My running journey began when I was in middle school. It was purely recreational and I was above average, but nothing was really held to high competitive standards at the one middle school in the small Texas town of Cisco. It was at this time I discovered my passion for just mere running. The kind of running that takes you out of your front door and into the next town.
During my freshman year of high school in 1987, I suffered a brain hemorrhage to which the doctors never found a cause. It was this hurdle that obligated me to rest from any sort of athletic activity until my sophomore year. As an avid basketball player, I never considered running on a competitive level until my high school basketball coach brought it to my attention. I decided to give it a shot and never looked back.
I ran both cross country and track competitively my junior and senior years at Cisco high school and even took home some state titles. With my accomplishments, I was able to secure a track and cross country scholarship to Texas A&M.
Despite my success and passion for running, it was at Texas A&M, where my diet was consumed with copious amounts of unhealthy food. College is conducive to lots of beer, fast and processed food. Fortunately, I saw no direct affects on my health due to my diet, most likely due to my young age. College and your early twenties are conducive to this sort of invincible outlook.
Equipped with a Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology, multiple fitness certifications, a successful business (Juice Plus), and some marathons under my belt, I entered my life in the real world, with a continued passion for running as well as eating CRAP. This was until I was fortunate enough to attend a Juice Plus sponsored lecture by who is now one of my major influences, Dr. Pam Popper. It was at this presentation that the concept of plant-based diet was introduced to me. She challenged her audience to just give it a shot. It was the season of lent in 2001 that I tried a vegan diet and it forever changed my life.
Eating plant-based foods made me feel like a new person. I actually felt “healthy.” I felt renewed, clear headed, energized, and 16 again. Running was a completely new high. It was easier and injury free.
After the ‘trial’ period of my veganism, I decided to stick with it and continued to educate myself. Since, I’ve read many books on the topic. A few of my favorites and most influential include: Mad Cowboy (Howard Lyman) and The China Study (Dr. T. Colin Campbell).
Since these positive turning points in my life, I have completed twelve Marathons (including two Boston Marathons), many half marathons, some triathlons, and continue to fulfill my passion for running daily. Due to the significant health benefits I witnessed first-hand; I now dedicate my life to encouraging and helping others achieve optimal health by adopting a plant-based and active lifestyle.
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