By mid-year 2011, I was at the heaviest weight I had ever been in my life. I was overweight and significantly out of shape. The stairs became an arch nemesis of mine, which is never a good sign. With the help of an assignment from school in early December, I began to run. After not taking care of my health for over a decade, I began to exercise and eat better. On a Monday, December 5th, I went to the gym at 5:00am, and continued this pattern all through December and the Winter season. At first, it was awful. Running sucked. Eating healthy was terrible. You know how good chocolate is when you say you aren’t going to eat it??? This was by far the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. But I stuck with it.
I was humbled by only being able to jog for 30 seconds and walk for 2 minutes for a total of 10 minutes off and on. But I built up endurance. After only a month I was running for 10 minutes straight. At the end of the Winter, I found myself starting to enjoy running and was seeing significant health improvements. I continued to set goals for myself, and I continued to reach them and I say that with all humility. This adventure and process has been humbling.
While I’ve gone through some significant changes in my life to get back into a healthy state, I have worked hard along the way to set realistic goals and to work until I met them. In early March, I set the goal for myself to train and run a half-marathon in September/October. Along the journey, my wife and I ran a 5K in early May. I ran a 7 mile race in my hometown at the end of July. And at the end of September, I ran the Quad Cities Half-Marathon.
Through 6 months of hard training and early morning runs, I completed the QC Half-Marathon on Sunday, September 23rd in a time of 1:48:58. This was a very emotional race for me. As I was running across the I-74 bridge over the Mississippi River, I held back tears as I remembered my father and remembered why I truly started to run. I’m so appreciative of my family and friends around me that helped push me towards this goal. Running isn’t about me. It’s about God and it’s about honoring the Father that has given me this resource, and treating it the best I can for Him. I just hope as a recovering fat guy I can be an encouragement to others and help them to honor God through all that He has given to them.