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Tony and the Big Scary Running Life (Storytime, kids)

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Once upon a time in the faraway land of West Michigan, there was a fat, lazy guy named Tony. Tony was the fattest, most laziest guy in aaaaall the land. One day, Tony went to a doctor appointment and found out that he weighed 312 pounds. Embarrassed, Tony told the doctor that he wore his heavy shoes that day and that he forgot to take them off when he stepped on the scale. With a *tisk, tisk* from the doctor, Tony knew he had to lose weight. Tony saw the effects of a sedentary lifestyle in his family: bad knees, a bad back, fatigue, high blood pressure and diabetes. Although Tony was not diagnosed with any of these, he knew this was the life waiting for him if he didn't change. Tony was tired of not fitting into clothes he bought less than a year before. He was tired of wondering if a chair would hold him or not. He couldn't take the feeling of being fat and hating every picture that was taken of him. One day, Tony finally decided enough was enough and made the decision to join a fitness center. Immediately after joining, Tony knew he needed to find a workout schedule or a running plan with challenging, but achievable goals. He downloaded the C25K app by ZenLabs to his phone and his life was never the same again. He was at the gym three days a week working on the program. Each week was getting a little more intense, but Tony stuck with it. He told himself "Just keep moving your feet. Just keep moving your feet." and that's just what he did. Suddenly, out of the blue, the dreaded creature "Week 5 Day 3" arrived snarling and shrieking! "20 minutes!?" Tony said. "I cannot run 20 minutes! Who thought of this anyway? I'm not a runner!" But Tony knew if he just kept moving his feet, he would get past the dreaded creature that was Week 5 Day 3. So Tony did just that. He put his phone in his pocket so he could not see how much time was left on the program and just ran and repeated again "Just keep moving your feet. Just keep moving your feet." Then, finally, the moment had arrived. Week 8 Day 3: the very last run of the program. 30 minutes! Tony was nervous and honestly a little skeptical that he could do this, but he believed in the program, but most importantly, he believed in himself. He had come this far. Why WOULDN'T he be able to do this?! So Tony ran. It wasn't fast. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't... a big deal. Really! Well, it wasn't a big deal in the sense that Tony was worrying and overthinking the run. It WAS a big deal, however, how he overcame his fat and lazy lifestyle. He went from barely being able to run for 30 seconds to being able to run 30 minutes and that, children, IS a big deal! Tony had had trouble breathing when he ran. He had what felt like the worst shin splints imaginable and thought that running wasn't worth the constant pain. Tony even lost count of how many times he wanted to quit and how easy it would be to give up and eat a burger and fries. But Tony also knew the secret to running and running well... and what is that secret, boys and girls? That's right: Just keep moving your feet. Just keep moving your feet. ******* Follow up: So here's the big secret: I am Tony! I know... I know it's hard to believe, but it still does not make it less true. One week after completing my C25k program, I ran in a local 5K, the 2015 Yellow Jacket Challenge. My goals were to run it in under 40 minutes and run the whole thing (no walking). I reached both goals on that day, only thanks to a friend who pushed me (mentally...not physically; that would be cheating) the last mile up what seemed like Mt. Everest. Nonetheless, I finished without walking or stopping and in a time of 39:07.6. (I told you Tony wasn't fast). Time wasn't the issue though. It was distance. To know that 312 pound Tony can lug around all that weight and cross a finish line after 3.1 miles was astounding to me. Now obviously, I have since lost some weight, but I am also not done running. I really do enjoy it now. I have even set a goal of completing the 2015 Detroit International Half Marathon in October. This goals seems a little lofty, but not impossible. I have plenty of time to get there, and I know I will, just as I did every week in the C25K program and just as you will too! I hope that this story (as cheesey as it is) will give some inspiration to those who are feeling a little scared or intimidated by the idea of running. I know you hear this in basically every infomercial and motivation speech, but I really do mean this: If fat, lazy Tony can do this whole running thing.... I think you're going to do just fine. Just keep moving your feet!

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What an amazing story! I love reading success stories, and your's is awesome, thank you so much for sharing!


I have 2 weeks left to go on the C25K app, and I'm considering continuing on to the 10k app once I've "graduated". I've gone from a massive dislike of running to really enjoying it and looking forward to my next run.

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