Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hello, I"m the one the call Beal. (A re-introduction)

Hey everyone!  I have been lucky enough to have been selected as an Official 
Cleveland Marathon Blogger for the 2nd straight year.  Since some of you may 
be reading my blog for the first time and many have joined in the past year.  
I thought it would be good to re-introduce myself as I have quite the story to tell.

I started this blog back in December 2010 to help share my experiences in weight loss, running, and cycling.  I should first apologize for two things. 1) I suck at writing and most of these may be boring or not very "bloggish"  2) I'm not an English major, so expect grammar mistakes. 

 I'm the one they call Beal.  The main contributing factor to who I am today is a result of one day, August 5th 2007.  I was a baseball pitcher all my life and was fortunate to have an opportunity to play in college.  I suffered a career ending shoulder injury at the end of my junior year and spent the next few years feeling the effects both mentally and physically.  Graduating college and working in business led to a lifestyle change.  Transforming from a college athlete to a spending everyday seated at a desk.  As the years went by, my weight continued to balloon.  I was never really happy with myself and dealt with it by continuing to eat more and more.  I found comfort in avoiding mirrors, pictures, and a social life.  In letting myself go, my weight ballooned to 330 pounds.  That brings us to 8/5/2007.  

This is me at my heaviest in 2007

August 5th just happens to be my birthday and that year I was attending my now brother in law's bachelor party.  We were celebrating on a large lake and had access to jet skis.  I had never been on a jet ski before and was excited to give it a try.  The adrenaline rush was intoxicating as we raced around the lake.  It started with jumping small waves then bigger ones.  Then without warning I flipped mine.  I wasn't injured so I started to swim after the jet ski.  As I swam and swam, the waves continued to push the jet ski further and further away.  Within minutes I tired myself out and began to drown.  By the grace of God, I was pulled out of the water just as I was going under for good.  I will never forget that moment.  Being so out of shape that I couldn't even save myself was the wake up call that I needed. 

     Shortly after that day.  I joined a Biggest Loser Contest at work.  I still remember my first trip to the gym.  5 minutes on the stairclimber.  Over the next 4 months I lost a total of 55 pounds and finished 2nd in the contest.  I realized that an active and healthy lifestyle is what I wanted, not comfort gained from pizza and beer.  I've continued to evolve over the past 4 years losing a total of 130 pounds and coming within 10 pounds of my college weight.  Durning my journey I have become addicted to cycling and most recently infatuated with long distance running.  In 2009, which was my first year of cycling.  I road a total of 4,883 miles and completed my first century ride.  In 2010 I competed in my first duathlon, road 150 miles in one day, and completed my first half marathon.  I had so much fun I did another half marathon 4 weeks later PR'ing my time by 14 minutes to break the 2 hour barrier at 1:55. 

The New me.

In 2011, I was fortunate enough to be selected as a official blogger.  I competed in 23 races that included 8 half marathons, several 100k bike tours, and my first ever marathon!!!!  I ran 1,346 miles and road 4,086 miles to cover 5,432 miles during 2011.  I couldn't be happier with my active lifestyle and my successes achieved this year.  

     There is a lot more too this story than what was written here, but I have to save something to write about in the future...right?  Thank you for reading and please come back.  I have big plans for the future Cleveland Marathon posts.  So, subscribe to my blog, follow @Beal88 on Twitter, and become a member of the TEAM BEAL nation of fans.  Thanks again for reading and have a great day.



inspirunning said...

so inspiring, thanks for sharing! can't wait to see what this year in races has in store for you!! congratulations and I look forward to following your journey! you look great!!

TheHeldawg said...

I know this story - But it is a Great write up and Intro to those that dont know you... You other Bloggers Make mine look like Junk mail - lol - Awesome Stuff

adena said...

I am happy to be a member of the TEAM BEAL nation of fans! I love your story, it's very motivating. I look forward to reading lots of great things for you again this year!

Matty O said...

Love it. I keep tempting fate and drift closer to my previous fatness every winter.

It is very hard to commit fully to the lifestyle of being healthy. Keep up the great work man.

You have come a long way and put up some serious mileage!

JFord said...

Great story and very inspriing! I am glad I stopped by!

Heather said...

Wow, what a story (never knew about the jet ski incident). So inspiring! I've always admired your "no excuses" attitude.........

Stephanie Hovan said...

Go Team Beal!! Very inspiring story and glad to have gotten to know you this past year :)

TheLadyBaha said...

I am a fan of Team Beal - you rock!
Hope we get to race in 2012 and of course WPS

Colleen said...

What an amazing story! So glad that you shared it again!!! :)

Holly said...

I just re-found your blog in my reader! Thanks for sharing this reintroduction. Great for new readers like me!

David H. said...

Found your blog through Poise in Parma; looking forward to following you along and, I hope, meeting you in Cleveland in May!