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I said I'd never run again...


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My name is John, 36 from the chicago area. When I graduated high school, I told myself I'd never run again (unless being chased by a bear!!) Had nothing but bad memories of running in gym glass and other high school activities. Have always been slightly overweight, so running just wasn't my thing. I did enjoy riding my mountain bike some, but never was consistent with it.


Fast forward almost 20 years, and I'm now married to an awesome wife and have 3 awesome boys. Lately I've had the unfortunate experience of watching my mom's health decline rapidly, even though she's only in her early 60's. The scary part of that is a lot of what she is suffering from, I'm genetically "predisposed" to face myself. So over the last couple of years, as she's struggled, I've struggled to try and make sure I don't go down that same road. However, consistency has been hard to find. I'd get going for a couple weeks, then something would disrupt my routine, whether a business trip or another round of hospitalizations for my mom.


Then last January, the real wake-up call came. I began experiencing some minor discomfort in my left shoulder one evening. I didn't think much of it, took some advil, went to bed. Woke up the next morning and it felt fine, but then when I went to work I began noticing it again, especially when I would get up and walk around the office. Checked my BP around lunch and it was triple digits through the roof. Called my dr and needless to say, he wanted me in right away. Because of family history and because he had done as much as he could through his office, he wanted me to go to the hospital.


Long story short, I spent a night in the hospital for observation. It ended up that nothing was wrong, clean bill of health on my heart and arteries (they never really did find out what the pain was). But I came as close as I ever want to get to an angiogram. In fact I had two nurses come in during the night and ask me if I was scheduled for one the next day; I told them "stop doing that to me." I've seen my mom go through several and I know they aren't fun. My roommate was only 2 years older than me and in horrible shape. So lots of motivation out of that hospital stay.


I began looking for something to help me get consistent. I had tried the Zen Labs C25k app previously and gotten about 2 weeks into it before getting off track. So I got back into the C25K program with making lifestyle changes as well. At my 3 week follow visits from the hospital stay, both my cardiologist and personal dr were thrilled with where I was at weight-wise and with everything else.


Since then I've had a few bumps in the road, had to restart the C25K program a couple of times, but I'm proud to say that right now (actually on Monday) I'll be starting Week 5 Day 1! 18 years ago I told myself I'd never run again, now I can't wait to get out on the trail. I'm blessed to live right next to the forest preserve, so I love running out there. Recently my wife (who also used the C25K app and has already run a couple of 5K's) and I got fitted with good running shoes; I got custom insoles/orthotics and what a difference it made. 


Since June I'm down 14# and well on my way to my target weight. The C25K app has given me the consistent program that I needed. I never thought I'd be able to run 5 minutes solid, but last Saturday I did. I've also noticed increased distance and better times on my mountain bike as well. 


I've set a long-term goal of doing a sprint triathalon next July. Before then my short term goals are to do some 5K's and maybe work up to a 10K.


Glad to be a part of this community!

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