How pre-dawn workouts and positivity keep one of the sport's most sought after physical therapists ahead of the game.
In Niwot, Colo., it is 3:30 a.m. and too dark for me to see Bob Cranny's face, but as he wheels over, I can tell he is smiling.
"I didn't think you'd actually show up," he chirps.
Neither did I.
The Niwot Park & Ride is deserted except for a dubious-looking sedan which, in its abandoned state, seems to confirm by theory about public transit sites at this hour-the one that says parking lots are reserved for drug deals and kidnappings before 5 a.m., not for two triathletes setting out on a long bicycle ride and interview. Yet here I am anyway, adorned in enough blinking lights to land an aircraft and armed with as many open-ended questions as it will take to keep the pace conversational for a couple hours. I have come to find out what makes Bob Cranny tick.
And there is Bob, or at least what I can see of him in the rural Boulder County darkness. He is long-legged, lean, still grinning and wearing short socks despite the crisp air. For him, this is a typical Saturday morning.
Cranny's evident good humor has already put a wrench in the second theory I have brought with me today-the one that says he is crazy. I know a little about Bob already. He is considered to be fast in a town full of fast people. But more than that, he sustains a momentum in his everyday life that few understand and even fewer can match. He trains year-round in the wee hours of the morning, rarely missing a day, much of it with his neighbor who is a neurosurgeon. One of their favorite summertime workouts involves riding 50 miles to the base of one of the most lethal 14,000-foot peaks on Colorado's Front Range and running to its summit-in the middle of the night on a full moon, descending directly to work by noon the next day on zero sleep. He is in his mid-40s (*mid-50s), happily married and a father of three daughters ages 8, 11 and 13 (*now 18, 21 and 23).