An Interview with the
- Tom grew up in San Diego,
California, the son of an aeronautical engineer father and a mother
who managed the eight-sibling Piszkin household.
- "Being the oldest, I kept my
siblings in line and acquired all the first-born personality
markers. Thanks to Mom, we were a very athletic family. My poor
Dad however, with ten mouths to feed, was trapped in a lifestyle
that left him little time for his own health. Tobacco was his
stress-management partner, contributing to his first and fatal
heart attack at the age of 41."
Ironically, a year earlier Tom was shot in the chest at
point-blank range with a .38 special on his way home from
college ...but it wasn't his time to check out.
- "The Man upstairs had other plans!
I managed to graduate from U.C. Berkeley with three degrees and
went to work for the Ford Motor Company in Michigan. Working in
their Product Development Group was a lot like being recruited for
some of my Dad's home projects like; conducting air foil tests
while strapped to the tailgate of the family station wagon with
an 8 mm home movie camera in hand, restoring a 1956 Austin
Healey, nursing a Corvair van ("Road Oiler") through my
first driving years, building an experimental (Thorpe-18) airplane, etc."
- Four years of fast-track
automotive experience in Detroit gave way to a chance to work in
the computer business in Hawaii! Unfortunately, the Big Island
wasn't big enough to support a time-sharing venture in the early
- "Fortunately, I made my way back
to San Diego and helped a small software company grow in the DEC
(Digital Equipment Corporation) world. By the mid-80's I
discovered triathlons--not difficult in San Diego."
- Having served in the
Club's leadership for 13 years, Tom was inducted into the Triathlon Club
of San Diego's Hall of Fame in 2004. He is certified as an Olympic
Triathlon Coach and currently coaches the Masters
Triathlon program at the University of California in San Diego.
Triathlon is at the crossroads of human performance and
technology. As such, everything you see at this Site has sprung
from a personal experience: The inadequacy of sunglasses for a
contact lens wearing cyclist; the discomfort of conventional bike
frames for a back-surgery patient; the challenge of
training/re-gaining lung capacity for a coach/gun-shot victim.
- "It's all classic
necessity...mother of invention stuff. I hope you find these
concoctions--if not personally useful--interesting and
entertaining. Who knows, they might inspire you to apply your
God-given talents to the pursuit of your passions! "