RENTON, Wash. – Not even 48 hours after crossing the finish line at the Ironman triathlon in Coeur d’Alene, Ed Sproull was standing in front of students and discussing the importance of smart choices.
Sproull, 58, knows plenty about good and bad choices. Early in his life, he hopped onto a motorcycle after drinking and got in an accident that cost him his left leg.
Years later, he spent 72 months behind bars for drug trafficking.
But it was the good choices that eventually won out. Sproull cleaned up his life, found a great job with Microsoft and got in shape, eventually losing 40 pounds.
His latest goal: finish the Ironman, a grueling triathlon that involves swimming 2.4 miles, bicycling 112 miles and running 26.2 miles.
“It’s like a roller coaster,” Sproull said. “One minute you’re feeling good, the next minute the wind kicks up and you’re facing a headwind.”
It took 16 and a half hours before Sproull finally saw the finish line. Even though it was 11:30 p.m., thousands were still lining the sidelines to cheer him across.
“It was pretty emotional,” Sproull said. “It was a finish that I’ll never forget.”
On Tuesday night, Sproull shared his story with kids and parents taking part in the BodyWorks program, which helps kids and parents make healthy choices when it comes to eating and activities.
“You’ll inspire other people by making good choices and sticking with them,” Sproull told the group.
He plans on running his second Ironman in Arizona later next year.