My AHA moment came in 2006 8 years after I lost my mother to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). I woke up at 34 years old in a failing marriage, a pack-a-day smoker and and daily drinker topping the scales at 315 pounds. I knew that if I continued down the path I was on I would end up orphaning Griffin, my then 3 year-old son. I started by getting sober. The cigarettes came next.
After that the challenge that lay ahead was finding a way to lose more than half of my body weight. I realized that I needed a challenge to keep me motivated to lose the weight and stick to my new non-smoking, sober lifestyle. I found a sprint triathlon later that year and convinced a bunch of co-workers to do it with me. By the time that first sprint triathlon came along 9 months later, I had lost 60 pounds. The experience I had at that triathlon was life altering. Watching people challenge themselves to do something they probably once thought impossible was inspiring. It took me just under 2 hours to finish the .5 mile swim, 11 mile bike ride and 3 mile run. That race was my first glimpse into the fact that anything is possible.
Over the next few years I lost another 100 pounds and have completed 1 10k, 2 half marathons, 4 sprint triathlons, 3 olympic distance triathlons, 3 half-Ironman triathlons and 2 full Ironmans (IM Louisville 2010 and IM Canada 2011)
After hitting bottom in 2006 and taking the steps to turn my life around I’ve lost over half of my body weight (157 pounds), quit smoking and maintained sobriety for over 4 years. Now I have my sights set on racing the Ironman World Championships in Kona this October 2012. Through the Kona Inspired program, the Ironman people are giving away 8 slots to inspirational athletes that embody the mantra “Anything is possible.” I’ve uploaded a 90 second video that chronicles my transformation and need to generate as many votes as possible to win a slot. After viewing the video, please click the “Vote for this” button under the video. If you’re feeling inspired, please also share it on Facebook, Twitter or your blog.
I would love to race the Ironman World Championships in 2012. To test my new found fitness racing against the best in the world and hopefully to be an inspiration to all those people that feel stuck and don’t know how to change their current situation. The most important thing I’ve learned on this journey is that we can create the life we want. We are not destined to continue on a path of obesity or alcoholism or anything else.
Anything is possible.