Peter Cullen had quite a change over the past few years. Going obese to now mentoring our No Boundaries training program. Read his story below:
Four years ago. It really seems like yesterday in so many ways. Four years ago I started running. So, what's changed? Let's start with health. My triglycerides were literally off the chart. My bad cholesterol was bad. My good cholesterol was bad. My blood pressure was too high. I was diagnosed as obese and was told I needed to exercise more. This past February all of my levels were within normal limits! It could have been any activity, done consistently. But, somehow, it was running that did it for me.
I also eat better. My diet could still use some improvements, but I honestly didn't sit down and change it. Once I started running more, my body reacted. I was craving more nutrition/protein and less junk. I used to get fast food lunch a couple times a week. It's now more like once a year, and I regret that afterwards. I'm in MUCH better shape than I was four years ago. And, that has really helped to improve my self-image. I'd say I'm more confident and that comes from running, too.
Let me tell you (if you don't know), training for a 1/2 marathon is the most strenuous challenge I've ever undertaken - both physically and mentally. There's a lot of interim goals between running a 5K and 13.1 miles. But, achieving them and the final goal of finishing the 1/2 is an amazing feeling. Both times I've finished a 1/2, in a quiet moment I have taken a very deep, inward look at myself and reacted with utter astonishment. Sometimes, I'm not sure who this new person is that's doing all this running. Then, I realize it's still me.
What else has changed in four years? The people who I now consider friends: Tracey, Melina, Dana, Leslie, Ros, Anne-Marie, Jimmy, Rose, Kat, Fran, Don, Dan ... this list goes on and on. They are all such great inspirations for staying involved in this sport. I'm so happy to be able to give back by mentoring new runners with No Boundaries at Fleet Feet. That's been a really big change as it pulls me out of my comfort zone as I try to encourage others to "keep going" and "don't give up." It may seem longer (from all this blabbering), but I can easily remember my first run with NoBo at UB like it was yesterday. I have to say, that's one of the best named programs ever. Not only do they show you there are no boundaries to what you can accomplish, but you soon begin to realize that there are no boundaries when you are running! It's just you and the road. Nobody tells you what to do - what you should or shouldn't do - what you can and can't do. It's all up to you. It will be October before I know it and I'll be running my third 1/2 marathon. Running changes so much. Running changes everything.
If you have a success story you'd like to share please email it HERE.