Growing up, I was a very heavy child. At my heaviest, which was in my senior of high school, I weighed 280 Lbs. I stood 6'4". I couldn't even get through one day of high school without collapsing from exhaustion to the comforting sight of a big bowl of ice cream. When I got my pictures from my high school graduation, I was disgusted at the sight of myself. I decided to lose weight. I went on a rampage eating nothing but healty foods. Being a marathon runner wasn't even a thought at this time. When I was going through the weight-loss process I walked a lot. I was walking up to ten miles a day when I dropped 30 pounds. It took a lot to lose those 30 pounds becuase I was practically immobile. I eventually lost 100 Lbs. as I reached 180 Lbs. For as skinny as I was, I could not run worth anything. Running three blocks was tough. So I decided I should at least be able to run a mile. Well a mile turned into two and two turned into three and so on and so on.
There is more to this story than the severe weight loss. All my life I have had this very severe speech disorder. It isn't really a stuttering problem. It's like my mouth freezes and I just can't get it out. When I lost my weight and I began running my speech got a lot better. Apparantly the running released endorphins and epinephrine in my bloodstream. Running has provided me with completing my physical fitness goals but it has also dramatically improved my social skills through my speech. I owe my life to running.
Once I decided I wanted to be a runner, it wasn't three months until I finished my first marathon. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago so it was only fitting that my first marathon would be Chicago and what a marathon it was. Simply amazing. It has always been my dream to run a marathon, but I have had this obsession with sprinting the final stretch of that marathon. That is exactly what I did on October 22, 2000 in Chicago. I was so overcome with emotion that I began to cry when I first started to sprint. The accomplishment of the weight loss and the miracolous improvement of speech had finally sunk in. I am a full-fledged marathon runner currently as I am trying to qualify for Boston. I would like to run both New York City and San Fransisco also.
Running is more than a way of life...it is my life!!!!