Just Finish is your inspirational journey from being overweight to running an ultra-marathon. What inspired you to capture this amazing story in a memoir?
A few things inspired me:
- I had told my story to people in small chunks, and some said I should tell my story in a book, I laughed them off.
- During runs I listen to audio books. I listen to Ira Rainy’s Fat Man to Green Man and Still Not Bionic and Rich Roll’s Finding Ultra. Their story started with health scares and and ended with ultra’s. I thought their story was like my story. The biggest issue was their story was from an elite athlete perspective, going on to run several Ultra’s. My story is from a grassroots running perspective which seems to have resonated with people who have or are about to start their running journey.
- Writing a book also was something I wanted my kids to have when I am gone. More of a legacy piece. They are only 10 and 13 now but someday they may attempt a marathon. Who knows?
What was the moment for you where you realized you had to make a change in your life?
It was the moment the doctor said I had a fatty liver. A fatty liver could have lead to many other medical issues. I started to reflect and tell myself, I want to see my kids graduate, I want to walk my daughter down the aisle, I wanted to grow old with my wife. If I didn’t do something I may not be able to do any of that.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who tells themselves that they just can’t do it?
DO NOT WAIT FOR A MEDICAL EMERGENCY to start you fitness journey. Take care of yourself be active, be a roll model for your kids or family. The only person who who can make that change is you. Do it for yourself and reap the benefits will surprise you.
What is one thing you see differently in life now that you’ve trained and finished a marathon?
It may sound cliche but the second I crossed the finish line of the marathon, I knew, if I set my mind to it I could do anything. The idea of ME training for, starting and ultimately finishing a marathon was, as I said in the book about as far fetched as Steven Spielberg making my book into a movie and it winning an Oscar.
My book is a true story that follows my journey from sitting on a lumpy futon, overweight, out of shape and picking Pringle shards out of my navel, to me running a 50K ultra-marathon. It’s not a new story it’s just told from the perspective of a “grassroots runner” who just wanted to finish the races I entered.
It’s about my struggles, my achievements, the barriers, the pain, the people I met and how I pushed myself to the brink while trying to achieve things I never thought possible.
My story is not a fat-to-fit story, it’s a fat-to-fat story; I found out too late in my journey that running miles and miles without considering other factors was not necessarily the best way to lose weight, but the benefits of my running journey transcended what the scales told me every Monday morning.
My story may not appeal to the elite runner, as there will be no mention of 6- to 8-minute miles, finishing in the top ten, or any Olympic qualifications. My story is more for the wannabe runner, the runner who is just starting out and the runner who feels more comfortable running 14- to 18-minute miles; the runner who will check the time of the previous year’s race results to see what the slowest time was before they enter; the runner who has to phone the race organiser to see if there is a cut off time in the longer races; or the runner who will walk just out of view of the people at the finish, then turn on the jets for the last 100-metre sprint finish. All things I have done during my running journey (and still do).