Thursday, April 10, 2008

Our desert explorer is back!

What an exciting week last week!! It was so much fun "virtually" following Jeff's race across the desert. Thanks to all of you who followed along with me and commented on his race blog! I still can't believe he placed so high. I thought he was going to just try to survive, maybe finishing in the middle of the pack, but instead he finished in the top 50 / elite category. Unbelievable!

Just before midnight Tuesday night, the train from Geneva arrived in Zurich and a tanner and slightly thinner version of my desert-worn husband appeared on the platform, never too tired to smile...
He seemed happy to be home but at the same time missing the excitement and adventure from the previous week. Based on what he has described, it is an even tougher experience than I imagined. But also a very rewarding one, where you test your own limits and then push them even farther. He seems to thrive in challenges such as this, and enjoys it more the tougher the conditions get...
Well one good thing about challenging yourself is rewarding yourself afterward :) I figured the most appropriate welcome-home gift in Switzerland is of course a bag of Swiss chocolates, and completing a big event this big calls for a BIG bag...

You can see from the above picture that the foot blisters are not so bad, surprisingly after over 29 hours of running! (not near as bad as some on the MdS website) Besides a slightly swollen knee and ankle (he's copying me there! we're quite the limping pair now), he is practically good as new. And he didn't even lose much weight from the whole thing either. I think this shows that his body may be especially good at surviving, and even thriving in ultra-endurance events.

At least this was a good time for the body to maintain its current weight. In the past this tendency had been a problem for him. This is one of the reasons I keep saying that his results in this are "unbelievable" -- I still can't believe the big change that he has gone through over the years that we've been together.

Just over ten years ago this same guy was more than 65 pounds overweight, and wouldn't run even a minute unless he were chased! After we got married and we started working office jobs, the pounds started adding on and on...

Thankfully he eventually realized what was happening and that a change needed to be made. And boy did he make it!!

He found the method that worked for him was to sign up for an athletic event that he wasn't currently prepared to do at all, and then follow the necessary steps to become prepared for it (e.g. registering for an Ironman when he'd never run a whole mile). That way he's focused on the event (which is fun and exciting) and not on losing weight (which is not always), and the latter tends to happen as a natural result of all the training and preparation for the event.

This was a lifestyle change, not just a diet or a quick-fix. It took a while for him to get to the desired weight, and to develop the new life habits to maintain that weight. But it has worked - I have seen it with my own eyes. So I know it is possible, and this applies to anyone - If you want to lose weight and make a lifestyle change to be healthy and fit, you can do it if you make up your mind to do it! And it is worth it!!

These days he is so much healthier and happier....

And we can enjoy all the wonderful outdoor activities Switzerland has to offer even more, so I am thankful for that.


Still he keeps signing up for bigger and bigger events, to keep that weight off... I can't imagine what will be the next, bigger adventure/challenge after this desert one!?! Stay tuned to find out!

Cheers,
Becky

5 comments:

Sean said...

Great post, Becky! It's been an amazing journey...the best thing is there is no destination. The journey continues on forever!

Welcome home buddy!

Sandy & Dick said...

Wow...and that guy got cuter in the process of getting healthy! So glad he is safely back home. Congrats on Jeff's placement...quite an accomplishment. Hugs to you both!

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

now wait a mintue here..is that photo of jeff with the very large tummy?
I have to have that before and after shot..amazing both of you:)
Lisa

chocolate girl said...

What a great story! Welcome home to our hero. Your lifestyle change has changed our lives as well...all for the better! Thanks for making a difference. We're very proud of you. Almost afraid to find out the next Mission.....

HaleyD said...

AMAZING!!!! Way to go, Jeff, on this accomplishment (in a long line of accomplishments)!