Ever since I can remember, I have always been active,… but with some gaps. Whether it was racing my bike around the neighborhood, winning foot races on the playground or running through hurdles in high school, an active lifestyle has always been a step away. But life happens. Through college years, running became less of a priority. But that all changed as I started to build a family. Initially, I only though of myself as that sprinter. A long run for me at that time was three miles. Then I got offered free entry into my first race. The 2006 New Haven Road Race, as it was known, likely changed my life. But I still didn’t consider myself a distance runner. I remember first hearing someone talk about a “road race.” It’s funny, but I thought they were talking about street races with muscle cars or something. I ran that 5k two years in a row and then didn’t run another 5k until 2013.
I never gained any weight during my gaps in fitness but during an annual check up, I heard the term pre-diabetes. With a family history in mind and my own son watching me, I decided to start running. Then I was offered another free entry into a race, the Rock n’ Roll Raleigh Half Marathon. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done. So, I did it again the next year and I joined a group of runners like me called Black Men Run. Now, I’ve done marathons, and sprint triathlons when I never thought it’d be possible. I’ve been incredibly blessed through running. It has connected me to runners from all different backgrounds and from around the world and opened many doors. But more importantly, I’ve seen lifestyle changes in my own family and community. Why? Because if I can do it, so can you.