Dr. Nick Ritzema’s relationship with triathlon began about 10 years ago while watching the Kona World Championships on TV with his roommate. They made an agreement to do a full-distance tri together within five years of graduation. He hasn’t yet realized that goal, but as the new title sponsor for the Michigan Titanium he has a little extra motivation. His goal now is to start with the Olympic this year and work up through all the distances over the next three years.
Dr. Ritzema played sports in high school and football for Grand Valley State University. He found that college, dental school, kids (he has five), and life in general got in the way of being physically fit. He turned to triathlon as a way to maintain whole body health and wellness. Nick grew up an avid runner and has a love/hate relationship with that discipline. He loves it “because it’s the aspect of the race where I can shut off my mind and enjoy the passing scenery and the cheering supporters who line the course.” But years as a linebacker have taken a toll on his knees, so he feels every step that comes towards the end of the race, when exhaustion has set in. His knees have proven to be his biggest challenge in endurance sports and have kept him from reaching that five-year goal.
Complete Health Dentistry is the practice that Dr. Ritzema began because the name explains what he believes dental care is all about. Nick says, “I absolutely love the direction that the profession of dentistry is going in. Cleanings and cavities are the basics of dentistry and always will be. However, treating diabetes, preventing heart attacks and strokes, and developing better airways for better sleep and better health—these are the life-saving things that I get to do every day! Most people are unaware that they have two primary care healthcare providers. Your family physician and your dentist. Most dentists don’t fully embrace their med-school education, but many out there, like me, enjoy taking care of their patients’ complete health. This includes screening for, diagnosing, and/or treating over 90% of all systemic diseases. Practicing medicine in a private practice, without having to work within the limits of a hospital-based institution, allows good dentists to not only care for their patients’ health, but also develop relationships with them and directly take part in patients’ overall health and wellness.”
Every athlete knows that good health is a key to a good race season. This is where Dr. Ritzema and Complete Health Dentistry are a good fit as Title Sponsor for the Michigan Titanium. He says, “I am excited to be the new title sponsor for the MiTi and invest in the health of so many individuals. Whether you’re attempting to qualify for a championship race or simply trying something new to get in better shape, triathlon is a great individual sport that brings groups of amazing people together.”