Meet this week’s over 50 athlete of the week – Roger McVeigh, age 55. From couch potato focused almost exclusively on being an accounting partner at a major accounting firm, to ironman and active member of his local community. Here’s his story.
It Started All About Career
Roger McVeigh’s career was all about being a partner at what was then a Big Eight accounting firm. He graduated with a degree in accounting in 1983, started at an entry level with KPMG LLP and worked his way up through the ranks to become an audit partner in 1997. Roger worked primarily with technology and communications companies – picture lots of start up companies facing a multitude of issues from raising capital to fund their business idea, to acquiring other companies (or being acquired,) to watching start up dreams crumble and facing bankruptcy.
Every day brought something new, interesting and challenging. Roger thrived on the challenge, but the price for that challenge was lots of stress, long hours, late and sleepless nights.
Roger had lots of other dreams and interests – to one day hike the Appalachian Trail, to run races all over the country, to become an ironman. His work did not allow the personal time or balance to pursue these other interests. Roger also dreamed of working very hard and retiring early.
Roger spent time in Key West from high school on. He and his wife, Cindy, vacationed there. Roger’s dream grew to include living in Key West.
Step by step, Cindy and Roger’s next life began taking shape. In 2003, Roger and Cindy bought a house in Key West. Cindy’s company was doing poorly, so she began sending out feelers for a job in Key West. In 2005, Cindy became controller of the Key West Citizen (the local daily newspaper.) Personal real estate investments paid off in a booming Atlanta real estate market. In 2006, at age 46, Roger rotated off his last audit client and retired from KPMG.
Roger is seeking balance. Living in the Keys allows outdoor activities 365 days a year. The small town feel, where residents walk or ride their bikes to get around, means that whenever Roger and Cindy step outside, they are greeted by friends and neighbors.
What happens when you combine the outdoors with a group of friends who are active in sports? Roger went from being a coach potato to swimming, biking, running – and triathlon.
And if you dream, dream big. The drive and determination that made his new lifestyle possible has not left Roger. That drive and determination led Roger to realize his dream of conquering the biggest challenge in triathlon – ironman. Preparing for and completing a race that consists of 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run will challenge your mental and physical limits. Roger took on that challenge and is now a 2 time ironman, completing 140.6 at Cozumel and Louisville.
Roger also has time now to give back to the community he loves. Roger became a City of Key West Ambassador and has helped with its programs. He and Cindy raise funds for the Key West ASPCA and Roger is on more than six local nonprofit boards.
Roger and Cindy also now have time to spend together (and with their pups) and enjoy the thriving art, theater and restaurant scene in Key West.
What’s up Next for Roger?
You can track Roger this weekend as he takes on Ironman Texas. He also plans to race Escape from Alcatraz, take some downtime and unstructured training over the summer before wrapping up with Ironman Florida in November.
As important as any event, Roger wants to continue to grow and develop. To work on being more relaxed. To be less focused on results and more focused on enjoying the process.
Roger’s Advice for Others Looking to Get Fit
Roger’s advice for others over 50 looking to become more fit:
“Have a strong belief that you can accomplish almost anything you set your mind to as long as you are willing to make the commitment and put in the hard work. Stop and enjoy the process along the way.”