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I Almost Didn't Make It

I still can't believe it was me. I look back on some family photos from 00s. Wow, I was nearly 300 pounds! (pics in profile) I didn't mean to get there. I was a skinny kid and I was a skinny adult until I was 43. Then it began. It happened when I wasn't looking. 

Over time, the pounds added up!

I graduated HS at 165. I was 185 as an adult. I can't even imagine how you gain 115 pounds. One bite at a time, I guess. And so it happened to me. At 230 pounds I started a diet. I was back down to 190. Then up to 265, and back down to 199. It was just too much work. I tried the gym and had an injury, so I had to quit. It seemed like every time I tried to get active, something went wrong so I would give up. That was my story.

I kept giving up.

Then one day in 2011, I had congestive heart failure. Yes, I had started on the journey, again. Working hard for nearly three months, I was down nearly 50 pounds. When I weighed in at the hospital after seven days in ICU, I was 244, depressed, and certain my life was over. It was now just a matter of sitting in a chair and taking meds until I died.

I had no dreams left.

Not long after I got home, I had my daughter drop me off to see the running of the 2012 Boston Marathon. I can't tell you what happened that day, but something changed. Maybe God spoke to me. I'd like to believe that. I walked home the mile to my house in 55 minutes; stopping to rest on a park bench.

I took a three-hour nap.

When I awoke, I started logging on MFP and walking every day. I got back to the gym and worked with a trainer. She thought I was crazy to even try after CHF. I thought I might be too. I kept going, kept trying, kept logging, and started dreaming again.

Maybe I could run a 5K.

Maybe I could turn this around. I prayed that I would. I had a little setback, I had my knee repaired in December of 2011. I kept going to the gym. Five weeks later I was back to running. My walks became jogging from one telephone pole to next, followed by a recovery walk and another run. I began using the treadmill at work. I got up to two miles by the end of February.

I signed up for a 5K that would take place on March 25, 2012. One year after CHF. [That story here
I kept pushing on the treadmill at work. I ran on the street each weekend. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, but it felt good! Finally, the day came, I ran my first 5K, Run with Heart. I didn't walk a single step. I can hear John Mellencamp's Rain On the Scarecrow as my family stood in the drizzle to cheer me on.

I did it!

From there, I fell in love with running. I ran my first 10K in late August. I hit the road for my first half marathon in February of 2013. It was the same year I ran my first marathon. [That story here

Just 938 days after I was in C-ICU!

I have run 90 races, and nine of those were full marathons. It has not been without challenges. 2015 was my best year, running four marathons, and setting personal records in every distance. It was also the year in which IBD reared its ugly head. [That story here
It destroyed my 2016 running season. My longest run was just nine miles.

I have had some good care, but there is no cure for IBD. Despite the setbacks with cancer, I trained for and ran the Berlin Marathon in September 2017. I joined the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, Team Challenge for the London Marathon next month. 

Despite a broken leg in October, a fall on my 11-miler, and worsening IBD, I am training for and will be running London. Just you wait and see.

73 votes + -


debk0718 wrote 11 months ago:
You've got this! Through your faith and the love of your family and newly wed wife, you've got this! You have had an amazing journey and it continues. Thanks for always sharing and your inspiration to carry on.
marlown wrote 11 months ago:
Keep it moving. You continue to be a great inspiration to me, and apparently many others.
sherry0614 wrote 11 months ago:
I have no doubt :-) <3
Anonymous wrote 11 months ago:
You give me hope!
Dootzy1 wrote 11 months ago:
Damn, you're SUPERMAN!
YourVeggieCoach wrote 11 months ago:
Love your inspiring story!
YourVeggieCoach wrote 11 months ago:
Love your inspiring story!
1theresamcvean wrote 11 months ago:
David ~ What a great blog. You are an inspiration. I'm going to get back to running this spring. I, like you, have had setbacks. Not to the same degree, but I've had a broken leg, and then the other foot. I've run dreading my ulcerative colitis rear its ugly head. And it has, on long runs far from home and on races. I haven't gotten further than a half marathon. Maybe if I keep reading your posts, I will make it to a marathon. Keep writing. Thanks so much!
melissarose4 wrote 11 months ago:
You can do it! I can feel your determination in your words!
SassyCookieMe wrote 11 months ago:
Your story is a true inspiration, nothing less than heroic.
mrswhitehog wrote 10 months ago:
God speed!
speaktothequeen1 wrote 10 months ago:
You are very inspiring. It is a little painful to exercise after being hit by a car in 2008. I will remember your story and how much bigger your challenges are when if feels too hard.
heatherpb01 wrote 10 months ago:
Inspiring, truly.
tberrycastle wrote 10 months ago:

You have completely removed my list of excuses for not being more active. You are a great inspiration and proof that we can ALWAYS turn things around!

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