"I have had the privilege of knowing Rod Hutchins for several precious years now. His influence on me as a friend and courageous companion has truly changed my life. His insatiable drive to set goals and never relinquish on achievement of his goals is a Standard for Superman and a Man of God, packaged in one frame or body. This is no joke or hyperbole. His story is miraculous and inspiring throughout the world.
We met one day, perhaps 10 years ago, as each of us was enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. We exchanged introductions and briefly discussed our professions and continued on our separate ways. About a year later, I met up with Rod again. As I then learned more about him and his personal struggles on his long and arduous path to recovery from a nearly fatal series of afflictions from the Gullian-Barre Virus Syndrome, plus numerous major surgeries, joint replacements, and a host of other health issues, he had encountered over the last several years. He was working out at Club Apple in Idaho Falls in an attempt to accomplish one of several goals he had set while in the University of ICU in Utah several years earlier as he lay paralyzed from the Gullian-Barre Syndrome Virus. This goal was to successfully complete his “My Race At My Pace” on the Iron Man Course in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
At this time, Rod was experiencing multiple and severe trials from the effects of his hospitalization and sustained trauma, subsequent surgeries and setbacks as a result of his illnesses; and he faced what I perceived as an insurmountable road to recovery. I knew enough about the Iron Man Triathlon at that time to recognize that participants needed to be extremely physically fit to take on this type of challenge. Yet, here we are in 2017 at the Apple Athletic Club (now renamed Club Apple), he was doing very well with his weights and cardio fitness program and had several medical advisors and trainers working with him to facilitate his road to recovery and athletic engagements. In spite of his resurgence in many areas of fitness, regaining his swimming skills and stamina in this particular area were a lot more difficult to overcome. For example, I personally witnessed Rod when he began his swimming fitness exercises where it would require over an hour for him to swim one lap in the pool. All of this is very well documented on social media including his subsequent participation in the Triathlon, his successes, failures, and setbacks due to COVID 19, and other related illnesses up to this era (2022).
Would you believe it? Rod has set his plans towards another “Race At His Pace” on the Iron Man Course in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii comeback! I recently accompanied him and his precious daughter TeAnna, as he with a life jacket due to overall body weakness floated, or swam on his back, two laps in the large indoor pool at the Club, walked 2 laps in the small pool, spent some time in the hot tub, and walked two laps around the parameters in the gym, while all done being connected to an oxygen tank, these” first step” efforts indicated to me that Rod is back!!! I join a host of other friends, acquaintances, medical team specialists, trainers, and an overwhelming audience of friends and professionals who have joined in as his facilitators and cheerleaders.
I have never witnessed such courage, tenacity, and personal drive to achieve a goal that most, if not all, men or women would have given up on long ago.
Rod, we salute, hail and cheer for you as you attempt another comeback and work towards a second trip to Kailua-Kona. Many of us feel that you have already made it, but we will be there to cheer you on as you have added another cause, (honoring Disabled Veterans) towards your journey back to the Iron Triathlon.
By the way, don’t forget to ask Rod more about his most recent endeavor: The Iron Man Dream Team for Veterans. You can read more on it by going to Rod’s website at: RodHutchins.com
Never give up, Rod, as we are with you".
Idaho SCORE District 1087
Idaho SCORE District 1087
"When Rod came across that finished line of the bike portion of the ironman I was in total tears, I realized I had just witnessed a miracle of unbelievable proportion, the only thing that comes to mind to compares is if I could have been there and witnessed the Mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary take his last steps and looked down on the world from the pinnacle of Mount Everest. Can you even imagine how seeing that event with your own eyes would feel?
Rod had already swam 2.4 miles in the pacific ocean currents, and now biked for over 18 hours through the 112 miles up and down the Kona coast. I begged him, Rod, you are going beyond your limit". Most people…runners, bikers, swimmers, when they get muscle cramps that tie their muscles into the most painful knots that can be imagined, they stop, he had already gone through over 200 leg cramps….but he keep pedaling.” At each stop for fueling I would ask him again to STOP, he would just kept asking me to hold his bike up so he could get back on. I did not realize at the time how witnessing this Iron Man event would change me forever. I now know that if we can conceive and believe in what looks impossible, we can reach heights beyond imagining. Rod has become unstoppable and inspires thousands that they can become unstoppable also no matter the obstacles. It is like the old saying goes, "whether you think you can or think you can't you are RIGHT !!".
Previously, Rod had gone through 21 operations. He’d had knee replacements, hip replacements, and other operations for his disease of Guillain-Barre, a rare condition that causes a person’s immune system to attack their peripheral nerves resulting in partial loss of sensation and eventually paralyzing the whole body. Which he had been plagued with not just once, but on three separate times. During these bouts in the hospital while his muscles had disintegrated, Rod would remember watching an ironman. He would picture himself swimming every stroke of the 2.4 miles in the Pacific ocean. He would see in his mind, his bike and his legs pedaling 112 miles on the Kona coast. He would visualize each step of a run of 26.2 miles, yes completing an Ironman "His race at his pace".
Rod knew that all he had to do now was get his body to do what he had seen it do in his mind. Five years later he had seen himself biking, running, swimming thousands of times and he was finally physically ready,
and I got to witness him doing it!
I recall the day I met Rod Hutchins. He asked me to help him get his body nutritionally prepared for an Ironman, something I had been teaching for the past 30 years. I asked him if he had health related problems I should know about. He answered, “I’ve been basically stuck in a wheel-chair as a quadriplegic for the last several months and am learning to walk again.” I thought he was joking. He wasn’t. He gave me his history. He had convinced the doctors to put him back together so he could live his dream. He had just been cleared to swim. “It had taken him two hours to swim his first fifty yards.” Most would give up just from our first swim remember 2.4 miles .
By the time I got off the phone with him I was hooked. I would do anything I knew to help him nutritionally. Having been in the nutritional arena for nearly 4 decades, I put my knowledge to use. In less than two years of his mental acuity, emotional stick-to-itiveness, and his super nutrients he was ready. He took third place, winning a bronze medal in his first triathlon.
Rod has taken any and all excuses I have ever had of doubting a person’s body being able to heal and dashed them to pieces. I’ve learned so much by watching his will. His determined focus conquering pain. His example humbles the best of us. His life is a walking, talking, swimming, moving, running, self fulfilling miracle.
He is going to participate in another ironman in Kona again! Something none of us should miss. Though his lungs, due to covid, are now reduced by 2/3rds capacity, he is still not letting it stop him. He just found a way where there was no way... Picture the running. Picture the biking. Picture the swimming. Visualize the finish line.
Go Rod! I will be right there with you
Come and join us virtually and be prepared to let go of any excuses that are holding you back from your dreams of a healthy body and abundance.
The Veteran Dream Team
2021-2022 KONA ADVISOR
"In the course of my life, I have been so very much blessed to have met, trained, collaborated with, spoken to within my audiences and mentored far more people than what I could ever count. I am even extra blessed, because with many of these individuals, a beautiful friendship between us has been built over the years. For this I am so very grateful!
Each and everyone of these individuals, being their own unique and beautiful selves hold a special place in my heart. A place that continues to remain precious and dear to me, and will continue to throughout the years to come.
Also, in the course of my life, I have learned that if 'one day' you are especially blessed to have a person come into your life that is truly an "Inspiration and Light" to all those they meet... 'That day' is an extraordinarily blessed day for you. Such an extraordinarily blessed day happened for me when Rod Hutchins was introduced to me, many years ago.
Rod is an absolute Inspiration and Light in the lives of those who meet him. He is a man of integrity. When he says he's going to do something, he follows through on his word. He speaks the truth and is transparent. Rod is an excellent communicator. He is patient, kind, understanding and of utmost importance, he is constant in his behavior. He is so because his foundation is that of 'Spirit', and he is of pure heart.
Rod is a true Visionary. A Visionary that executes masterfully in Spirit and manifests the Vision that his is blessed with. Rod elevates lives through his Servant-based leadership. He is a presence that inspires others to Live life fully in "Their Race at Their Pace" and to "Strive daily to meet their next and Higher-best self."
Rod's journey in life truly is inspirational! From his near death-bed due to the Guillain-Barre' syndrome/virus and associated complications, his temporary quadriplegic state, chronic pain and his 21 surgeries and procedures; Rod's continued faith, hope, drive, positive attitude and resilience to be a 'Light of Hope" to others... it absolutely beyond remarkable!
I am truly blessed to be a friend, collaborator, and mentor to Rod. I am highly honored to be a Veteran Dream Team member assisting Rod to prepare for his return to Kona, Hawaii in 2023, not only to complete the IronMan course in "His Race at His Pace", but even of greater importance, to realize every aspect of Rod's Mission Statement...
"To Elevate Lives through Servant-Based Leadership.
To Facilitate…Heart-Guided Growth, Awakening of Innate Gifts, and Fulfillment of Dreams through Collaborative Synergistic Mentorship and Life-changing Friendships.
To Foster and Grow an Environment of Safety, Understanding,Clarity, Heartfelt Acceptance of Genuine Authenticity, Vision,Healing and Wellness.
To be a Presence that Inspires Others to…“Live life fully in “Their Race at Their Pace”, and Strive daily to “Meet their Next and Highest-Best-Self”.
To Listen to God’s Inspired direction through Spirit.
To be a Presence that Lights the Path on the Journey of Life Transformation and Higher Purpose Realization… In All Those Whose Lives We Touch, Worldwide.
To Be Thankful To God, Always."
Thank you Rod for blessing me by having you in my life. Thank you for seeing me and for honoring both my journey and me. I am so very blessed to be working together along side you... unifying our visions, dreams and goals as to "Elevate and Heal Lives throughout the World."
Thank you for being the amazing Man and 'Man of Vision' you are and for sharing your extraordinary journey with others around the world."
May God protect and bless you always!
Kathleen S. McGowan
Kathleen S. McGowan,
2021-2022 Veteran Dream Team
Holistic, Spiritual & Humanitarian Outreach Director