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    Posted December 2, 2013 by
    St. Louis, Missouri
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    CNN Fit Nation: 2014 Triathlon Challenge

    Back at It


    The desperate feeling of not being able to walk inspired me to change my life for the positive. In December 2011 I had a back surgery that restored my hope that I could begin living a normal life again. I had been suffering from a herniated disc for months and was struggling to see a positive outcome. I had a successful surgery and started living a pain-free life.


    My only issue was that I had become 150 pounds overweight. I found myself weighing nearly 340 pounds and was ready to make some changes. I started my journey towards a healthy life in September 2012 through diet and exercise. I learned to face some of the causes of over eating and control my diet. The last piece of the puzzle was becoming active. I learned to love the sport of running and by February of 2013 I had lost over 100 pounds and as of December 2013 have lost over 120 pounds. I am not all the way to my final goal, but I know that I have learned the things that I need to do. My hope is to continue my journey and continue my pursuit of an active lifestyle.


    I have been inspired by many people in my life and they have given me the strength to get my physical life in order. My wife, Ellie, has inspired me to overcome my physical challenges in pursuit of health. Ellie was born with a congenital heart defect and has not let it stop her athletic achievement. Ellie was a college athlete and has now completed 13 half marathons and 2 full marathons in the past four years. It would be easy for Ellie to let her condition stop her, but instead she has inspired others to show them what is possible. I want to inspire others in the same way. I want to show others that you do not have to accept what you are today. You can change your life and begin the journey to the life and body that you want. I learned to take everything one step at a time. The journey begins with a single hour of commitment and that leads to days, months, and years of commitment to our goals.


    I would like to be selected to be part of the CNN FitNation Triathlon team as I was inspired by watching and reading the stories of the "six pack" selected in 2013. It was always a reminder that we sometimes have to make ourselves uncomfortable to achieve our goals. I have set a goal to complete an Olympic triathlon in my 30th year of living and could not imagine a better opportunity than to do it with the CNN FitNation Team. I want to show everyone that with hard work we can all accomplish our goals.

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