Sam’s Club associates jumps feet-first into fitness

By the time my son was almost three, I was pretty heavy and out of shape. I was to the point of getting tired just chasing him around.

I had tried different diets before, but once I lost weight, I would stop dieting and put the weight back on. It’s been hard to keep off the weight.

On a whim I decided to try running. I had never run before and had no idea what I was doing. So I just started doing a few laps around my neighborhood. After about a month of running I had lost 15 pounds. To stay motivated I started training for a half marathon. But after that race my daughter was born and I just got out of practice.

Around the first of the year, my brother was trying to get in shape so we challenged each other to run a marathon. When we started looking for events I came upon the Thomas Jefferson 100K (62.1 miles) scheduled for March 14. I tried to convince my brother to do it with me but he said it was too much. I decided to do it anyway.

The event is an 8.9-mile loop that you run seven times. It’s also a trail run, which is entirely different from road running. It’s much harder to find your rhythm when you’re dodging rocks and tree roots.

I started the 100K at 5:30 a.m. and didn’t finish until 10:30 p.m. When I crossed the finish line I was muddy, wet and exhausted. I told my wife on the way home that running the race was the dumbest idea I’d ever had and that I was throwing all my running stuff away.

We had the award ceremony the following day. After listening to everybody’s stories my mental attitude did a 180. They all went through challenges; it was difficult for everyone, even the runners who finished hours before me.

I’ll never forget how physically and emotionally difficult that was, but now I feel like I can accomplish anything. My brother and I are planning on running in the Marine Corps Marathon in October. The money the race raises will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. I can’t think of a better race to participate in.