The turning point was when I got locked up. Seeing my mother cry and scream was the worst feeling I've ever felt. The worst part was that I caused all that pain. When I was in jail I decided it was time to change. I was not going to put my parents through that much pain ever again.
I did have a brief moment during my first race that I thought I might not finish when I looked up to the top of the mountain and was out of breath. I had to focus on one step at a time and tell myself that I was capable and strong enough to finish. When I did cross the finish line I felt extremely proud. I worked hard and it paid off in the end.
I was friends with Yancy Culp before he started training full-time. He is a motivator! It's hard not to get excited after talking to him. Yancy has been my personal trainer for two and half years. My wife and I also motivate each other to stay at it.
I had back surgery in 1998 and this started the downward trajectory of my health and fitness. Once a HS basketball star, I quit taking care of my body and the scar tissue from surgery did the rest. At times I was confined to a wheelchair because of back spasms when I would walk. After finally reaching 220lbs, I decided to not let back pain hold me back any longer.
I love OCR, as it encompasses so many different types of fitness throughout a race: cardiovascular, strength, muscle endurance, along with agility, speed and skill. I do it to model the lifestyle that is possible to my clients and everyone. OCR is a great metaphor for life: we all experience obstacles that we must overcome.
OCR forces me to live a healthy lifestyle, or I simply wouldn't be able to compete and do the things I do. It has re-taught me to appreciate my body and value it for what it can do, rather than how it looks. I marvel at the progress I have made and feel proud of how far I have come, and recognize that I am indebted to the OCR community and all who have supported me along the way. I also feel inspired by so many of the people I've met and stories I have heard.
I’m a naturally competitive person and I’ve also always loved climbing and monkeying around on things. After doing a couple races, I found that the community is great and I have a natural ability with obstacles that I really enjoy. I love what I do and that’s important. This week on Faces at the Races we profile Jacob Kohler.
I used to weigh 225 lbs, hated the way I looked, hated my clothes, and wasn’t happy about my life in general. I honestly didn’t love myself. I was on Facebook in November 2013 and saw a sponsored ad for Spartan Race with the title “30 burpees for 30 days.” I didn’t even know what a burpee was, but something in me said, "I want to do that." The next day I started the challenge and it took me around 30 minutes to complete it. I was inside in the air condition sweating and panting. It was pathetic.
I am just an average guy born and raised from a small town in Wisconsin. I have always loved to play sports and be part of a team. The most important things to me are my faith, family, and friends. I am somewhat new to this OCR community but have enjoyed it thus far and looking forward to continuing to meet new people! Oh yeah and one more thing I have lost over 200 pounds in the last two years!
Faces at the Races focuses on Samantha Ellison today. This 14-year old is living the OCR life already at a young age. She is the daughter of a Death Racer and lives and breathes the sport of OCR. Learn more about Samantha and her love of OCR.