How Running A Half Marathon (I Had No Desire To Run) Changed My Life

Last Sunday I ran the America’s Finest City Half Marathon in San Diego.

It was the 10th year anniversary of me running my very first half marathon… which happened to be this very race.

I committed to running my first half marathon 10 years ago in honor of my dad, who at the time, was in the fight of his life, a fight he would lose 3 months later to cancer.

I’m Done With Running

When I ran my first half marathon 10 years ago with no intention of running others.

10 years later, I’ve ran 11 half marathons, 2 full marathons, 1 ultra marathon (A 50 miler), and countless 5K races and other fitness events such as Spartan races and physique competitions.

So much for no intention on running another half marathon.

What changed?

I changed.

What I thought changed.

How I felt changed.

What I did and how I lived changed.

That first half marathon challenged me, both physically and mentally.

Physically because I had never ran that distance before and mentally because I wanted to give it my all and do my absolute best for my dad.

Running the race didn’t change my dad’s fate, but it changed my life forever.

When I crossed that finish line 10 years ago, I bawled my eyes out.

Along with bawling my eyes out, I also felt a feeling of empowerment, confidence, energy, and aliveness that I had never felt before.

The Power That Is Exercise

Regardless of what may be going on in our lives — sick loved ones, hard times, career challenges, relationship issues… when things seem to be out of whack and out of control…

There’s exercise, there will always be exercise.

There no better high than the high we feel from exercise.

There are many things we can’t control, there are many things we’ll be told we can and can’t do, but one thing is clear…

No one can tell us when and when not to exercise.

No one can tell us when and when not to feel great.

No one can tell us when and when not to live our best.

We decide this for ourselves, no one else.

Not our family, not our friends, not our spouses, not our co-workers, not our neighbors, not strangers, not haters, no one.

We Decide When We To Feel Our Best Because We Decide When We Exercise

Run, hike, walk, bike, swim, jump, throw, skip, roll… I don’t care how or what it looks like, so long as you’re moving yourself with energy, effort, and conviction.

Conviction that YOU are in charge of you, no one else.

Conviction that YOU are in charge of how you feel, and no one else.

Conviction that YOU are in charge of how you think, and no one else.

Conviction that YOU are in charge of how you act, and no one else.

Conviction that YOU are in charge of how you live, and no one else.

Limits? What Limits?

I encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and push your limits.

Not because you have to, but because you can.

Because when you do, there’s a good chance you’ll never be the same again — only by choice.

Life will never be the same again.

10 years from now you’ll look back and ask yourself, “man, did I really do all that?

And the answer will be, “Damn right I did.”

“Today is your day… to start fresh, to eat right, to train hard, to live healthy, and to be proud.”

You’re awesome!

Mike