Story: How Learning to Run Changed My Life

Continuing from on our last running story, we welcome a blog post from David from Detroit, who was kind enough to share his story “How Learning to Run Changed My Life“. Enjoy.

I use to work your typical mindless desk job where I sat on my behind for over eight hours a day. I tried to move up within the company and I applied for several promotions. My boss insisted that I was in the best role for my skill set and advancement seemed impossible. I always felt that I had more potential, but I didn’t have the drive or determination to prove it. I settled for a secure and comfortable position instead of challenging myself.

How Learning to Run Changed My Life

I was also fifty pounds overweight, I smoked and I couldn’t run a single block. I was not happy with my health or my life. It started when a close friend of mine who had always been an avid runner decided to run a marathon. I listened to her stories as she trained and I watched her run past me during a section of it. I was amazed by her dedication and drive. She showed me her medal after she finished and her smile was all the inspiration I needed.

I knew I couldn’t run a marathon that easily and I had to pace my goals if I was going to succeed. I started by agreeing to walk the Detroit marathon. After a few months of walking long distances with a group of friends, I wanted more. It was taking so long to get to each mile marker and I wanted to be faster. I started by jogging the first few blocks and then walking the rest. Each time I headed out, I would try to run a little faster and a little further. By the third week of running, I realized I had to quit smoking. My commitment to finishing a half marathon made quitting smoking easier than I ever imagined.

How learning to run changed my life


In only seven months, I went from walking five miles and being exhausted to running 10 miles and still having energy. I studied techniques to improve my abilities and to prepare myself for my first race. It was the first time in a long time that I worked hard at a goal and the results were evident. Despite a few blisters and having to walk a portion of it, I lived up to my promise and crossed the finish line.

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The rush of crossing my first finish line inspired me to run in several charities run and another half marathon where I beat my original time by twenty-seven minutes and then finally in 2010, I completed my first full marathon. I now have the medal that I envied when my friend wore it proudly two years prior. The new found confidence that came with reaching my physical potential motivated me to find ways to challenge myself in all aspects of my life.

After a fourth attempt to move up with my place of employment, I finally quit. I found a more challenging managerial position running a large golf course and banquet facility. If I didn’t have the new found physical strength to run, I could never have handled being a food and beverage manager. My job required me to carry cases of beer and pop up and down stairs on a regular basis. I was on my feet all day and working there has helped me to lose the last five pounds. I am now down fifty pounds in three years.

Running changed my life. It took me from an overweight smoker with no ambition to a fighter who looks for new challenges in life. It has improved my appearance and my health but more importantly, it changed has changed my entire outlook on life. I found the power inside me to improve my personal and professional life simply by learning to run.

We would like to thank David from Detroit for sharing his story on “How Learning to Run Changed My Life”. Has running changed your life? Please share your story below or on our Facebook page.