Saturday, May 7, 2011

OMRR Article

I joined OMRR (Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners) this year, and I told them about my running and weight loss so far. They asked me to write an article to be published in their newsletter.

We got it in the mail today.  Here it is, and I hope you like it.

“You want me to do what?” I remember thinking this when I was required to run a mile in my college fitness class.  This moment has been repeated over and over again in my life.  Running was a punishment, not fun!  So, you can imagine the look on my family’s face when I told them I was going to start running.

I had hit rock bottom.  I was depressed, and I ate to cope with my sadness.  I hid behind my addiction to food, video games, and laziness.  I just existed, and I wasn’t living.  I would get up just in time to get to work.  I would not eat breakfast.  I would be miserable at work.  I would go out to eat for lunch and eat fast food.  I would go straight home and eat half a casserole for dinner.  I would then play video games until 1 in the morning.  I wondered why I was so depressed and sad.  I needed help, but I was to scared of failure to even bother asking.

Then, the inspiration I needed came to me. I was on facebook one night in November, and someone linked a video of some guy who lost 130 pounds by running.  He was a gamer, depressed, and very overweight.  Since he started running, he has done several 5K’s, marathons, and even an Ironman.  If someone like him could do it, then I could start running, too.  Ben Davis of Ben Does Life gave me the inspiration to get my life back.

I started telling everyone that I was going to start running and losing weight at the start of 2011.  A month before the beginning of the rest of my life, I planned out what I was going to do. I found a running program, Couch to 5K, and I talked to a nutritionist.  I wanted to start a blog to keep me accountable.  The effort I put into this had to be 100%, and running was going to be the key.

When you tell everyone you want to change, you may be amazed at the number of people who want to help.  My co-worker, Paul, is a runner and has lost a large amount of weight.  He was excited to help me. He sent me to the OMRR website for a list of races to prepare for. I recruited my brother to start the Couch to 5K program with me.  Some of my friends and co-workers said they would run my first race with me.

On January 3rd, I started running. Even the cold weather didn’t keep me back, and I did my best. During that first run, I thought I was going to die.  However, failure was not an option this time, so I didn’t quit. I kept running and progressed in the program. Before I knew it, the thought of running wasn’t terrible anymore. I looked forward to pushing myself a little further.  At the end of 9 weeks, I was running 30 minutes at a time and a 13-minute mile. The weight kept coming off. I was getting my life back.  My priorities changed when I decided to go to bed early, stop playing video games, and spend more time with my wife and kids.  I started to notice how much happier I was!

The Viking 5K Run/Walk was my first race, and it was amazing.  At a slow but steady pace, I finished the race in 43:50.  One of the greatest moments in my life is when my friends and family ran the last 100 feet with me, cheering me on.  I developed a love for running and racing. 

When I started running, I weighed 333 pounds.  Almost 60 pounds lighter, I am running 3 miles, three times a week and working out 6 times a week. I can now call myself a runner.  I love it!  I am not good at it yet, and I am still slow, but progression is there.  In the second 5K I ran, I carved off 3 minutes from my first time.  I am running another one this month and hope to do a little better. My plan is to also run the Bass Pro Half Marathon this year.

Joining the OMRR has been a great way for me to stay on track after I completed the Couch to 5K program. I am very excited to get involved and run with everyone in the organization. I also have a great support group that follows my blog,  I have had several people tell me they read it, and it has helped motivate them to start running and changing their lives. That gives me such an amazing feeling! The effort I put into becoming healthier is not only worth it for me but for helping others as well.

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