What I Learned Dropping 70 lbs. and Becoming an Ironman
Two weeks ago I fulfilled a dream that’s been 6 years in the making.
I crossed the finish line of Ironman Arizona and heard announcer Mike Reilly say those famous words, “You, are, an Ironman!”
One of the best days of my life. Ever.
But if you’ve known me for more than the last couple of years, you know I haven’t always led the healthiest life.
This is tough to admit, but here goes:
6 years ago I tipped the scales at over 230+, clinically obese.
My cholesterol was 280+, resting heart rate in the 90s.
I was on statins, anti-depressants and a CPAP machine for sleep apnea.
And if I wasn’t slurring my words by 7 PM from the beer, wine, and MAOIs, I was behind schedule.
In a nutshell, I was a fat, sick, stressed, depressed addict on an elevator headed down.
I thought I hid it pretty well.
But late one night back in the winter of 2010, I read a Facebook post that read simply,
“December. Time to start training for STP.”
If you don’t already know, the STP is the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, a 200-mile bicycle ride in July that about 10,000 people ride in one or two days.
Reading that Facebook post, I thought, how ridiculous!
But I was in a rut, and I knew that nothing I did in my chair in my office was going to get me out of that rut.
My best ideas about how to live my life had led me to a dead end.
I needed to turn it over, so I let it go.
It was a step of faith.
I dusted off my old, red Gary Fisher mountain bike and headed down the hill.
It wasn’t pretty.
Eight sweaty miles later I had to push that bike back up the hill to my house, exhausted and ashamed.
I only hoped my boys and their buddies hadn’t seen me.
But two days later I went back out the door for another ride.
And I just kept going back out that door.
Some rides were so cold I couldn’t feel my feet for hours.
But after 6 months of following a simple plan, replacing old habits with new, a raft of prayers, and a few profound discoveries along the way—on July 28, 2010, I finished the STP. With a smile!
STP led to fun runs which led to marathons and triathlons and finally, two weeks ago, to Ironman.
Yes, the road was long and filled with trials and setbacks.
And yes this little narrative only just scratches the surface.
But the truth is: ANYTHING is possible.
What I’m trying to say is, if you want to, you can do the same thing, and more.
And you can start today.
Accept yourself right now, no matter how heavy or out of shape or depressed or addicted you are.
Own it and forgive yourself. God has.
And He is the God of second chances, is He not?
Even if you’ve started a hundred times before, you can take that first step again. In faith.
And if you don’t know where to start or if you or someone you know could benefit from the help of a coach and mentor who has been there, click here to get in touch.
You can begin today.