About 7 1/2 years ago I found a picture of me and my son at one of his college baseball games. I was astonished at how large and obese I was. I looked in a full length mirror and just stood there crying.
I was grossly out of shape, weighing 290 lbs. with very high cholesterol, high blood pressure, aching knees, and who knows what other health problems. I was very negative, argumentative and unhappy. I was the classic couch potato who consumed all the wrong foods and drank lots of soda.
I made a conscious decision that moment to buy some sweat clothes and walking shoes the next day.
True to my word, I began walking the next day. That winter, spring, and summer, I trained to walk the Evansville Half Marathon, but it brought me very little weight loss because I was still eating unhealthy. I still competed that October. My mind told me throughout the race that I was in over my head because I wasn’t an athlete. Although I was proud that I crossed the finish line, I figured it would be my last.
When I walked to my car, I noticed a group of people at Vectren that were all smiling, hugging, and high-fiving each other, which completely inspired me. It was the Team 13 group, and I joined the very next summer. I met such incredible and inspiring people, and I love hearing them share their stories of inspiration. I was inspired and my time in the next Half Marathon was 6 minutes faster than the year before. And my weight was down to 260 lbs.
That following spring my company had a 4-month weight loss challenge and my competitive juices started flowing. I wanted to win so it was time to get serious. I cleaned out my pantry and shelves of any junk food and started making healthier choices. I never counted calories, just ate healthier. And I also started running with Team 13 one block at a time. I would run one block then walk one block, and pretty soon I had gone 3 miles. I did this 6 days a week and kept progressing until I could run a mile without walking.
Then, I ran 3 miles without walking. I was so excited that I called my son crying that I just completed a 3-mile run, and he told me how proud he was of me. Needless to say, the healthier choices and running paid off because I won that weight loss challenge by losing 52 lbs.
The rest is history. I feel like an athlete now like I was in high school. I’ve lost more than 100 lbs. and I’m now a full-time runner. I’ve completed 13 Half Marathons and am currently training for my first Full Marathon. Team 13 has been a life saver and an inspiration for me. I have met some incredible people, and my best friends are now my running friends. I live a very positive, upbeat, inspired life now. I enjoy encouraging others, and I love to smile because I have a lot to be thankful for. Who know what my life would be like if I hadn’t joined Team 13 and changed it. Life is good.
This Is Y.
– Bob Guess
Team 13 Runner