GOTRIbal:Tell us why you took on this crazy, fun endurance sports lifestyle?
Lewis: I grew up competing in all sorts of sports, at 7 years old my father had myself and two brothers racing local 2 mile running races. I’ve always been very active. After a few years of being on the US National Cycling Team and a brief stint as a college soccer player, I found myself a career as a pro triathlete. There have been many highs and lows over the last ten years racing professionally, but I’ve never really thought about doing anything else.
GT: What are your favorite distances to race?
Lewis: I enjoy all distances from sprint up to Ironman. I’m probably most suited to the Half Ironman distance. Lately, I’ve gotten into 100 mile endurance mountain bike races, which are a new challenge and a BLAST to compete in!
GT:Who have been major forces for you in maintaining your involvement in multisport?
Lewis: My father was my originally motivator, he and my late mother were always my biggest fans and supporters. He always encouraged me to chase my dreams even if it sometimes looked less financially rewarding or even acceptable from a societal point of view. The older I get, the more sense he makes to me. As far as more recently, my good friend Preston Miller has kept me going and more-or-less on a good track. Preston is the founder of Tri-Scottsdale which is my local club in Arizona, he has been quite a mentor for me in my approach to multisport, personal relations, and business.
GT: What experience do you remember the most in “paying it forward”?
Lewis: I’ve gotten more help over the years than I ever could mention in one interview, those people know who they are. I’m now at a point where I try to do the same for others as much as possible! Even though it’s cliche to say, I find the giving back VERY rewarding. I’m always looking to do the little things that in some way may make a big difference in somebody’s life.
GT: You work in an entirely different industry, specifically as a model for Ford. How did you get involved?
Lewis: I do work as a model with Ford as well as a few other big agencies in various markets. I did work in that industry freelance here and there for a couple years, doing lower-pay work including a two week stint as an extra in NYC on the set of the movie Zoolander. (Seriously, I know…) I have always been interested in the entertainment industry and wanted to be an actor or a guitar player, and I can do both at a fairly low level. Modeling, although not my initial dream, I figured was a great way to make a little money and meet some cute girls. Fortunately for me, that was the case, and both well beyond my expectations!
I would say that I got my “break” signing with Ford when I was 23. I was good friends with a well-known model and ultra-marathon runner named Scott Alan who lives in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Scott really went to bat for me and helped me get signed with Ford and I started getting decent work right away. Most of it was in newspapers and magazines in things like,”Dillard’s, Back To School” ads, where I looked a lot like a high school kid! I enjoyed it, and I could really use the money as a young, aspiring, pro triathlete, financially it’s very challenging! In 2011 I booked two International TV commercials as the lead roll in the “Pro-Form Tour De France Trainer” ad and also the “Pearl Drops” tooth whitening product ad, which was a final scene spoof on the movie “Love Actually” shown mostly in Europe. ….