that share our aspiration, and we hope that in turn these people inspire you to create the change we seek in the world. And sometimes this inspiration comes in the form of a customer message:
Jonas, Michael, and Dan,
I'm reaching out to see if I can get your help with my nutrition for my training. I'm a 100% disabled Marine Corps Veteran and the US 2018 Paracycling National TT Champ (C5) - gunning for a spot with Team USA and the Paralympic games (now in 2021) in Tokyo.
I'm married, with 20 month old twins, have a full time job, and I'm the only Veteran in my para classification category. My wife is a very experienced triathlete and trains as much as she can while working herself and supporting me.
Best - Kyle
Today, we want to share his story with you. The story of a humble, dedicated athlete with a dream, but on a road that forced him to take many steps back.
Kyle has been an athlete most of his life. He played soccer, football, and ice hockey when he was in high school and then picked up rowing his senior year. He received an appointment to the US Naval Academy, competed as an NCAA Division I rower and became a Marine after graduation. During his 10 years serving on active duty in the Marine Corps, to include 2 combat tours in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, he developed several severe stress fractures in his feet, often deciding to forgo formal treatment to continue to serve. But at some point, he couldn’t ignore the pain anymore, the years of wear and tear had moved from his feet to his hips.
“When the orthopedist looked at my x rays, he had to double check my identity. At age 33, I had the hips of a 75-year-old.”
What followed was a marathon of surgeries. While he was healing from his second hip resurfacing surgery, his left femur broke. Three more surgeries and two infections later, he began the long road to recovery.
Kyle started cycling before his hip surgeries, and today it is the only sport he can compete in that won’t contribute to the degeneration of his hips. Applying the principles and practices he mastered in the Marines, he approaches his training with discipline, firmness of purpose, and some serious hustle. He won the 2018 US National Paracycling Time Trial (C5) and has earned track cycling National Championship podiums and numerous State cycling titles.
“Seeking classification as a Paracyclist was not a natural thought for me. As a member of US Military Endurance Sports (USMES), I helped coach athletes with very visible limitations who race hand cycles or tricycles. It was difficult for me to acknowledge my own limitations.”
Now he has set his eyes on a new goal: At present, Kyle is training for a slot on Team USA for the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Based in the athlete mecca of Boulder, Kyle has undertaken a training regimen that is painstaking. As he explained in our virtual interview, “training for possible selection to Team USA for the Paralympic Games can mean riding, lifting, or stretching 20+ hours a week, nearly every week of the year.” But like any successful athlete, he prioritizes his rest and recovery just as much as his workouts and training. The time he devotes to recuperating and maintaining a balanced diet is of equal importance to the time he spends on the bike and in the gym. “As any serious athlete will tell you, it’s not just the quality of the workouts that matter, but also the quality of the rest and recovery between workouts.”
But the competition is strong, and many of those vying for a slot are full-time athletes. As a full-time engineering manager, husband, and father of 2-year-old twins, sometimes late at night is the only time he has to train. “I would love to relax and watch tv. But that’s not how you make it to Tokyo.”
Kyle Pitman learned about spirulina from others in the cycling community and read about Tour de France riders who were using it with great results. He currently uses fresh frozen spirulina cubes in his recovery smoothie. Given spirulina’s stamina-boosting, energy-producing properties, it comes as no surprise that so many athletes, both professional and amateur, have turned to spirulina for its natural performance-enhancing capabilities.