Southern Tier Running Club: Q & A
Question: Were you an athlete in your youth? If so, what was/were your sports?
Answer: I was a swimmer for 14 years and ‘All American’ in college – I also played lacrosse in college.
Question: I understand your weight loss journey began with bariatric surgery. What was the motivation for that?
Answer: After suffering a pulmonary embolism in 2010 I tried to lose the weight, but like millions of Americans it just didn't work. I knew I had to make a change and finally the doctor said I could go at 62 years old, or 82. It was my choice. I had to make a change for my family. My son and daughter deserved a dad that cared about his health and wanted to stay around.
Question: Ballpark, how much have you lost to date?
Answer: I have lost 110 pounds.
Question: Have you encountered obstacles on this journey, and how have you overcome them?
Answer: Well, it was really a life changing decision to have surgery. It took months of adjusting not only for me, but also for my family. They have been so supportive and positive during this entire journey – without their support I couldn’t have done it.
Question: What role has exercise played in your weight loss?
Answer: Exercise has been a critical part of it as it contributes to the overall healthy feeling I am trying to achieve. It isn’t so much about weight loss as it us about being healthy, and exercise helps me achieve that.
Question: What role has running played in your journey toward better health? What role do you envision it playing in the future?
Answer: It has been a key component of our lifestyle change, but it is only part of it. I have gotten back in the pool, exercise regularly at the gym and even just take the stairs rather than ride the elevator. It is about being as rounded as possible in every way.
Question: Has your family been involved in your exercise plan and/or running?
Answer: My son and I have run together a few times and it is something I have come to enjoy as time constraints are tough on us. So anytime I can spend with my family is an added bonus.
Question: Was the New Year's Day race your first official running event after surgery? If no, what else have you done? If yes, what motivated you to run it and did you have pre-race jitters?
Answer: Yes, It was my first. As it was a new year, I wanted to start the year off on the right foot. Also, by publicly committing to it, I hope to show that if I can do it, any one of the millions of people out there dealing with the issue can do it too. Finally by showing up publicly, it puts the pressure on me to continue on our journey in this positive way. I was actually very nervous and I didn't know if I could do it. It was the furthest I had ever ran at one time. Just wanted to finish without stopping along the way. Proud to be able to say I accomplished that, because I’ve come a long way.
Question: What were your thoughts as you crossed the finish line?
Answer: It was of relief and acknowledgment that I am on the right track. It was such a great race and everyone was so positive. It was really wonderful to see my family at the finish line as they have been there with me through it all.
Question: Will we see you at another race?
Answer: Without a doubt. Heck, on my bucket list is a marathon but that is way off in the future. I’m just taking it one day at a time.