I've said it a hundred times over, but through this blog I've been able to meet some AMAZING people.
It has opened doors for me that I never knew I even wanted open.
In November, I was asked to come to Tulsa, OK. and run the Route 66 Marathon.
It was my second half marathon and was the hardest run of my life.
I ran through pain, with tears pouring down my face, updating y'all along the way, and getting the most amazing support from all of you.
You can read about that experience HERE.
While I was in Tulsa, I met one of the most amazing young men ever.
His names is Mason Carter Harvey and he is 13 years old, in the 8th grade.
He is telling his story and helping inspire others to know that childhood obesity IS reversible, and that bullying is not acceptable.
He is inspiring thousands of people all over the world, myself included, by telling his story.
And he's doing things in increments of 85 now. You can read more about him and what he's doing HERE.
But I'll let him tell you a little more about himself...
"My story starts in the 3rd grade. A couple of boys saw me as a target to bully because I was overweight and a shy, quiet kid. They decided it would be fun to start picking on me by calling me names, pushing me into lockers, and slapping my stuff out of my hands while I was on my way to class. I didn’t do anything to them to cause them to pick on me because I was a good student and I’m a lover, not a fighter! It got so bad that year that my principal, school counselor, and my parents had to switch my classes to try and help stop the bullying. I even had to fake stomach aches sometimes to get out of school and away from them. It didn’t stop completely because they still found ways to bully me at lunch or recess. They started getting detention when I told my teachers that they were still bothering me. It brought my self-confidence way down and made me feel unhappy. I loved school, but it was hard to focus when I worried from day to day about who might start trouble with me. That was my worst year of school BY FAR!
Things had progressively gotten better from 4th to 6th grade as far as the bullies went. I was still having problems of my own though because my weight seemed to keep me from being able to do other things most of my friends could. I felt left out. I felt uncomfortable with my body not being able to breathe well, exercise right or run fast. I was 206 pounds at 11 years old. Can you believe it?
I have always been involved in sports and tried to do my best to keep up. I especially love football!! In my 6th grade year I was a lineman for my football team and I could hit HARD, but could not run fast to save my life! J After having to get a prescribed asthma inhaler, I knew it was time to make a change in my lifestyle.
I went to my parents and told them I was SICK AND TIRED of being SICK AND TIRED!!! I told them I was ready to lose some weight. I was only 11 though, what did I know about losing weight or nutrition? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! They talked with me and apologized to me for giving me what I wanted, not what I needed. They said that they would support me 100% in whatever I wanted to do. They signed me up for a strength training class at my local YMCA so I could start working out and exercising more. I decided to cut back on chips, candy, pop, and all sorts of other junk food. My family and I made weekly grocery lists to help bring healthy food into our meals. I started watching the portions I was eating and how often I was eating. I stopped watching so much T.V. and playing so much Xbox. Don’t get me wrong, electronics are fun, but I played TOO much of them! My brothers played a big part in keeping me off the couch and getting me outside to get active. We would jump on the trampoline, ride bikes, and play sports in our front yard (Basketball, football, baseball, wall-ball, etc.). I must say, I’ve actually gotten addicted to it! The weight started falling off and before I knew it, I had lost 85 pounds!!! I feel INCREDIBLE!!! Now I feel like Gallagher at a farmers market! And my confidence level? It's through the roof!
For my 12th birthday, my gift was to run a 1 mile fun run called “The Midnight Streak.” What kid wants to run a mile for his birthday present, you might ask? ME, that’s who! I’ve started a project called “StriveFor85” which involves me doing things in themes of 85. A couple of my goals are to meet 85 important/influential people who will help me tell my story, and to help my dad lose 85 pounds. My number 1 goal is to help inspire/motivate 85 other children (hopefully more) to get active and healthy. I host active missions, such as: stair climbs, bike rides, dance/zumba, water aerobics, and any other thing you can think of to get you active. I want everyone to learn this motto that I have lived my life by, which is:
SMALL STEPS + SMART CHOICES = BIG CHANGES!!!
If I can do it, so can you!"
-Mason Carter Harvey
Help support this amazing young man and all he's trying to accomplish.
Stop by any of his social media sites, give him some love and let him know he is an inspiration to thousands of kids and PEOPLE everywhere!
Thank you for sharing your story, Mason!
I hope you realize what a positive impact you are making on people's lives!
You can follow Mason's journey on his website HERE.
Facebook page HERE.
YouTube channel HERE.