Good Morning Friends!!

Almost 13 years ago I started my weight loss journey of losing 100lbs. I started my journey with a food plan and strength training but with no cardio. I stayed with this plan until I plateaued and had no choice but to add in cardio.

Back in those early days I was working out in a small metal building behind my parents house where I had my equipment. No heat, no air conditioning, and I shared my space with a bird that pooped on everything and my dad’s yard tools.

As a big fellow, running was never my thing and I really kind of disliked it. I had never run even a quarter of a mile in my entire life. With my weight plateaued I decided it was time to give running a try. I did a quarter of a mile, then a half mile, and before I knew it, I could run a mile without stopping.

I had placed my treadmill in front of a mirror and could watch myself run. Again, my workout space was non air-conditioned building and in the summertime that metal building would get well over 100 degrees. No one was around for me to scare so I would run with my shirt off in front of the mirror. Talk about driven by motivation looking into the mirror as I was running with no shirt. I was motivated by seeing this shirtless blobby big fellow facing me running in the mirror. Trust me it was not a pretty site. I was motivated to keep running because I did not want to see that same guy looking back at me in the mirror. I felt like a fat guy running towards a donut on that treadmill almost 13 years ago.

Fast forward to last week and still, almost 100 lbs lost and kept off over the last 13 years. As I ran shirtless last Wednesday morning I could see the reflection of my upper body. I could see square shoulders, no head bobble, firm chest, a strong pace, and confidence. I could see an athlete.

Even after 13 years, me running shirtless is still not a pretty site but more has changed on the inside than the outside. Through running, I have learned that I am capable of conquering any challenge that lies ahead of me. I have learned that running a quarter mile or 13 miles is the same because each mile is run by putting one foot in front of the other. I have learned that to be an athlete I don’t have to be in the NFL, the Olympics, or even the NBA. To be an athlete I have to have the desire and discipline to set goals and be relentless in my pursuit of them.

Instead of a fat guy on a treadmill running for a donut 13 years ago, I am an athlete today running towards my goals.

My challenge to you this week is to evaluate how you view yourself. Are you running towards a donut or running towards your goals? It is very possible you are currently running for the donut, but like for me one day you will be running towards your goals.

Keep running my friends, you are an athlete.

Your friend,