For the month of May, Yes.Fit is is pleased to introduce you to Todd M.! Todd is an incredible member of our Yes.Fam community and inspires us all to keep pushing toward our goals.
Todd and all his medals!
I had the opportunity to speak with Todd about his incredible story via email, and I'm pleased to share his experience with you. Todd writes, "The Viking Conquest. That was what drew me in. I saw a friend on Facebook post a picture of his medal after he completed it. Then I saw that it was 65.3 miles! Yikes! I wasn't sure I could complete 6.2 miles at that time of my life- back in September of 2016.
Exactly a year earlier, on 9/25/2015 I had a Rectopexy surgery and was still experiencing LOTS of pain and nausea on a daily basis. It was uncomfortable to stand up OR sit down at that time, let alone walk. I did not know when it would end, so I decided at that time to take my health into my own hands, suck it up, push through the pain and signed up for my first Yes.Fit race. I didn't feel ready for the Viking, so I started with another race where I loved the medal and was interested in the region of the race. I began the ‘27.3 mile, ‘All Roads Lead To Rome’ race.
At this time I had been asked to chaperone my son’s High School cross country team down to an Invitational at Stanford University. When the team would go out on their morning practice runs, I would tag along and started getting in a few miles in the morning and in the evening. I couldn't quite keep up with those young whippersnappers, so I just hobbled on my way. I realized then that I might be able to pull this [challenge] off. It would be very difficult, but step by step, I was working toward a new goal, and this was something that would drive me. The carrot that was in front of my horse was that shiny Yes.Fit medal.
After completing a number of these races over the course of the next month, I found that I was feeling better. Most of the time. There were many days which were still quite horrible, but when I was half-way into a five mile walk, there was no stopping, because I had to get back to where I started! I found that as I pushed the pain back, I would start feeling OK and I could endure until I finished."
He continued on to tell me about how he'd discovered a new passion, writing, "After that first month and realizing that I had walked close to 300 miles, (Yes, these Yes.Fit races had created a monster!) I started to formulate a new fitness plan. My daughter, Autumn, had left to be a missionary in the Czech Republic back in July. We missed her so much, but I knew what a great experience she would have that would forever benefit her in her life. I had also served as a missionary in Japan back in the 90’s so can understand the challenges and triumphs that she would have. As a tribute to her, I decided that I would ‘Walk To Prague’ and work toward getting there by the time she finished serving as a missionary on January 24th, 2018. I calculated the distance from Seattle, where we live, to Prague and found that it was 5,210 miles. I did some math and took the 567 days that Autumn would be gone and found I would need to walk 9.19 miles per day in order to get to Prague by the time she was finished with her mission. This was way more aggressive than anything I had ever thought I was capable of, but decided that this would be a way for me to honor her service. I felt that not only would I benefit by improving my health and fitness, but knew that it would draw me closer to her and the experiences she was having by focusing on this goal and ‘enduring to the end’.
I went through the records that were tracked from my Apple watch and backtracked to July 6th, 2016, when Autumn left. Though the miles weren’t many through that first couple of months prior to Yes.Fitting, Every. Step. Counts.
Initially, I wasn't sure that I would be able to hit the 9 miles a day, so I started hitting the gym during the cold days of winter and riding the bike there as well. I hit almost 500 miles on the bikes, but as I have gotten stronger, I found that I was doing even more miles walking than I anticipated. Through the first few months of 2017, I found I was hitting about 13 miles a day! Who knew!? I was getting out and enjoying it more and more. I was experiencing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and loving being out more in nature. I was seeing beautiful places and things I never knew were there, but was amazed at what was all around me. There are plenty of rainy days where I am in the gym or walking around in malls, but I was still seeing a huge benefit of feeling good and working toward that goal. Each Yes.Fit medal that I achieved helped me to feel a tremendous amount of accomplishment. I am now focused on doing the whole #WalkToPrague by walking. As of 5/4/2017, I have surpassed 2,504 miles of walking and that leaves me with 2,706 remaining. Almost halfway there! That is about the distance from Seattle to Pittsburgh. Next month, I will be walking out over the Atlantic! ;) I have now completed 54 of the Yes.Fit races and 26 ‘other’ virtual races over this time period. One of my new goals is to finish ALL of the Yes.Fit races. :) Currently, there are 10 more and I know there will be new ones coming, but I am up to the challenge!
Thank you Yes.Fit for inspiring me to reach for and become a better me. I am listening to audio books as I walk and have listened to 28 books (including learning some Czech language lessons). I have walked in Canada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah and Nevada. I realize that I don't have to be fast to finish these races, just consistent. The guys at work call me ‘Todd the Turtle’, and I'll take it! As I tell people about my journey, many people are baffled about my ‘finding’ the time to walk that many miles in a day. I say, that which you treasure, you will find. Its all about having goals. I wake up an hour earlier. I walk during my lunch hour. I walk another hour after work. I walk twice a week with my wife and this has strengthened our relationship. As Autumn has told me: ‘I feel like you are walking every step of the way with me on my mission!’ We actually are planning to pick Autumn up when she completes her mission. So, when I finally do ‘get’ to Prague, it will no longer will be a ‘virtual’ walk for me, I will PHYSICALLY be walking IN Prague!"
Todd, thank you so much for sharing your story with us!! We are so proud of you, and we're cheering you on as you walk to Prague!!