They say pain is nothing but weakness leaving the body. I wholeheartedly agree and believe that every weak atom in my body must have been jettisoned during a 26.2 mile journey though Richmond, Virginia on November 10, 2012 - just a day after my 39th birthday.
The marathon was a first for this “Fit Father” and a testament of my strength, will, endurance and of course stamina while operating on a Vegan diet. With December marking the one-year anniversary eating plant-based foods, I am truly amazed at how quickly my figure and performance numbers have changed positively. The mission is now complete but the war for the betterment of life through healthy habits wagers on.
The gun sounds and a group of pretty fast marathoners surge from the crowd like greyhounds chasing rabbits. It could have been simple to follow suit while burning fuel reserves within the first hour. Yet, I remained calm and collective while triggering the coaching both Nina Russin and Chris Anderson offered during a short 6-week training period. Yes, I said six weeks, which is most likely the culprit for the nearly 6-hour run. However, I was thankful for finishing and sticking with the challenge during very long training hours leading to throbbing knees and ice packs while watching meaningless NFL games. With a proper four to six months training, I should have no problems reducing my time by another 1.5-hours.
What I like most about running 26.2 is that it’s a feat only a small percentage of humans around the world have accomplished. I’m a sprinter and football player by trade, so transforming myself was quite amusing, especially to friends and family who thought I had lost it until 13 to 18-mile training run recaps on Nike+ GPS kept popping up on their Facebook and Instagram timelines. Moreover, running a marathon on a Vegan diet is even rarer. For that very reason I was featured in the NY Times since I would have been running the NY Marathon animal free. But the race was cancelled due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, leading to the Richmond race a week later.
I also wondered why people put themselves through the agony and torture of marathons. Really, what was the point in tearing up muscles and tendons just to show you can go the distance? Especially those that run them frequently. However, after that indelible race experience I now get it. There were individuals running for lost loved ones, cancer societies, fundraising groups and of course runners who emphatically love energizing their lives. And here I was amongst a proud group of overachievers logging miles with pride and enthusiasm.
My reason? Well, I did it to educate family, friends and followers on the benefits of a nutritious, active and healthy lifestyle by way of my newfound wellness and fitness company Fit Fathers. Far too often we take life for granted and typically do not improve the quality of life until after a negative visit from the doctor’s office. However, why wait until a degenerative disease strikes? Why not eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds now to thwart off attacks from mutated cancer cells or prevent arteries from clogging up. If we know that sugar enhances the odds of attracting Diabetes then why all the soda, candy bars and pastries? If we know that bones, muscles, lungs and our hearts are strengthened through routine exercise then why lead a sedentary life? Why wouldn’t you be running, walking, swimming or biking everyday? Collectively, all of the aforementioned circumstances are the reasons why I changed my regimen from fast food, heavy drinking and smoking to water and teas, juicing, plant-based eating and the elimination of any self-inflicted carcinogen known to mankind.
This is why I decided to run my first marathon in 2012. Yet, my war against gluttony, obesity, fast foods, enriched foods and laziness is not over. I'm just getting ramped up. Join me by Becoming part of the viva la vegan movement!
Kimatni D. Rawlins is the Founder of Fit Fathers, an inspirational movement encouraging dads to mobilize family values toward healthier eating and daily exercise through various activities. Kimatni's motto is simple, "health, fitness and nutrition are priorities for the extension of life. Stay active, eat well and constantly energize yourself."
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