Learning to like running

It all started about a year ago, when I decided that I was done being the “fat guy” everywhere that I went. Early in life I was always the heavier kid; the kid that got picked on; the kid that couldn’t play sports because he wasn’t athletic or couldn’t keep up with the others due to my weight.

After moving to Wisconsin in 1990, I decided to change all of that and started my first Taekwondo class. I even began to teach classes after a year or two and eventually became a Master 4th Degree Black Belt, but as I got older my weight came back, I ballooned up to about 250 lbs and at the age of 39, I had a Heart attack. Well as you would expect, I lost some weight, but never made a “life” change. I lost some weight and eventually was back up to 245lbs. That’s when I really decided enough was enough.

I started working with a personal trainer and on the first day of my training, I told her that I do NOT run, or work on cardio machines. (I’m sure in her head she was dying of laughter.) After my first class, I could barely stand up on my own, but I decided that I wanted to make a change and I would suffer thru it until I hit my goal.

Well as you can imagine, it was more difficult than I could have ever imagined, the fast food, the being lazy, the cutting corners and saying that I didn’t have time… all of that had to change and it DID!

I started liking (not loving) to run, mainly cause I knew the my food changes (never call it a diet, they never work) would only get me so far and I truly started to see progress. After about 6 months, I had hit my goal, I lost 59 lbs and felt great.

Now how do I maintain……

I AM A RUNNER. That is how it changed. When I finally decided that running is the key to health, my life changed and 2 years later I am still feeling great and running. Do I slip and fall and eat Dairy Queen, (ha-ha) a few times a week if possible, but I know, that then I need to run a little farther and a little harder.  I started running and finally decided to try a half marathon with my brother and sister-in-law (this is her first one as well) and bottom line, it doesn’t matter how fast I run, or if I walk during the marathon, the only thing that matters is I AM DOING IT!

I like a quote that I share at work but also pertains to exercise and getting healthy… “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten.”

Thanks for letting me share my story.


-Dan Williams


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