This summer, I will be heading out to Coeur d’Alene, ID to participate in my first Ironman Competition. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what that is, I am fairly certain it is the craziest thing I may ever do. The Ironman is a triathlon but the distances are increased, 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run. Back-to-back-to-back. I may be an idiot.
That being said, this represents more to me than simply a test of my physical abilities; it is the culmination of a 2 year effort to change my life.
To give some background, I have been overweight most of my life. Not severely, but enough to develop the burden of insecurity that turns self-perception so ugly. I am still a young gun (just shy of 30) but a childhood of dealing with the issue is a hard thing to shake. I have had my ups and down, losing enough weight to feel temporarily thin, but life (and dessert) sneaks up on you and I gained it back with a vengeance.
Two years ago it came to a head. My wife and I had just had our first baby (a girl). We were 6 months in and I was smitten with her, playing, laughing and loving life with my beautiful girl (and her mother). But the creeping burden of obesity continued to play a role. I didn’t want to look at pictures of me holding her, I had constant back pain and I was consistently out of breath from playing with my baby. These were becoming road blocks to me being the dad I desired to become.
I wanted a change.
I didn’t want to simply lose weight, only to gain it back again, I wanted to change the way I looked at health for the rest of my life. I wanted to change the way my family looked at health, I wanted to be physically able to engage with my family and most importantly I wanted to represent a healthy confidence to my daughter and my wife.
The need for support cannot be overstated. I approached my wife, who clearly (though always lovingly) saw the effects of my insecurity, and asked her and my daughter to join me in change. With a grace that far exceeds my comprehension, my family committed to stand beside me. Step one complete.
Now fast forward 1 1/2 years. I have lost 70lbs, competed in an Olympic distance Triathlon and completed a marathon. I am still not quite to my target weight (gained a couple back due to injury and baby number 2), but I am certainly in the best shape of my life.
In short, I have done it by changing my perceptions, my behaviors and finding a passion. I have done it by moving out of isolation and into a support network.
My journey is not over yet. I have set out to do something that I never imagined I would be able to do. I assumed I was locked into obese obscurity, destined to trend heavier as time went on. That feeling of predestination has changed but the challenge is still there.
Over the next several months I will be sharing my Journey towards the Ironman with you, including the good, the bad and the ugly. Within that journey, I will be reflecting back on the past 2 years and the lessons learned in sweat and fire.
I have chosen to partner with Nussentials and the NuChallenge, not just because I believe in the products, but because it represents the community support that was, and continues to be, essential for me to reach my goals.
I am proud to join in the NuChallenge as one story among many.