Why I Run: Corey’s Story 1

To continue the Community/Solitude discussion, please head over to Halfway to Normal, but make sure to say hi here first!

My friend Corey is the most enthusiastic person I have ever met. Normally, people like this make me suspicious; I wonder what there is to be so excited about. But Corey’s zeal is infectious and genuine. Though I shy away from terms like “inspirational” Corey’s totally fits the bill.  He is one of the most upbeat, thoughtful and dedicated people I have ever met. I am drawn to his enthusiasm and encouragement; his story is the next installment in our “Why I Run” series. Please show Corey some love.

March of 2010. My wife and my friends were worried that I showed signs of a stroke and urged me to see my doc. I went that day and after a battery of tests, they said (thankfully), it wasn’t a stroke, but the doc thought I looked exhausted. She ordered a round of tests including a sleep study. I sat in my doctor’s office after a month of tests, stunned.  They revealed that I completely stop breathing 13 times every 2 hours; my brain was only getting 86% oxygen through the night.

My Doc said he usually sends people home with a CPap Machine and tells them to come back in a year. He wasn’t sure I wouldn’t live that long, given my high blood pressure and a growing waistline. I will never forget that conversation, because I love my wife, I love my daughters…I do not want to cause them heartbreak at all.

That day I decided to start running. There is nothing else that will burn more calories on a consistent basis than running. I started with a 5K race (yeah, not very smart) which I mostly walked, but I will NEVER forget seeing my daughters and wife cheer for me at the finish line.

One year later, I have completed four 5K’s, The Louisville Triple Crown (5K, 10K, and a 10 Miler…all 2 weeks apart from each other); and capped off my 1st anniversary as a runner with my first Marathon! I have stopped counting lost pouds, and I was taken off my blood pressure medicine. I don’t believe in the “impossible” label that others are so quick to give. It has been a struggle, and I run at 3:30 in the morning, so I don’t take away time being a Husband and a Father.

Along the way, I have been blessed to meet and get to know some AMAZING people, like Jennifer (Inspirational Runner, Great Mom, and Loving Wife), and I have learned to carry one basic thought – I am not a gifted athlete, nor do I possess any natural abilities, and I often am the smallest dog in the fight, but I will always be the last to know!

I have a new set of goals: 2 half marathons 2 weeks apart later this year, swimming lessons so I can do a triathlon in 2012, and the Goofy Challenge at Disney World in 2013. I like how running has changed me. My daughters have run races and they love it, my wife has completed a 5K and is eyeing next year’s Triple Crown, and her first Marathon as well.

Running has given me more than I was looking for, and I am forever grateful. I start out every run saying a humble prayer of thanks, and asking God to look over everyone going through a rough time.

Most importantly, Running has given me more time with my wife and our daughters (with one on the way), and for that, getting up at 3:30AM to run, is a SMALL price to pay for the receipt that running has given me.

Now that Corey has shared tell us why you run. #whyIrun