About me

Age: 32
The medical stuff: I have an ileostomy as of July 2009 and was diagnosed with Crohn's at age 11

So you like bicycling? I've been bicycle obsessed for years. I started racing seriously in 2012, and in just a few short years have upgraded to race in the elite field.

I currently race cyclocross for Down Cycles, and track for Alliance Environmental. I am a recent alumni of Yale Cycling, and prior to that Pitt Cycling.

What do I do? I am a PA, and work in a major university hospital in NYC. I also do some statistical consulting.

Random things
Goals for the year: Less seriousness. More fun. More watts!
Favorite color: Most of my clothes and walls are blue.
Pets: I'm a dog person, and have a 14 year old Pit mix named Sharkey.
- I'm afraid of cats.
- People have said that I look like I'm 12, and that I'm intimidating. I understand neither, and am baffled by the combination.
- I can't stay still unless my legs are tired.

This project is my attempt at showing that it is possible to continue to have a full, active life after surgery. The summer that I had to have ileostomy surgery - there was no other option, and I had no time to plan or adjust to the idea- I fell into a deep deep depression. I wasn't sure what my life would be like afterwards. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to be active at all, or that people would know that I have an ostomy because I couldn't hide it under my clothes. And, sadly, I couldn't find any other examples of people like me - young guys with physically demanding professions, who played high intensity sports - despite my constant searching online and in person.

Today my life is awesome. I'm looking forward to this years cycling season, and recently got engaged to the love of my life (who I met after surgery in 2009, for the record). It doesn't get much better than this. Yes, sometimes Crohn's or the extra considerations required for traveling or other breaks in the routine with an ileostomy get me down. But, then I remember how worth it these small bumps in the road are when I look at the big picture. I hope that I can show that cycling, or being active in any sport, with Crohn's or after ileostomy surgery is possible and that your biggest limitations are your fears. Get those limitations out of your head and go live life! Full speed ahead!


  1. We seem to have similar attitudes toward challenges!
    I like your site, and the positive attitude you exude to others. There is so much to be done to bring awareness to IBD and Cancer and Ostomies, as well as comfort, hope, and encouragement for the continuously growing number of people that had/have/will have these life challenges.

    I started a blog to 'Spark positive attitudes by ostomates and about ostomates, by sharing real-life experiences, showing good living after-ostomy … to inspire each of us to live bigger.

    Apparently, many people want to hear our ‘yes, we can be active’ message. I am amazed at the number of hits to the ‘Favourite Links’ on my site.

    I have added your site to my ‘Favourite Links’. I wonder if it is appropriate for you to add my website to your ‘Links to Other Great Stuff’.
    Website http://www.livingbiggerwithcolostomy.com/

    Favourites http://www.livingbiggerwithcolostomy.com/p/favourite-links.html
    Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/LivingBiggerWithColostomy
    Facebook Profile http://www.facebook.com/paul.riome

    Cheers 

  2. Thanks for dropping a line! YES! I am always so excited when I find a blog or facebook post by another person who is out there with an ostomy and truly pushing their physical limits as an athlete. And, in the process, we are pushing the boundries of what the general public, people with an ostomy, and even health care providers thought that we can accomplish.

    I would really love it if this collection of active people could get together and start one big website with different pages linking out to our individual blog projects. This way, finding us would be less daunting of a task for the people who desperately need to see examples of athletes with an ostomy. I do not have the web skills to make this happen, but I know other folks out there do and I'd be glad to contribute content.

  3. Hi Guys
    Wow you two have done some amazing things. I find it inspiring when I hear about other ostimates that are pushing themselves. I'm not very good with computers and have never attempted a blog, i might try after reading yours. I haven't found many people online that are as active as you 2 and never met anyone in person. Even though I have been really lucky since my op and having a stoma stops me doing very little you do sometimes feel a little different but reading about your achievemnts reminds me that it doesn't matter I have a bag and I should carry on doing all the sport and acivities I enjoy and carry on pushing myself. If you do start up a website I would love to contribute. I know I would find it helpful to talk to others about how they cope with the little issues that a bag throws at you whilst cycling, running etc. Since my emergency operation on my birthday 3 years ago, what a prezzie that was, I have recovered fully and me and my bag have completed numerous training sessions, 2 half marathons, 8 triathlons and a few football games (soccer to you). I have big things planned for next year a marathon and an ironman. If you have any advice on cycling 120 miles let me know as the longest ride I have done is 45miles. I will be checking your websites now and facebook pages and expect to find you both continuing with living a much fuller life than the average person.
    Inspired by your sporting stories and am now getting of my arse and going out for a run.

  4. Hey Owen! There's only one of me!

    Wow, marathons and triathalons are no joke! Sounds like you've accomplished making one hell of a recovery in the past three years. That's a serious accomplishment. I'm humbled. Seriously.

    I haven't gotten back into playing contact (even moderate contact) sports like football/soccer again - although these days I have little interest as my focus is on cycling. In the early days, tried wearing a stoma-sheild on the hopes that would add some protection at work as a Paramedic. But, I found the stoma gaurd to be uncomfortable and to be an unsightly bulge on my small frame. I'd be curious to know how you cope with the possibilty of getting wacked either by another player or the ball.

    As far as cycling 120 miles goes, the good news about doing that type of a race is that they are generally flat and that you get to set your pace the entire time, which is vastly physiologically different than riding a bicycle race where you have to respond to attacks from other riders/teams. Getting to set your own pace means that you can stick to your threshold effort. This also means that you can prepare by testing your threshold over distances building up to close to 100 miles (you really don't have to train the full distance), and also make a science of hydration and nutrition on the bike at that effort. There are *tons* of excellent training resources out there for this type of cycling event once you get to the point of refinement.

    As far as getting started, the best way is to gradually build up in miles. Ride with some local groups and push your limits. Once you are comfortable on a 65 mile ride, you should be able to pick up from there and continue training at around that distance at higher efforts closer to what you would do in a race. The other big piece of advice I'd give anyone starting to ride longer is to get a professional bike fit. Seriously, that's the best investment you can make in your speed and physical wellbeing.

    Good luck on your training! keep me posted on how it goes!


  5. Hi Travis - I have been asked by a fellow blogger if I would help in connecting you to her. She wants to list your blog on her site, and is asking you to contact her by email, if you are interested. She has an inspirational site - one that I have listed in my favourite Links (with yours of course) at http://www.livingbiggerwithcolostomy.com/p/favourite-links.html

    Its Jean

    A Guide To Living With A Stoma



    Thanks Travis

  6. Awesome, I love connecting with other folks with an ostomy! I'll drop her a line. :-)

    Seems like you've been busy lately, and had some exciting travels by the looks of your own blog. Congrats on the continued achievemnts!

  7. Travis - I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. There are quite a few steps to do to accept the award and they can be found on my most recent blog post: http://www.livingbiggerwithcolostomy.com/2013/05/versatile-blogger-award.html
    No worries if you don’t have time to go through that process. I am just happy to share your site with my readers because we share that positive determination and zest for life.


  8. Hi!

    Was wondering if you'd be willing to write a post about our company & current Kickstarter project for Awestomy - ostomy undergarments?


    We'd be willing to send you a t-shirt for free.

    Jason McIntosh