by Carrie Adams

The mail we receive from athletes who come and run with us are often filled with inspired stories of how people are making positive changes to make their lives better, to be healthier, and to lead active lives.  One story came into HQ today and we had to share this amazing journey from unhealthy to Spartan glory.  Meet William Coleman.

DSCF0683 (2)My name is William Coleman. My sister (Juawana Hall) and I ran the Spartan Sprint this past Saturday in Charlotte. We had a great day. I live outside Washington DC in Virginia. She lives in Winston-Salem. Well, when I got home this evening she calls me and explains how she had been posting on the Spartan Facebook page about the race and how proud she was of me for doing it. Specifically that 2 years ago I weighed almost 500 pounds. Through diet and exercise I’ve dropped over 200 pounds and am in the best shape of my life.

My whole life I have struggled with my weight. I was the fat kid all through out my years in school. I attempted to play sports in high school, but was lazy. Had no motivation. I went for a sports physical in 10th grade to try out for the football team. I was told by the doctor who preformed the exam that at 305 pounds I was to heavy to participate.  At that point I gave up on school sports. I began a gym membership inJuly wedding (2) 11th grade, didn’t stick with it again. Over the next several years I tried everything out there. Weight loss pills, every gimmick diet. Counting points, no carbs, nothing worked.

Fast forward to February 2010. I had ballooned up to 478 lbs. I hadn’t developed diabetes or high blood pressure, but was on my way. I couldn’t go up a flight of stairs with out huffing and puffing like a freight train. I ate ungodly amounts of food. One meal would be 2 full size subs, an order of potatoes wedges with bacon and cheese and chicken wings. Or I would pick up an 8 piece family meal of fried chicken with large sides and 6 biscuits, eat every bit and fall asleep in a food coma, only to repeat at the next meal time. I was going to die.

It was time for a change. A friend of mine, who also happens to be my boss, had to lose weight for a trip his family was taking. He was a big guy too. His doctor had recommended a low carb diet to him. I watched his progress after two weeks he had dropped 20 lbs. It was structured and had no special items that required to be bought with a brand name on the front of the box. Just a plan and a list of how often and what to eat. I started the plan at the end of February. Over the next 6 moths I dropped 100lbs. With out exercise or training. I lowered my body weight by almost 20%. At this point I started my membership at my local Gold’s Gym in Manassas, Va. I then mixed in a sort of structured routine. Fast forward one year I dropped another 100 lbs. This past October I ran in the Virginia 2011 Warrior Dash, a fun race. I had a good time but I wanted a real challenge. Through some friends I found about the Spartan Races. They are what I was looking for. After this past weekend I have made it a personal 5 year goal to prepare for, compete in, and finish the Death Race.  I’m sore and can barley lift my right leg to a straight 90 degrees, but while my leg rests I have much more upper body to work on. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I was.

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12 Responses

  1. avatar

    Amazing story!! I was so proud to watch you both cross the finish line!!! Keep it up and I have no doubt in my mind that you will finish the death race in 5 years!! AROO!!!!!

  2. avatar

    Hi, I used to be a member of the same church Juawana attends in Clemmons, NC. I saw her posts on FB about how proud she was of you! I just finished reading your blog insert and just wanted to tell you congrats as well! Best wishes on your goals, keep up the hard work!!

  3. avatar

    I saw you out there and you were ROCKIN!!!! Way to go William!!! You should be SUPER PROUD of yourself!!! Thank you for being sooo inspiring! And thank you Juwanna!

  4. avatar

    This is pretty much the same thing I am going through. Way to lead the pack man!

  5. avatar

    AWESOME! I really gotta show your story to a friend of mine. He just crossed the 500 pound mark again…but now he really wants to change.

    I have lost 100 pounds myself…one of the hardest, but best changes I have ever made!

    Congratulations on completing the Spartan Race! I am going for the Trifecta in 2013!

  6. avatar

    Great story! I see people of all shapes and sizes getting it done on the Spartan courses and it really makes me enjoy these races even more. Keep up the work William!

  7. avatar

    William, Thanks so much for sharing this. I am on a similar journey, and have felt a little defeated on and off, because I am not making the progress as fast and as defined as I wanted to be.
    However, your words were EXACTLY what I needed to hear to refresh my determination, and a reminder of why I was doing this all in the first place:
    “I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I was.”

    Thank you. Hope to catch you at a race! AROO!

  8. avatar

    William, Keep on keeping on!!! This is just amazing and gives me goose bumps all over. Wonderful story!!!!

  9. avatar

    That’s AMAZING! Good job and keep up the work. The Spartan Death Race would be awesome and that’s one of my goals as well! Maybe we’ll face death together!


  10. avatar

    What an incredible journey you are on; you’re taking your life back! I am a personal trainer and fitness specialist, and your story is why I do what I do. Because you CAN do it! And if you ever need any pointers or an idea for changing up your routine, hit me up. Aroo, fellow spartan!

  11. avatar

    William, great job! I too was at the Charlotte race and it was not an easy course. Keep up the great work!

  12. avatar

    WOD1: 17:50something4rounds5 back squat @125#5-10 wall climb (depending on when the shoulder stetrad nagging)+ 1 round bear crawlsWOD2: 28:541 mile run30 squat snatch @42# (shoulder was not happy with 52)1000m row300 du’sIn Poody’s words: That was worth being a loser and staying in on Saturday night. Good times.

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