Tamarac Turkey Trot helps one man turn his health – and his life – around
FREMONT – For John Hance III, the Tamarac Turkey Trot is a milestone toward wellness and in many ways, a better quality of life.
On Thanksgiving Day, Hance will run in his first 5K, a formidable challenge for a man who carried a self-described watermelon belly and took prescription drugs for at least three chronic conditions as recently as May. Hance slept with a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, machine and he weighed 290 pounds.
“I thought life was great, but I was unknowingly slowly dying, as many like me are today, until I took action,” said Hance, a finance and sales professional from Fremont, in a widely read LinkedIn article he published Nov. 8. “I fell into what I call the ‘success trap’ for decades. I would get home from work, get a big dinner, watch TV and go to bed. During the day I put zero thought into what I ate, just ate whatever sounded good, and ate until I was full. Second, third, and even fourth helpings of something good were the norm.”
Three life-changing events helped push Hance to begin the journey out of the success trap and toward health and wellness.
One was his son, Gabe Hance. In July, Gabe, who was going through basic training in the U.S. Army, asked him to run a 5K with him.
The Thanksgiving Turkey Trot came to mind.
“We have always known about the race in our area as they have promoted it well over the last few years,” John Hance said in an interview Nov. 13. “It was the first one to come to mind. It was local, and it was far enough time out for me to use as a great target. As soon as I mentioned it, Gabe locked me up on the commitment right there and then.”
That happened in July. He’d also been warned by his doctor to do something about his health – or get put on what he called “nasty statins.” And his 21-year marriage was hitting a rough patch.
Hance went on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. On June 10, he walked in the gym at Tamarac for the first time feeling intimidated.
“I just slid onto the first machine that I came to and figured that I would keep my head down and do this for a week or so to establish a pattern, get a feel for the place and get past my feelings of intimidation,” Hance said. “Fortunately for me it was one of the Precor exercise bikes up front that I landed on. I loved bicycling and always have.”
He researched physical activities and exercises he could do. He steadily increased the intensity of his workouts. He bought some good earbuds. He lost 12 pounds the first week. Hance was hooked, and he never looked back.
Over the course of the summer, Hance and his wife April, who kept up her own running schedule, lost a total of 125 pounds.
By the fall, Hance’s routine included lifting weights for 10 minutes and doing 30 minutes on the treadmill, mixing runs with walks, and he’s planning to increase his cardio workout.
On Thanksgiving Day, Hance will run his first 5K together with his son, Gabe, who completed basic training on Nov. 12.
“He cares about me a lot and is very excited that I did what I did for him,” Hance said in his recent interview. “I do not know of any other father to make and keep a promise to his son like that. He was really scared of the physical work in basic training as he had not run at all in preparation. I looked him right in the eye and promised him that I would do it at home also and we could suffer together.”
Sign up for Turkey Trot 2019 on Thanksgiving Day:
Read Hance’s full LinkedIn article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/surviving-success-trap-how-i-saved-my-own-life-you-can-hance-iii/