Flipping through my mental rolodex to the afternoon of February 24th 2012 standing on a scale in my doctors office watching in horror while the nurse continue to slide the weight on the scale higher and higher. The weight kept climbing like the thermometer on a summer afternoon. Two hundred pounds, two hundred and fifty, finally the mercury stopped at three hundred and eight pounds. I was mortified!
Later that afternoon sitting on our couch depressed I made a life altering decision, I was not only going to lose weight but I would get myself into shape at age forty. The very next day I made a drastic change to my diet. I began to walk six miles a day five days a week and slowly things began to change for me. My body started feeling better. The digestive issues I had been having were suddenly gone. I began to have more energy and my walking began to speed up.
Fast forward to an afternoon in late April as I returned from the local store where I had bought some fertilizer for our lawn. After lifting these extremely heavy bags from the car I happened to notice each bag weighed forty five pounds. Stepping back for a moment and standing there in amazement realizing I had lost forty five pounds at this point and lifting those bags of fertilizer really put what had happened to me in perspective.
A week later several friends had begun to push me to run a 5K race. Now I had not run since playing high school lacrosse twenty two years prior. I was resisting all I could but my curiosity would eventually get to me. However we signed up as a family and had planned to walk it. Race day finally arrived and as we got there the half marathoners had begun to come in. The atmosphere was electrifying. I was so excited to be a part of what was going on but really having no clue what was going on. All I knew is that it felt good. As we stood waiting for the gun my wife looks at me and says “You know you want to run”. I politely replied no I’m going to walk, BANG, the gun goes off and the tightly packed crowd of runners begin to take off. My wife looks at me and says again “You know you want to run” and I looked back with a huge smile and I was off. About a mile into it I am feeling great as a gentle pat on my back gets my attention and woooosh, my thirteen year old son goes flying on by. With the finish line in sight and my adrenaline pumping I noticed all those half marathoners clapping and cheering as we crossed the finish line. Wow, what a sense of community I thought. Runners of all skill levels cheering and supporting one another. I was hooked! My first ever 5K race was now complete, finishing in 35:19.
7/12/2013 07:45:39 am
Joe, freaking amazing and good job! You should be so proud of yourself
7/12/2013 11:35:04 am
Way to go, Joe! I love your story - you are an amazing inspiration! We've known each other for many years and I'm so proud of you. Maybe next time you're back on LI we can do a little run.
7/14/2013 03:03:48 am
Awesome Story Joe, you rock!!
7/14/2013 03:08:52 am
Kudos to you!! What an awesome accomplishment!!
7/14/2013 04:57:52 am
7/14/2013 08:26:15 am
What a fabulous story, thanks so much for sharing. ;) I can see the excitement in your face there with your son, I was the same way after my first 5k! Runners are very unique, as you said, we are all at different skill levels, yet everyone always will pull for you to do your very best.
Linda M Kirk
7/14/2013 08:42:10 am
Thanks for sharing, Joe. What a fabulously inspirational story!
7/14/2013 09:21:27 am
Wow, Joe!! What an impressive story!! No words could bring justice to the inspiration to be found in reading this!
7/14/2013 12:07:16 pm
Wow. I actually got teary eyed. That is great. Nice job.
7/15/2013 10:15:22 am
Thank you all for your wonderful words and support. It truly has been a long but fun road. And as each day passes and I read your stories or daily happenings I truly love this running community. Community is the reason why I am where I am today. Along my journey I have met so many inspirational people. I am extremely grateful for you all.
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