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HCR020: Interview With an Ironman


In this episode, I interview Jeff and Amy Jo Akin, and talk to them about physical training and Jeff’s experience with his first Iron Man triathlon. Here are some of the points I discuss:
  • Jeff and Amy Jo tell the story of Jeff being selected by lottery to participate in the 2002 national Iron Man championship in Hawaii, right after Jeff was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
  • We discuss the benefit to the children that comes from parents who take physical exercise and nutrition seriously.
  • Jeff gives tips to the man or woman who wants to get started in physical training but doesn’t know where to begin.
  • A book that Amy Jo recommends is Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan.
  • A book that has challenged Jeff on the subject of church is Simple Church, by Rainer and Geiger.
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Jeff Akin
Jeff Akin

Jeff Akin serves as Treasurer for The Council for Family-Integrated Churches and has ministered as a lay leader in multiple church congregations over the years. He engages regularly in public speaking on father-led families and the biblical modeling of Family-Integrated worship.

Jeff’s vast professional background affords him a unique, lay leader vantage point among Council members. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, Jeff served our country as a Navy Pilot, flying over 4,000 flight hours in support of the first Gulf War. Following his naval service, a post-graduate business degree positioned him well for the first of many positions within American industry, most recently leading companies in several industry sectors. His visionary insights, marketing prowess and discernment, and financial accountability, contribute much to the Council’s mission and viability.

Jeff also is an accomplished athlete, competing in multiple full-distance Ironman Triathlons and marathons, all despite being a Type 1 diabetic. He often lectures publically on the challenge of doing much with what God has afforded us individually, leading others – family and friends – by personal example, and remembering from where our strength originates. Among his greatest joys are the literally hundreds of testimony’s to lives transformed by his diabetic “thorn”.

Jeff lives on a small farm in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife Amy Jo, sons Tyler, Samuel, and Eli, and daughters Ellen and Abby. The Akin family is passionate about one another, living sustainably and responsibly on their family homestead, and taking great care of all that God has entrusted to their care.