Meet Beau Beery. Devoted dad and husband and Owner/Broker Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish, Realtors. Although Beau has played sports almost all of his life, he only got into swimming about 10 years ago as a low-impact exercise. Since then, this self-taught swimmer has competed in triathlons and aquabike races in an effort to maintain a healthy life doing something he loves.
How do you live a 360life?
Eating correctly, exercise, massages when needed, acupuncture and training in general aren’t a choice to me — they are as mandatory as paying taxes. I don’t wake up at 5:15 a.m. each morning and think of reasons why I don’t need to exercise. I respect myself, my wife, my kids and this one life God has given me too much not take care of the physical body I was given. Everyone has the time and money to have a healthy exercise, work and family life. It is making it a priority that derails most.
What is your wellness mantra?
Ferociously consistent self-discipline will bring you raging success in all you do.
How long have you been active/competing?
I have been in sports my whole life. From elementary school until my late 20s I did soccer, baseball, wrestling, football, basketball, weight training and plenty of weird sports and activities in between. It wasn’t until I was maybe 30 years old that I discovered swimming, and even then I only swam laps once every week or two. My dad always pushed swimming on me as a kid, but it wasn’t cool in the ‘90s. You didn’t wear Speedos where I’m from. I don’t think our town had a lap pool! By my early to mid-30s I was swimming several times a week, teaching myself proper technique by watching videos and talking to good swimmers. I noticed I was faster than most so I thought, “Maybe I should do that triathlon stuff.”
Tell us how you started?
I started getting more serious about swimming maybe seven or eight years ago. I started swimming because I wanted something that I could do forever, that didn’t hurt me (like running and heavy weights did), and that I enjoyed. I kept seeing folks in the pool at Gainesville Health and Fitness from 20 years old to over 80 years old, and they all looked physically attractive for their age. My wife has been an awesome triathlete for several years, so in 2015 she encouraged me to do my first race. I thought it was a great way to spend more time together. After a number of races I discovered a few things: I was always among the top five finishers overall in the swim, but not as dominant in the bike or run, and I didn’t particularly love the bike and run. If triathlons are supposed to be fun, why not only do what you love? So late last year I started putting together relay teams for triathlons. I do the swim and I find friends who enjoy doing the bike and the run. Now I do only what I love and I get to build bonds with friends I like through the relay route. On occasion I’ll do the “aquabike” race, which is a separate triathlon category where one competitor does the swim and bike only.
Please share your favorite competition/event, in detail and what it meant to you. Hands down the Augusta, Georgia Half Ironman was my favorite race last year. I showed up at the race with no team and not having been registered. It was sold out. After a massive social media campaign looking for a team to join the day before the race, I found a relay team that needed a swimmer. It was a 70-plus-year-old married couple. The husband biked and the wife ran. I paid them my portion of the entry fee, we met and got to know each other, and I became their swim leg. It was an awesome down river 1-mile swim. There were over 2,500 competitors, including dozens of professional triathletes, and I had the fastest swim time of the day. More importantly it provided additional motivation and fun to my daily training routine.
What keeps you motivated?
Besides the obvious reason of wanting to live a higher quality life that makes me feel good, don’t we all just want to look great naked? I want to look awesome naked until I die. I’m sure my wife does, too. And of course I genuinely like competing against both myself and others in the water and trying to set a new personal record.
What are you training for right now?
I don’t train for a specific race. I’m always training as hard and smart as I can as if there were a race every weekend because I enjoy being in the water and pushing myself.
What is your go-to diet?
The word “diet” irritates me. I can’t stand all the gimmicks out there. I always shake my head because everything is marketed as a quick fix. Eating healthy really isn’t rocket science, but Americans sure like the thought of shortcuts. I eat a serving of lean protein and a good carb at every meal as well as vegetables in two of my meals. I’ll eat fruit in between meals, and I keep my sugar intake as low as possible. I have a gluten intolerance and a soy allergy so I avoid those. I have a couple cups of coffee to start off my morning and only drink water throughout the day. I avoid preservatives and all fake food (protein shakes, bars, etc.). One day a week (Saturday) I can cheat moderately. Unlike the many challenges of selling commercial real estate, my body is one of the few things I can control how well it performs. Why not go all out, especially when you receive 100 percent of the benefit?
How would you encourage others to start living a 360life?
Seek counsel from those who truly have a 360life. If everyone knew what a 360life felt like, they would never go back.
What is your daily workout routine?
This changes all the time as I age. I’m always after the perfect balance so that I’m recovering in time before the next work out, not getting hurt, not sacrificing time with my family and not losing time for my real estate clients. I currently wake up at 5:15 a.m. three days a week to swim between 4,000–5,000 yards (2.5–3 miles) and one additional day a week I wake up at 5:15 a.m. for Pilates. Sometimes I’ll swim a fourth day if I’m feeling frisky. After work and on weekends I remain very active by working in my yard and playing pretty hard with the kids via soccer, football, swimming, etc. I have found that most elite athletes love their sports so much they tend to overtrain. I’ve been guilty in the past, but now that I’ve gotten smarter, I’ve found the power of sleep and recovery. At 41 years old I’m still setting personal records in the pool all the time.
What is the most important lesson being active has taught you?
That positive actions breeds more positive action. Developing a strong, active work ethic in exercise has a direct impact in my occupation and the energy I’m able to bring to my family.
What is one thing you wouldn’t swim without?
Besides obviously needing goggles, I would say my nose clamp piece. Something about the construction of my nose allows water to really easily travel in and out of my head, making it very difficult to swim or flip turn without a high degree of discomfort.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Choose an activity you actually like doing so it isn’t a drag. There are too many people that say, “I need to go running to lose some of this weight.” If you hate running, then you are setting yourself up for failure. If you like to just walk with your favorite music on, then walk your way to success. If you like to play racquetball, do it. Don’t choose a sport or activity that sounds sexy, but that you hate doing. I love swimming, so I swim. I love selling real estate, so I sell real estate.
Favorite way to wind down from a busy week: I love working in my yard in the sweltering heat with my headphones on, sweating to death. My wife thinks I’m nuts, but I love it. Oddly, I also enjoy just going in my garage and having a dance party with myself to some old school hip-hop or funk music.
Favorite Movie: “Avatar.” That tall, athletic blue female Avatar is super hot and reminds me of my wife … minus being 10-feet tall, blue and having a long tail.
Favorite ways to relax: In a perfect world I’d be bass fishing in a boat on a river all alone and for as long as I wanted.
Go-to meal/restaurant in Gainesville: The one we frequent the most is Blaze Pizza. I get their gluten-free pizza fully loaded with just about every topping you can get. If you put that many toppings on a pizza in most other places, you’d go broke.