Journey of a Year… July 10, 2013
A little over a year ago my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer and my dad, almost exactly a month later was hospitalized for a very large abdominal aorta aneurism. They were both treated and have now recovered from their battles but this scared the hell out of me and was my wake up call. I was 45 years old at the time and had been a smoker for most of my life, that combined with high cholesterol and my weight put me in the high risk category for a heart attack by the VA. I decided after my parent’s encounters that I couldn't keep going the direction I have been going and decided changes were in order.
I quit smoking cold turkey exactly one year ago today. I knew I was gonna have to do something to help fend off the urge to smoke so I chose running as my crutch and medication. I started running on September 8, 2012. As of today I have not picked up a smoke, fully changed my diet, lost around 20 pounds, have run two 5k’s, two 10k's, a Marathon and have logged over 760 miles over the last 12 months. I have also signed up for four more 5k's, an 8 mile trail race and a Half Marathon to close out 2013. I hope to break through my goal of 1,000 miles for the year of 2013 and am currently just over 600 miles into this goal. I also plan on running a 50k Ultra Marathon in the spring of 2014.
As an added note, I recently learned that a cousin of mine has been following my Journey very closely. Through complications with an infection, he had to have one of his legs amputated below the knee and is now being fit for prosthetics. He has told me of his desire to run again and how much I inspire him so I have promised to run a race with him when he is ready and able. It amazes me that he looks to me for inspiration when he is actually the one who inspires and motivates me now!
I have learned over the last year that it is never too late to make changes and that your changes may not be just be for you but may also be the inspiration or motivation someone else needed to do the same.
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