Two years ago my mother was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor and was given a few months to live. My wifes mother also was losing a battle with lung cancer. So I took my 10 year old son and went home to be with my mother, while my wife stayed home to help her mother with her final weeks of radiation. My mother had lost good part of her memory, and when she first saw me she was very puzzled because I was not the son she remembered. You see, I was over 300 pounds and the son my mother remembered was much younger, much thinner and a runner. Some where along the way in my life I forgot how much I loved running, lots my way in a sence. The few last days I spent with my mother is very special to me. On the last day that I spent with her we watched one of “our” favorite movies, “Chariots Of Fire”. The last thing she told me when I said goodbye to her was, “Tim, you need to start running again and to remember to “soar on wings like eagles”.
Soon after,my mother and mother-in-law passed within 6 weeks of each other. My wife suffered from severe depression from this loss and I needed to be strong for her and my son. Im a ICU nurse and at work I also deal with a lot of sickness and death. Being overwhelmed and not able to sleep, I went to a psychiatrist for sleeping medication. I told her what was going on with me and my famlly and felt it was ok to cry. We discssed my weight issue and before I left her office she asked me to step on the scale in the corner of her office. To my own shock and denial, I was over 300lbs.
After stepping off that scale and leaving her office I had a life changing epiphany. If I don’t lose weight I will die a early death. I was 50 years old and was already pre diabetic, and as a nurse I had seen the ravages of how obesity plays on ones health. Remembering what my mother told me, the next day I went to the track and started to run. I made many life changing decisions that day.
Since that day I eat healthy, and in one year I lost over 100lbs. I’ve ran two marathons, 3 half marathans, 4 (5 Ks) 2 (10K’s) and several other running events. This coming October 9th 2016, I’ll be running the Chicago marathon for the charity, “The American Brain Tumor Association” in honor of my mother.
Running is a big part of my life now. I’m healthy inside and out. Running has been my therapy, my motivation and in a sence, my salvation…..from diabetes, early death, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, depressin etc.! Running is not always easy, but then I think of the way I was two years ago, a 100 pounds ago, and then I get up, and run. Do I ‘soar on wings like eagles’,…well sometimes. One early summer morning. I ran up “A” Mountain, in Tucson, not far from where I live. I was running down the mountain, the sun was comming up, yet I could still see the stars and the moon. The runners high kicked in, what I call my “God hack”, and I was soaring. I couldn’t feel my legs as if I was floating. The awe of the beauty of the desert around me and sky above me, words could not describe. I was with my mom and dad, my wife and son and every one I ever knew.. and God. The high dosen’t last very long, yet after months of training and the feeling I get crossing the finish line with my young son and wife waiting for me, priceless! This is what moves me, and why I run.