In my personal work, I started becoming self-aware and worked on my self-improvement. I enjoy learning from such legends as Tony Robbins.  All my searching and growing has been in the name of becoming a bigger gift to the world.

Other interests/passions:                                                                                                                                                          

My passions are being physically fit, eating healthy, and being a contribution to the world. I work at putting out positive energy and desire to be a positive influence. I recently spoke at SpeakOut Charleston. My talk was on my adventures and life story.

What do you like most about Natural Awakenings?                                                                                                      

I like the positive vibe that Natural Awakenings puts out. The articles that are about improving self help me to maintain the vibe that is part of who I am as a person. The magazine is a refresher that is sometimes hard to find in life. It is a great resource to improve areas of my life.

How can people get in touch with you?                                                                                                                       

If you wish to reach me, email me at Don@NelsonPrint.com.  

Victoria Hargis is an author; speaker; and post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and grief coach. Connect with her at SoileirCoaching.com.



Meet Don Oswalt—Creating a Road Map by Cycling, Swimming and Running

​​by Victoria Hargis

Tell the readers a little about yourself:     

 I lived in a small town in Oregon until 2003, when I made the move to South Carolina. I have worked in sales at a local printing company for the last eight years, although I have been in the print field most of my life.

I spent the first part of my life feeling like I didn't have a road map, so once I moved here I decided to stretch myself. I had friends in the sport of triathlon and began spending time with them and training to be a triathlete. Doing anything physical was totally new to me, and I cannot tell you how it made me come alive.

I spent several years building up my mental and physical muscles, and in 2013, I did my first full Ironman triathlon. This meant I would be doing a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a full marathon, 26.2 miles—140.6 total all in the same day. It was a big challenge for me, but I was up for that challenge and finished it with pride and excitement knowing that I had done it!

In this process of self-discovery, wanting to give back, I dedicated that first Ironman to raise money for Water Mission to install a water system and latrines in Peru. I teamed up with friends, family and my local Rotary club and we raised over $55,000 and had the privilege to go with my wife to the commissioning celebration. Those are memories we will never forget.

After that amazing experience, I continued to challenge and stretch myself even more. I set the goal of trying to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. That meant another full Ironman and finishing in the top of my age group to even have a chance to go.

I dedicated 2015 to try and qualify for the World Championship at Ironman Chattanooga. This story is too long to tell here, but out of 280 guys in my age group, I came from 126th place out of the water to 16th place off the bike to fourth place—three seconds from third place when I was finished! To my amazement, I earned a spot to go to Hawaii and the Ironman World Championship! It was amazing! It was such a feeling of accomplishment, and I had the privilege of competing with the best in the world in Kona last October. I left it all out there on the battlefields in Kona and have never been pushed to the edge mentally, physically and emotionally as I was that day.