Here's my story: Last April I went to Boston to support my friend, Chris, who was running the Boston Marathon for the first time. After watching him finish and experiencing the amazing atmosphere, I immediately called my wife, Jen, and said: "I want to do this next year!"
What's funny about that is I have never been a runner. Ever! I tried running track in middle school. My personal best was coming in NEXT to LAST on the 800 meter sprint. Yeah! Yes, I've done sports that involved running... but when it came to just going out and running for the sake of the run....well, the couch seemed just comfortable enough!
In fact, the couch has always been a very comfortable place to be. While I was active in high school and college, my life became more sedentary the older I became. This isn't surprising. Most of us experience this... life and responsibility get in the way of being active, right? Besides... who wants to get up and go get sweaty and stinky and have burning, achy muscles when we don't have too? Sounds reasonable.
But with that decision comes the baggage. And by baggage I mean the pounds. Probably 30 of them and their closest friends. They liked to hang out around my waist line and upper thighs. Lovely! Of course it didn't help that in medical school all you feel like you can do is sit around and study. Then comes residency where you are provided all the doughnuts and soda pop you can enjoy while working 6 days of the week. Needless to say, I didn't emerge from this experience looking my best! My rock bottom was looking at my new driver's license after moving back to Washington state and seeing double chins and jowls. Jowls! Like a hounddog!
So, several years ago my wife and I started working out again. We started with joining a gym and then an outdoor "boot camp" group. We added weight lifting and focusing on nutrition (goodbye doughnuts and soda... I loved you so much). What was even better was watching our kids get into it. They wanted to "work out" with us and even try to eat healthily. It's great to think that we have hopefully instilled a lifestyle in them and tools that they can use throughout their lives. (They still give in to McDonalds, but only once in a blue moon!)
Now it's April 2014, and I'm on the phone with my wife saying I want to run in the world's most prestigious marathon. She's actually laughing on the other end! Remember... I'm not a runner. I don't think I would time qualify for the Boston Marathon if I could DRIVE it! But I remain undaunted.
We start looking into ways that I could pursue this dream. A friend of ours suggests looking into the American Medical Athletic Association (AMAA). (Thanks Tammy!) This is a charity that focuses on childhood obesity and changing how our youth exercise and eat... and this strikes a cord. This was a charity I could get behind and really support! It resonated with my own personal struggles, as well as what I want to impart to my own children. And let's face it, as an ER physician, if we could eliminate obesity... well, my work life gets a whole lot easier!
So here I am today. I've been running 4 or 5 days a week for the past 6 months. I've done my first half marathon. Guess what... I actually enjoyed it! But now it's time to tackle the big one... and I would love your help and partnership.
If anything I have shared resonates with you and any struggle you, a family member, friend or co-worker has experienced, then I encourage you to help kick obesity in it's fat ass! With your help we can continue to ensure that our next generation can be healthier and fitter than every before. Please take to the opportunity to donate on this website.
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