We asked E2-ers to write about what activities they love to do. Today, read about Rob’s journey and how he got into running. If you have ever thought about running, Rob has some great advice. He also has a wonderful story to share.
I was a runner in high school. I ran track and cross country, but my love was cross country. One of the first runs I ever remember going on was with my dad, and he took me by the elementary school I would be going to in 1st grade when it was still just a concrete slab with steel beams sticking out of it. My dad was very supportive of my running in high school, and had been very supportive of me as an adult.
Almost exactly one year ago, my dad was getting ready to go into the hospital for a biopsy. At the end of January, 2011, he was diagnosed with stage 4 gleoblastoma, a cancer of the brain. He started chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but he died on April 7, 2011.
My wife and I saw the movie Forks Over Knives this last summer, but we weren’t quite ready to make the change in our life, even though we knew we needed to do so. We just weren’t ready yet. Then I started running again from the suggestion of a friend who shared with me http://www.fromcouchto5k.com/ I had tried other times in the last 20 years since High School to start running again, but always tried to start too fast and would get injured. This program helped me get back into running at a more reasonable pace, even though I did have a couple minor injuries along the way. My wife and I watched Forks Over Knives a second time and we decided to make the change. We also bought Engine 2 book, and we found the transition very easy and tasty! Since going plant strong just before Thanksgiving, we have both lost around 20 lbs. each from the heaviest we have been. One of the major factors in deciding to go with this way of eating is that for the last few weeks of my dad’s life, my mom said that all my dad could keep down was soup and cheese. When soup and cheese was all the food my dad could keep down, that was when the cancer really started to get aggressive. I have started running again and have made this change in my eating habits in order to honor my dad and to hopefully not suffer through cancer the way he did.
The best advice I can give anyone who wants to get in to running is to visit a specialty running store to purchase their shoes. Running does not have to be expensive, and there are good running shoes available for anywhere between $45 to $150 dollars, but don’t just get a pair of shoes because they look good. They MUST fit properly and be the right shoes for your feet and the way your body moves. After shoes, running is all about staying motivated. I have found several pages on Facebook that have wonderful motivational posters, and I share many of them on my own wall to motivate myself and others around me. Staying motivated also means having tangible goals to work toward, such as entering a race for the first time, running a farther distance than you have run before, or even running a certain number of days in a row. However, anything beyond the right shoes and the right motivation (such as nice running clothes) is an extra bonus. Make sure to use those bonuses as a reward though.
I am the pastor of two small churches in west central Missouri, right in the heart of agricultural land. This transition to a whole food, plant-strong way of eating has made things interesting for my wife and I with the congregations, some of whom raise cattle and chickens. We have allowed ourselves room to deviate from being plant-strong when we are with people from the church, knowing that at home we will stick with the plan. The congregations are very hospitable, and as such we do not want to offend anyone by turning down food they offer as we work on building relationships with the people. However, as we share with people the change in our diet with those in the congregations, we will be able to stick to the plant strong plan even outside our homes.
Thank you for sharing Rob! Are you a runner? What got you started? We would love to hear from you in the comments!