As promised, my guest blog takeover! Readers, meet CJ and get ready to be inspired!
Walt Disney said “”I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” In a way, my love and dedication to running follows a same path. But for me it is not a mouse, but rather a suffering sports team. Over the last two and a half years I have found my nirvana while running.
3 years ago I weighed 400 pounds, and I was vastly depressed along with being gravely unhealthy. I had worried about having a heart attack so much so that I gave myself panic attacks. I made the decision to make a change and lose weight. I lost over 100 pounds before I turned 21 while I was in college, but you know the stories where if you go back and eat the same stuff after losing weight. Well I got a high stress job out of college and I packed on the pounds in a bad way. This time something needed to change.
I started out with a diet plan, using a company called Sunfare that would deliver all my meals to my house every morning. And I was doing boxing classes at a local MMA gym. Sunfare was really making it easy for me to lose the weight, because diet is immensely important when trying to lose weight. It wasn’t until Football season that year, which things really kicked into gear. I had gotten down to about 350 pounds before I started running to help me lose weight. Now, my dad is a marathon runner and I have done races in my life never with a whole lot of outstanding success and not ever breaking 13 minute miles. I always did it as a bonding thing with my Dad and I never really truly enjoyed it. But something changed.
I think that every runner has that moment in their life when they can go back and remember, that is when running turned from a chore to a love. For me, it was after a bad Raiders loss. Yes, I am a Raiders fan, not a crazy war paint, spiked up, legion of doom type Raiders fan, but I have always bleed silver and black on Sundays. One night after watching my Raiders suck it up…again, I text my Dad I am going for a run. It was only like 3 miles, but for me at 350ish pounds, that seemed like 26.2. But when I got back from that run, I was no longer angry about my team getting blown out. I didn’t care much about the surrounding annoyances that I had, I was just happy and riding the sweet sweet feeling that we like to call a runners high. That night Running Cures Everything was born.
For me Running Cures Everything is my mantra, it is my code, it is my team, it is what keeps me going. It means what it says, for me Running is my cure for what bothers me. Everything around me can be crumbling down, but for that hour that I am out running, there is not a care in the world, and when I am done with my run I feel like a freshly shaken etch-a-sketch. I am not running from something, but I am running towards something. I am running with purpose to help solve the issues that I have going on in my head. Whatever anger there is, whatever fear, worry, stress, you name it I am running towards finding a solution to better myself.
While losing the weight and as I was getting closer and closer to my goal weight I did my first 10k, and then a month after that I did a 17K. I was getting faster and faster as well. Because of running and proper nutrition about a year ago I reached my weight loss goal of 185 pounds. But once I lost all the weight I didn’t look at it as the completion of something but rather the beginning of something bigger. Just like when you finish a race, you sit there and enjoy it for a little bit, and then you go “all right when is the next race”. I celebrated my 26th birthday with an 11.5 mile run in Sedona, and I knew that a Half Marathon wasn’t too far behind. I did my first Half in November of 2012 in Santa Clarita, California. Then I did my 2nd a month later in Scottsdale. My 3rd came 3 months later in Sedona. I did Ragnar last minute a couple of weeks after that with a bunch of great people. After that I did the 17k again and did it at a pace under 10 minute miles. And I just did my 4th one in Seattle.
Now I get more enjoyment out of getting wrapped up in doing a race and all of the excitement around it. Even doing to designing new Running Cures Everything logo’s to put on shirts for my races. It has found a way to become an extension of my creativity and ways to blend my nerdy obsessions into my love of running. From recreating the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles logo with Running Cures Everything, to doing a Starbucks themed shirt for Seattle. Because we all know a team always needs fresh looking jersey’s, and even thought Team RCE only consists on myself and my Dad right now we always look good!
Some people would say that I am obsessed with running, but I don’t look at it that way. I call it dedication. It is a dedication to something I am passionate about. I run to become a better person, to become a happier person. Running gives me confidence, and it gives me strength go power through all the things that have brought me down in the past. It helps me get past all the emotional eating, all of the emotional traumas, and all of the unwanted drama. It cures me. I have quit my dependency on alcohol due to running. I have been a year clean of tobacco because of running, and I am a happier person because of running.
I am not stopping anytime soon, because once you find that one thing that gives you true happiness you cannot let it go. I live a better life because of being able to run. Running gives me no worries, just joy. But I only hope that I don’t lose sight of one thing – this was all started by a bad football team.