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5 Years Ago My Life Almost Ended

I woke up this morning. I savored the last moments of a dream that made me feel warm inside. Out the window, in the cold distance, I could see the snow quietly falling. I yanked out the wedgie my boxers had created overnight. As I gathered my early morning thoughts, I picked up my cell phone. There was an alert from Facebook that I had memories. The first post was a photo from six years ago. There was a very large man playing guitar in a country band. I clicked share. The next image stopped me in my tracks.

It was me sitting in a hospital bed; my daughter by my side.

You see, today marks 5 years since I had congestive heart failure. I was in my early 50s. Although I had started to exercise and was down over 20 pounds, I was still over 250 pounds. (If you are from anyplace else in the world, it was still well over 100 kg!)

I remember some of the ambulance ride. There were a lot of other things going on too. The story is HERE if you want to read it. It is also in my book, ICU to Marathon.

I don't really know what else to write today.

I am grateful that I have overcome heart disease. Most of you know that I have run a few marathons; seven in fact. A few days ago I finished a 15K race in an hour-and-something. I am grateful for the gift of running. I have also logged in here for 1700-and-something days on MFP.

In addition, I have survived cancer more than once.

I can't imagine what my health would be like, if I was even alive, without getting fit. I didn’t just lose weight, but I worked hard on my physical fitness. And the legs have turned are pretty sexy. ;)

Life has many challenges, food doesn't have to be one of them!

Thanks for the votes and comments. Friend me at your own risk.

138 votes + -


kendallvon wrote 76 months ago:
You,sir, are an inspiration.
dsjohndrow wrote 76 months ago:
Thank you.
Anonymous wrote 76 months ago:
Love your inspiration...:)
nats2508 wrote 76 months ago:
You've come a long way and you are here to tell the tale and inspire us all xx
celticlass69 wrote 76 months ago:
Awesome anniversary! You've worked hard and it shows! :)
Wysewoman53 wrote 76 months ago:
Thank you for sharing your stories. Congratulations on all of your hard work and successes from that hard work. Will be sharing your story with my best friend to show her that her life can change. Again, thank you!
deladypilot wrote 76 months ago:
What great inspiration. We can all take away something from it. Congrats on getting your life back
NadiaMayl wrote 76 months ago:
I love reading tales of success, and you do it in such a fun way to read! Thanks for the inspiration!
pholbert wrote 76 months ago:
This story could really help someone!
trbilbao wrote 76 months ago:
Awesome story - You are so inspiring - especially to those 50+ :)
jkquinn13 wrote 76 months ago:
holy crap....this is amazing
lindalee0315 wrote 76 months ago:
Love this, "Life has many challenges, food doesn't have to be one of them." Stealing it! Your story is inspirational.
bellesouth18 wrote 76 months ago:
Wow. You should be the poster child for MFP. You are really what this site is all about, epitomizing the complete success story.
cornfritter22 wrote 76 months ago:
I too almost lost my life on October 30, 2010. Mine was a stroke at 31 years of age (slightly overweight at the time). I packed on a lot of weight as a result.

I joined MFP about a year later and you've been inspiring me and making me laugh ever since.

Very proud of your strength and dedication. Keep it up :)

- Lee Anne
dsjohndrow wrote 76 months ago:
Thanks everyone!
mowree wrote 76 months ago:
Your blogs are always interesting and inspiring. Thanks for accepting my friend request a long time ago. I'm still glad to have you as a friend.
TAMayorga wrote 76 months ago:
Thumbs up for runner's legs! And congrats on your success story!
LessToLoveTexas wrote 76 months ago:
You are a true inspiration! Congratulations on becoming the amazing, inspiring man you have become today!
msbharati wrote 76 months ago:
This story could really helpful someone!
Holy crap.........this is amazing
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PlantBasedRnr wrote 76 months ago:
I was on vacation this week and missed your blog the day it came out but remembered to look it up now that I am home - I don't know you personally but want to say that I for one am glad you are here and have the heart of a warrior, you have certainly faced a lot of adversity. You inspire a lot of people here and any time I feel down or just not " up to it " I am reminded of your story - you are an incredible human being.
glennstoudt wrote 76 months ago:
Dear Completely Alive,
Was there myself nearly 6 years back. ICU due to pulmonary embolism. God's grace was 500 yards from a hospital in a city in Spain or would not be writing you. Dropped the weight, not as much needed as you, changed the diet and so on, but the second round of life is great! Congrats to you, keep calm and carry on!
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