Imagine sitting in the doctor’s office, weighing the most that have ever weighed in your life and hearing those words that evoke so many emotions that it changes your life. You’re just too fat! These words have haunted me all my life. From being a kid in grade school and writing my first “Do you like me” letter and getting a response “No, you’re too fat,” to being in my 20’s and going to the amusement park for the first time and hearing “The belt is not going to buckle because you’re too fat.”
So when I heard these same words in the doctor’s office, I was fed up with all the disappointment that these words bring to my life and this time I decide to do something about it… I responded, “Screw you! I’ll run a marathon.” I left the doctor’s office, bought some running shoes, downloaded Runkeeper and Couch25K and the rest history… Well that’s what I thought…
On the first day of C25K I did not I finish the workout. I felt like my body was rejecting the treadmill, it was going fast and I was going slow, no matter what speed I put it on. I was devastated, but I told myself that I would never weigh 360 pounds again. Therefore, I repeated week 1 day 1 of C25k again and again. Eventually it took me another three more tries before I was able to complete the workout.
Fast-forward 10 weeks later and I am walking to the starting line of my first 5k. I was so nervous that I lined up all the way in the back behind the walkers. The only goal that I had was to run the whole race without walking.
When the gun went off, I noticed that I’m not as slow as I thought I was. I begin to pass people who looked faster than me. The more people I passed the bigger the smile I had during the run. That’s when it hit me; I’m not going to have a problem running the race without stopping…
As reached the half way marker, I begin to receive high fives from the elite runners on their way to the finish line. That was all the motivation I needed to pick up the pace. When I turned the last corner I made I mad dash for the finish line. Crossing the finish line I knew that all my hard work and dedication was not in vain. I felt unstoppable! This proves that you can do anything no matter what size you are.
I continued working towards my goal, increasing my distance until I was able to run a 10k then a half marathon, until I found myself in my home town of Detroit, MI at the starting line of the Detroit Free Press Marathon.
Everything seems normal for the first half of the marathon; I talked to people, I gave high fives, and took pictures. (Read the complete race recap). When I got to mile-13, I was in complete shock to see all the half marathoners head to the finish line as marathoners stayed on course for the second half of the race. I calm my nerves and told myself I’m in this for the long haul.
When I came upon the 20-mile marker, a bus pulls along side of me, the driver lowers his window and says to me “You’re looking good big man,” I responded, “thanks!” Then he proceeds to ask if I would like a ride to the finish line. Hell no, I responded. He laughed then drove off. I get to mile-21 and the bus pulls alongside me again. The driver says, “You’re still looking good.” I said “Yup,” he proceeds to ask if I wanted a ride back to the finish line. “No thank you,” I responded and he drives. This goes on for miles 23, 24, and 25. Eventually, I felt myself hit the proverbial wall, I began to feel really fatigue and every muscle in my body was aching. At this point I thought to myself, “If you got on the bus the pain would go way or maybe if you stop and walk for a few seconds.” It took all my mental power to tell myself, no keep running. I slow down to a snail’s pace and I’m chanting, “Just keep running! Just keep running!” Just when I thought I didn’t have anything left in me, I look up and see the finish line. I hear my family cheering and it gives me just enough energy to sprint to the finish line…
I finished the race with a time of 6:46.30, with less than 14 minutes to spare before the 7-hour deadline.
This just goes to show that it doesn’t matter how big you are or how slow you are when you run, when you put your mind to something, I guarantee that you will do it.
If you take anything from this story, I want you to know that you too can accomplish your goals and I’m here to help. Need more inspiration? Check out my blog at 300PoundsAndRunning.com
You can reach me at martinus[at]300poundsandrunning.com or on Twitter: @300lbsandrunnin