One day, I took my 325 pound couch potato self to Disneyland for a vacation. It was around Christmas time in 2009 and I wanted to show the family a good time. Then, the unthinkable happened. My world came crashing down as I was kicked off of a ride in front of everyone because I was too big to fit in the seat. It was humiliating, embarrassing and unexpected. But, it changed my life.

I realized that my life needed to change. I also realized that I have missed out on so much in my own life because I never took control of my health. I missed out on serving in the military because I was too big, I missed becoming a police officer because I was too out of shape, and I missed achieving some of the dreams in my life.

Not any more. I threw away the fear of failure and dared to do something impossible. In one year, I lost over 100 pounds and did something that I never thought I could do – I ran a marathon. I achieved the impossible and it was the most amazing thing ever.

The next year, I traveled the country, seeing new cities 26.2 miles at a time on a marathon tour, all while training for the impossible - the title of IRONMAN!

On June 24, 2012, I crossed the Ironman finish line in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, listening to Mike Reilly announce me as an Ironman, after a long day and 140.6 miles.

I am continuing on my journey, getting through the ups and downs of maintaining a new, fit lifestyle. Life is good, and I want to live it to the fullest.

This blog celebrates our ability to achieve things that seem impossible.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Follow your own path

I love getting in better shape.  It is true that working out is very addictive and I am truly hooked.  My strength training workout was quite fun yesterday. I'm using heavier and heavier weights and able to do more and more all the time.  I can see and feel the results too.  I have been really working on my core lately by doing a series of crunches.  I'm up to 500 crunches on each strength training day.  It may seem like a lot to do but it has really helped my running.  For a while my long runs always left me with back pain when I was done, but not anymore.  Now, thanks to the core exercises, the post run back pain has all but disappeared.

I'm in the home stretch now, only 19 days until the gun goes off at my first half marathon race in San Jose.  I am really looking forward to that run and finishing it will be a tremendous accomplishment.  To all those out there getting in shape and/or running, I want to offer some advice for your success:  Listen to all advice that others give you, but only follow the advice that works for you.  I have been given a lot of advice about running.  When I started, I was told I was running too often, someone told me I need to run farther, someone else told me I need to run 10 times a week (ouch!), even someone else told me I need to run in intervals (like run for 9 minutes, walk 1, repeating the pattern throughout a race), and even someone else told me I need to switch my morning runs to evening runs.  That is just a mere fraction of the advice I have received about running. 

In addition to the advice directly given to me, there is a plethora of training sites and training advice available, all with a different plan.  When you are getting in shape, it is very important to follow your own path.  Everyone is different and has different needs when getting in shape and training.  Of all the advice I have received, I have only followed a small fraction of it.  However, I have considered all advice with an open mind because you never know when you will find something that would work for you.  For example, when I was running 4 times a week I was told that I need to cut that down to three times a week.  I tried that and my body agreed that was the right thing to do.  However, I thought about the interval running that someone told me to do and decided against it.  This person said I would actually be finishing runs faster with intervals, but I knew that my races are less about the time on the clock and more about the accomplishment of crossing that finish line having run the entire distance, so I passed on that suggestion.

So, my advice for the day is consider all advice, but feel free to heed none of it.  If advice someone gives you does not comport to your goals or is too demanding for you or your schedule, feel free to pass on it.  Follow your own path and you will get there.


  1. AMEN, Travis!!

    My brother was once told that he shouldn't take water with him when he runs...instead, he should visit the trail the day before and hide water bottles along the route.

    What the HELL???

  2. If hiding water along the route works for someone, then that is great. And if that is the advice they give, I can see why because it works for them. As long as the person giving the advice understands that what works for them may not work for me and just because I don't follow their advice does not mean I am doing something wrong, just that I am doing what works for me.