WESTON - Mosinee's Chad Esker may have still felt sore the day after he had finished an Ultraman triathlon. He had just swum 6.2 miles, biked 263 miles and ran 52.4 miles. Then, he decided to do something even crazier…
Chad Esker plans to go where only 8 men before him have gone before….to complete the EPIC 5 Challenge in Hawaii. Each day for 5 days Esker will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles. The races will take place on a 5 different Hawaiian Islands. It's a journey covering 703 total miles that will put both his body and mind to the ultimate test. "It's not even a race, it's a challenge," explains Esker.
But Esker hasn't always been a machine of a man. A few years ago he had no plans of ever doing a triathlon. "I originally was just going to do a relay and our biker backed out. So, I was forced to find a bike about two weeks before the race…..had a few days to practice on it and I did my first triathlon and then I was hooked," says Esker.
Hooked…or maybe even addicted. This EPIC 5 challenge isn't even the end for Esker. "I'm not ready to stop yet…If I could find another challenge…I'm going to do it," says Esker.
Some would say Esker's determination is downright super human. But Esker's training partner Nick Bradfish says perseverance can be a powerful thing for anyone. "You want something bad enough and you have the will power to do it…everyone has the means. It may not be easy but that doesn't mean it's impossible," explains Bradfish.
Esker will be one of 13 athletes from around the world to attempt this year's event. Dr. Larry Gordon, who practices at Aspirus in Weston, is impressed by Esker's resolve. "Now you're doing more. You're swimming, you're bicycling, you're running and you're doing that several days in a row. So, you're going to get more and more muscle break down. That can actually accumulate and become poisonous to your body. And in some cases can affect your kidneys," warns Gordon.
Dr. Gordon says proper nutrition before, during and after each race is critical in flushing out the toxins from the body. Esker has a team of people making sure he his properly fueled and ready to go. His team also tries to keep him from doing anything too crazy too soon. They tell him… "…don't be signing up for anything stupid tomorrow….it's kind of a habit I have when you get done with a big event… and you kind of go through a little bit of almost a depression. But you're leading up to this big day…and then it happens… it's over… so now what?" questions Esker.
Esker's life motto, "don't stop believing," is something that keeps him searching for new challenges."I haven't really found a limit I hit yet," says Esker.
Chad will compete in the EPIC 5 Challenge May 5th-10th. Until then, he will continue training more than 24 hours each week.
Several Republican senators, including Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), have said they're not ready to vote.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) says he supports Johnson on this.
"We've given Senator Johnson some suggestions," Walker said. "I think he wants to vote for it, he made the promise when he ran in '10 and then last year in 2016 that he would vote to repeal it, he wants to do that, he just wants to make sure that the repeal ultimately ends up serving the people of Wisconsin well."
Both Democratic and Republican senators say they have issues with the bill.
Some Republicans say the bill doesn't get rid of enough of the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats worry about Medicaid cuts.
Walker says he wants Wisconsin to continue to do what it does well in healthcare.
"What I've asked Senator Johnson is help us do the things we've been successful at," Walker said. "We're a top ten state when it comes to access for healthcare for citizens, we're a top ten state with the quality of our healthcare systems. We want to maintain that going forward."
On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office said the new bill would cause 22 million Americans to be uninsured.
Johnson put out a statement Tuesday saying he was glad there won't be a vote this week.
RHINELANDER - Three decades-old signs greet people coming into Rhinelander from various sides. But if you drive past them every day, you likely don't even notice them. Rhinelander wants to make sure those old signs stand out.
WAUSAU - Many of us try to honor our veterans whenever we can.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) added one more way.
The Governor visited several veteran-owned businesses across the state Tuesday for Veteran-Owned Business Day.
Tuesday afternoon he stopped at Prosthetic Orthotic Center in Wausau.
He says veteran-owned businesses are good for other veterans and the economy.
"We found statistically that veterans are about 30 percent more likely to hire fellow veterans as employees," Walker said. "So it's good all the way around."
If you are a veteran-owned business, you can register with the state at WisVets.com
That way you can get a decal that says Wisconsin Veteran-Owned for your business window or door.
You also get listed in a state veteran-owned business directory.
"We're branding it, letting the public know that businesses that are owned by veterans, letting them know whether it's in a sign in their window or whether it's on the website, or other ways that we can draw attention," Walker said.
About 390,000 veterans live in Wisconsin, and about 11 percent of the state's businesses are veteran-owned.
WAUSAU - Drugs led to four arrests and one death in north-central Wisconsin on Monday.
The Marathon County Sheriff's Office reports a 37-year-old Shawano man died after apparently overdosing on methamphetamine.
Witnesses say 37-year-old Lucas Groshek and his wife, Carolyn, were shaking and convulsing in a car in the eastern Marathon County town of Norrie. Mr. Groshek died before getting to the hospital. Mrs. Groshek, 33, is in stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon.
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