Ten years ago, Golden Belt Bicycles Mechanic Neil Frizell was overweight.
“Really overweight,” he said. “I got winded going through Walmart. I was in really poor shape.”
His highest recorded weight was 303 pounds.
Some things improved after a surgical procedure to address sleep apnea, but he didn’t really change his ways, until he received some disheartening news at health fair.
“I had a bad blood test and some bad blood sugar issues started showing up. I thought, ‘I had better take care of that,’” he said. “I got back on my bike and I got moving again.”
Now he rides as much as he can, and hits the gym three days a week.
Frizell has lost more than 100 pounds and has become a proponent of health and fitness in the Barton County area, and said he is excited to be part of the upcoming 5K and half marathon on October 10, hosted by Barton County Young Professionals (BCYP).
Since years of carrying extra weight has been hard on his knees, Frizell isn’t able to run the race, so he’s doing the next best thing and volunteering as a bike-mounted course safety officer.
“There’s nothing better than engaging in sport as an adult. I should have done it when I was younger,” he said, offering some advice to the young adults in the area. “Start tomorrow. The sooner you start, the better off you are. Don’t wait. Kids love to be dragged along. Keep doing the healthy activities and drag the kids along.
“If you’re going to change your lifestyle, surrounding yourself with people who are like-minded and health-oriented is the best way. Not to mention, it’s just fun.”
BCYP steering committee chair Brandon Steinert has been involved with planning the race. He said signing up for events has kept him accountable and on track with his fitness after losing 50 pounds three years ago.
“It can be tempting to fall into the rut of apathy toward your own health and well-being. When you see so many others choose to be sedentary most of the time and make the quick-and-easy, unhealthy food choices, it can be hard not to just follow suit,” Steinert said. “Creating events like this can give people something to work toward, and might just save their lives. I’m pretty sure they saved mine.”
For those who don’t want to compete, but want to participate, Steinert said the 5K is walker-friendly.
Registration for the 5K is $25 and the half marathon is $45. Both prices will increase by $10 after September 15. Registration can be done online by visiting runsignup.com/races and searching for “#YP5K.” The event can also be found on Facebook.