Stephen Hulsey: Pool Jump Warrior

LA 2 years ago

Stephen Hulsey is a very active 73 year old man and regular at Tart Restaurant. He very consistently participates in our Pool Jump- an ongoing deal that states if you jump in the pool with your clothes on after your meal you get 50% off your bill. In his free time, Stephen does 10 mile obstacle courses and helps build satellites for Boeing. He answered a few questions for us while enjoying his favorite fried chicken and waffles at Tart.

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How did you find out about the pool jump?

I read it on a website, they mentioned that there was this funky hotel across the street from The Farmer’s Market that gives you 50% off if you jump in the pool after your meal.

How long have you been doing the pool jump?

A little over a year.

Every week?

Maybe once a month on average. A little more in the summertime.

Do you live close by?

I live about 7 miles from here. Not too far.

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Do you do other special deals around town?

Nothing quite like this, of course. This is absolutely unique. But I’m a member of the Delta Airlines frequent flyer program and their dining program where you get points for eating in restaurants that are on their list.  And I do lots of obstacle course events. I do one called Tough Mudder, they have 50 or more events per year, internationally. A typical event covers 10 to 12 miles, with possible hill climbs depending on the location, with about 20 various obstacles to do. The final obstacle is called Electro Shock Therapy, where you run through these dangling wires and you get a shock.

That sounds dangerous.

Well it’s no current or high voltage, it’s just a jolt. Fortunately they don’t kill people. Then there are high walls to climb over, water obstacles to go through, and various other obstacles. I’ve done a total of 14 of these in the last 3 or 4 years or so.

How often is Tough Mudder?

I’ve been doing about 3 a year. They’re held all over the country. The last time was near San Bernardino called the LA Tough Mudder, then before that was north of San Diego near Temecula. Those were the last two I did. And there’s a competing organization called Spartan Race, that has three different levels. They have The Sprint, that’s 3-5 miles with a lot of obstacles, and the Super Spartan, which is 8 to 9 miles, and then The Beast, which is 10-12 miles, and I’ve done all three. Plus I do numerous other events. When I first started doing these events, it was the Camp Pendleton World Famous Mud Run in June, which they’ve been doing for over 20 years. At many of the events, I’m the oldest person.

Have you ever won? Do people win at these events?

Well it depends on the event, usually a race will have overall winners, like the fastest, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, then there’s often age group awards, and I’m in age group 70-74, and I often get a medal because I’m the only one in my age group! The last event was the Spartan race super near Las Vegas and there were 3 people in my age group out of a total of 8300 participants, but I was the oldest of the 3.

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So are you retired?

Pretty much, though I have been doing some part time work for HRL Laboratories, formerly Hughe’s, in Malibu, a research lab that’s half owned by Boeing and GM. I actually retired from Boeing, where I was an electronics engineer. But I’m pretty much mostly retired at this point.

How long were you with them?

Well I originally worked for Hughes Aircraft Company after I graduated college in 1972, but Hughes was purchased by Boeing, so the Hughes facility in El Segundo became a Boeing facility.

Were you an engineer for airplanes?

Mostly power electronics- power supplies, power processing. Originally I went for Aircraft radar, and then more recently for satellites.

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What are your favorite albums of all time?

I’m into classical music, and my favorite is Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. I also like classic country western, like Johnny Cash, and one of the most famous country albums of all time, with Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris called Trio. That’s a very famous album I enjoy.

What does “Do It At The Daughter” mean to you?

Basically, eat at Tart Restaurant and do the pool jump!