One thing I always appreciated about playing competitive sports when I was younger is that I met people from all walks of life: rich, poor, middle class, various races and nationalities. Good kids, bad kids.
To be successful, you had to meld that diversity into a cohesive unit. Come to think of it, even as an adult playing competitive sports, I had the same dynamic. We had the investment banker looking to blow off steam. The dad of four looking for some “me time.” The lifelong bachelor who will stay that way for playing in a league five nights a week.
But there were few people more unique that I encountered than Dave Waldman.
A fiery, compact, mighty-mite guy, I didn’t even know until a few years in his name was Dave. Everyone called him Waldo. I always wanted a cool nickname. I went to school with a guy who gave himself the nickname of Specs. Needless to say, it didn’t work out like he hoped. Anyway, while the rest of us were chewing tobacco or sunflower seeds in the dugout, Waldo would pull out a plastic container with the plainest piece of chicken you’d ever see and raw veggies. While we were talking about going out for drinks after the game, he was crunching his carrot sticks so loud we’d have to yell to be heard.
Turns out, this health nut had reason to be serious about his food: apart from playing baseball, he was also a competitive bodybuilder who was doing it naturally. While my lazy bones were scarfing down a pizza on the weekends, he was pumping iron and flexing his muscles.
So it didn’t surprise me when Waldo let me know he’s coming out with his own assortment of flavor boosters. The years of eating tasteless chicken or plain oatmeal to bulk up took its toll and he started to meet the rest of the world halfway. And in true Waldo fashion, he’s doing it as big as he can. The guy has put up a ton of his own money to find the best ingredients and suppliers. The result is a line of all-natural fruit-based sweeteners to liven up pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt and whatever usually bland food you want to jack up. Called Kickers, they will have 15 to 20 calories and only two to three grams of carbs per serving and there is even a chocolate peanut better banana flavor, which I might try while listening to Elvis.
Normally, I’d run as fast as I could to get away from this kind of thing, but if Dave created it, you can be sure I’ll try some. He’s looking to get into grocery and natural food stores later this year, but in the meantime, you can go to tastekickers.com to order some.
You can reach Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org to gag on tasteless chicken.