Obstacle Course Running Saved Me


I am truly grateful that Mud and Adventure has given me the opportunity to share my love of obstacle course running with their readers. Through the coming weeks and months I hope to share training tips, race reviews, and the random ramblings that go along with preparing for races. I did want to take a moment and tell you a little about myself and why I am an OCR evangelist.

Always smiling

Four years ago, I had a very hard and depressing year. Both of my parents were diagnosed with lung cancer. My dad was diagnosed first and went through the rigors of chemotherapy. After a seven month fight, which included a broken hip, he lost his fight. Then within two months my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer which had spread to her brain. Her fight ended five months later. The year was taxing both mentally and physically and at its conclusion I was in a deep funk.

At 300 pounds I was a lost cause. Tired, sad, physically weak, and emotionally spent I tried to find something to get me up and moving. I had never been an athlete so I didn’t have any sports or activities to fall back on so I thought, maybe I’ll train to run a 5k. It was winter and I thought maybe I would shoot for a Memorial Day race.

I mentioned this on Facebook and my brother Bob asked if I had heard of the Warrior Dash. I hadn’t so I did some research and it looked fantastic. The closest was across the state so I signed up before I could talk myself out of it. I trained and finally race day came. It changed my life. I was both excited and scared at the start, and to me, an over-weight, physically unfit middle aged man, it was the hardest thing I had ever done. But it was also the most fun. Every picture of me showed the same goofy smile.

Me after my first Warrior Dash
Me after my first Warrior Dash

I came back from that race a changed man. I knew I was stronger than I thought. I knew I could do things I previously would have never even considered doing. I had a new passion, a new desire, a new lease on life.

Since that time I have completed more than a dozen races and have convinced scores of others to do the local ones with me. Last year I completed the Spartan Trifecta and this year hope to complete the Spartan Ultra Beast in two months. Though I am no athlete, I am passionate about pushing myself to see what I can accomplish and will share what I learn here. 



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