In 2011 Stefan had lost 62 pounds after struggling with his weight for years. At that point he had been vegan for four years, his runs were pretty short and he focused on intense weight training.
Fast forward to 2015 and he found himself not in a great place. He felt overwhelmed at his job, was financially struggling, four years single but afraid to date and was emotionally carrying a lot.
“I just felt hopeless and depressed.”
This low point pushed him to get back to running again.
“It quickly became solace for me.” He completed four half marathons between October of 2015 and March of 2016. He felt great until he sustained two injuries that sidelined him for the next three and a half years.
Fast forward to August of 2020. Stefan is happily married now but ran into a couple more bumps in his journey.
“I found myself more than 30 pounds overweight, still vegan but fresh out of a job that I left on my own and I was just out of ideas to make money to provide for my family.”
This pushed him to lose that weight again and attempt to regain his love for running. In just about 2 months he has found that love for running again, lost 20 pounds so far, increased his VO2 max and is continuing to get faster each day.
He is working to get back to his ideal running weight so that he can compete in races when they start to open back up.
When I asked him what motivates him he said “I just want to become a better me.” He is always looking to see where he can improve and get better. Through the hard days when he does not feel motivated he just tries to be real with himself and stay focused on his goals. “I just think what do I want out of today and out of my life?” That gets him up and out of bed to go work at it and keep moving toward his goals.
He said the 6AM Run Facebook group has helped him a lot. It encourages him to stay on track. “Those mornings that you wake up and don’t feel like it, you look in that group and see other people doing it which helps me get up to do it.”
Although Stefan has hit a few bumps along the road in his journey, he will not give up. He continues to keep his eyes forward and work toward his goals. “It reminds me of that Japanese proverb, ‘Fall down 7 times, get up 8.’”
Written By 6AM Writer & Sponsored Runner: Annie Noffsinger of Anniekayfitness.com Instagram- @anniekayfitness