When Matt Richter-Sand blows out 31 candles on his birthday cake, he will probably wish for a speedy recovery from sore glutes and hamstrings.
Richter-Sand, a local personal trainer who owns an Internet-based fitness company, is vowing to scale the infamous Santa Monica Stairs 100 times Saturday on his 31st birthday. Celebrating with a sweet, sugary cake—if there is one—would be a rare indulgence.
"They’ll be my inspiration," he told Patch.
The Air Force veteran's mother was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when she was a child. "It impacts every area of your life," Richter-Sand said. "Every hour or two you have to think about the disease and how to manage it. Every time you eat or think about food, you have to plan for it."
As a sports nutritionist, he preaches maintaining a healthy diet as a way to prevent Type II diabetes, the more common type of diabetes affecting about 8 percent of children and adults. Along with family history and race, the diabetes association considers being overweight one of the disease's risk factors.
"Nutrition is two-thirds of the battle," Richter-Sand said. As a runner and fitness trainer, he has the remaining one-third pretty much covered. But he knows that won't make Saturday's feat, starting at 6:30 a.m., easy.
"Anyone who wants to run with me, I’d be happy to have them," he said.