To be able to help others while achieving multiple personal goals. That is ideal.

I will run the Boston Marathon.

This is the first thought I had after finishing a Half Marathon in October of last year.

I will run a half marathon.

This was the first thought I had after finishing my first 3.5 mile jog. At 280 pounds.

To put things in a little bit of context, my grandfather died last year. There is nothing particularly unique about this, I mean, old people grow old, and then they...

I saw a lot of myself in my grandpa, Arthur. Big heart, big laughs, and big belly. He loved to hunt, fish, and watch hunting and fishing on TV. We shared one thing very much in common; a sedentary lifestyle. The last eight years of his life were very rough. He weighed 300+ pounds, had to be on a respirator, and while he was still his same jovial self, the energy that used to fill rooms was now a much smaller flame. His passing brought up a lot of mixed emotions, but most importantly, I realized that to enjoy my life fully, I had to actively pursue health.

The first day I got back to Los Angeles after my grandfather's funeral, I joined 24 Fitness and made a promise that I would go at least three times a week.

I started working out at about 280 pounds. I am not proud of this, and honestly I hadn't realized how large I had gotten. I played sports my whole life and even played college football. My weight had ebbed and flowed, but a muscular 275 pounds is a little different then 280 pounds caused by burgers and watching five hours of movies a day.

To fast forward, I am down 45 pounds so far, and I hope to keep on going. Training for this marathon has forced me to stop making excuses and commit.

ROAD TO MARATHON

Make an impossible goal. That's how I feel about this, and I can safely say that's a main reason for the dedication. Taking even a few days off of training will make the goal impossible. During the 13, then 14, then 16, then 19 mile runs... It's rough. Also, to beat the heat, waking up at 6AM on a Saturday to run long distances... it's just something I didn't know was in me.

Why? I keep on being asked this question. Why are you doing this? To be honest, it's really selfish. I needed to lose weight in a big way and drastically change my lifestyle. But that's not enough. When I was looking at causes to run for, there was an overwhelming amount of them, but Mass Mentoring is a cause that I really believe in. All of this money, all of it that we are raising together, it proves something. It not only helps me dig in on these longer runs, it is proof that people want to believe in something really big.

I am not raising money for my band. I am not raising money to launch a clothing line. This is money that, selfishly, gives me the mental strength to carry on during these strenuous last 40 some-odd days, but most importantly, it is money that proves that the internet, that crowdsourcing, that taking small steps towards a near impossible goal (for a fatman like myself) can make the impossible very real.

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    Mass Mentoring Partnership is fueling the movement to expand quality mentoring for youth to meet the needs of communities across MA.
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