By Tamas Mondovics
For Riverview resident, Karlton Meadows, physical fitness and being in the best shape possible is not just a part of life, it is his life. It was a personal outlook that led him to his commitment last year to set his eyes on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“My childhood dream and the fact that my older brother was a champion runner before his knee surgeries are the reasons why I am training to be the future Olympic 800-meter run Gold Medalist,” said Meadows, who lives with his wife of 24 years in Riverview’s South Fork Subdivision and whose plethora of medals earned for competing in various road races and Track and Field meets.
With 20 years of Naval Service behind him, Meadows, 43, currently works as a TRX instructor at Anytime Fitness located at 11252 Boyette Rd. in Riverview.
His achievements also include becoming a Light Heavyweight Body Building Champion in 2002 shortly after attaining the 2001 Male Athlete of the Year Nominee Award, all of which now rightly serve as a catapult to fulfilling his dream.
“Winning these titles were indeed proud moments for me, but they did not satisfy the childhood dream I had of being a World and Olympic Champion,” he said.
After realizing that he was running as fast as he did a decade-and-a-half ago, Meadows made his commitment to the Games in February of 2012.
“I believe that I have been blessed with this speed and drive so I must be a good steward and custodian and take it to the highest level of competition available,” he said.
With less than three years to go, Meadows is taking his training for the games seriously by conditioning, which has included sessions on the TRX Suspension Trainer for core strength, mobility, balance and power, which he said is equipment that allows him to target his muscles without overly stressing on his joints.
The rest of the time, Meadows use the tracks at University of Tampa and MacDill Air Force Base for his speed work and do his distance runs in his Riverview neighborhood along the main street in South Fork.
As an inspiration of his dream-fulfilling journey, Meadows gives credit to a higher being as he said that God has blessed him with much more than just great genes and stern pertinacity.
“God has systematically brought people into my life who have the expertise I need to maximize my potential as a world class athlete and champion runner,” he said.
Meadows’ inspirations include 24-Hour Run IAU Ultramarathon 2013 World Championships individual Men’s Gold medalist, Jon Olsen, as well as U.S. Ultramarathon Team member and the 2012, 24-Hour Run World Champion, Army Sgt. Mike Morton.
Anyone interested in learning more about Meadows and cheer him on as he works toward his Olympic aspiration may log onto http://www.ideafit.com /profile/karlton-meadows, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.