When you think about determination, inspiration, and perseverance what comes to your mind?
I have had the pleasure to be tweeting with and talking to Dan lately and his story just blows me away. He has lost over 100 pounds just like I did, hard old fashioned WORK. I was honored to share his story here on my blog for you today. Please take a minute to read all about his amazing journey!!!
Over the last year and a half, I've undergone some major changes. On October 14, 2009 I decided I wanted to run the Chicago Marathon. I sent an email that day that changed my life. By the end of the day I had a coach (Jen Harrison), mentor (Dave Wallach), a sponsor and a charity picked out. I had to sell my wife on the idea of running as she was in her second year of pursuing her Doctorate of Pharmacy. You can imagine how well the conversation went. In time Pam came around, and as of today, combined, we've lost a total of 187lbs!
The big catch with all of this? I weighed in at about 330lbs and couldn't run more than 5 minutes at a time.
I was determined to make a change and I did. Sure I had tried to diet before, but I wasn't ready to change. Something was different this time. I had my doubters but they only fueled my desire to succeed. Part to prove them wrong and part to prove myself wrong...that I was worth this making this change and could do it.
By race day, I had lost 110lbs! I was a new person.
I ran for the American Heart Association, in honor of my daughter, K and my dad. My daughter was born with a heart defect, and had heart surgery when she was 2 days old...you can read her story here! My dad had a heart attack 11 years ago and triple bypass surgery...since then he's worked hard to live a healthy life. I raised over $6,000 with the help of some very generous people. I finished the marathon in 6:11:04...it was the hardest thing I've ever done, and at the same time, in some ways, the most memorable. I was humbled when I was chosen to be included in the advertising campaign for the marathon...we saw banners of me around the city, and I was on the side of a building!
I remember calling my dad when my image went on the building. I told him I definitely couldn't turn back now. What a way to remember your first marathon though...it was an experience I'll never forget!
Me and my mentor, Dave right after finishing the Chicago Marathon!
Along the way I heard from friends, family, coworkers...even complete strangers who were inspired by my story and decided to get healthy or to take up running. It seemed anytime I had a down moment, I would hear from someone who was moved by my story. It was very motivating and I felt I needed to see the journey through, for them as well as me...I didn't want to let those who believed in me down.
My favorite moment was finding my family after the race. This picture represents the whole year and a big part of why I knew I had to make a change.
My second favorite post marathon moment was running a 5K with my wife, her first, back in November.
This year I was asked to be the chairman of the running team for the AHA. I was honored and accepted the challenge. We have set some lofty goals...to raise over $200,000 and have 150 runners. Both doable, but they'll take some work. I love running for this team. We run with heart for many reasons, but we run together.
My goals this year...
To lose 40 lbs more
To lose 6 more inches from my waist line
And to run the Chicago Marathon again in under 5 hours
I'm excited about this year and looking forward to the challenge!
Thank you Dan for sharing your story with us!