It’s a question so commonly attached to running – like yin and yang, subject and predicate, a package deal. It’s not only the non-runner who ponders this question, watching strangers push through extreme temps or whiteout conditions on foot. We runners are just as curious about how far she ran…how far he’s come…how their ups and downs compare to mine.
Why? They ask. And so we answer.
And everything in between.
For Logan Davis, it started with his brother-in-law.
THE RIGHT NUMBER
“Three and a half months ago my family found out that my brother-in-law would need his third kidney transplant. There were only a few of us left that would be able to go through the procedure,” Logan explains.
Two family members had already donated a kidney to Logan’s brother-in-law, Shane, and Logan was hoping to be the third. Despite not being a direct match for Shane, Logan would still have the ability to donate a kidney through Kidney Paired Donation (KDPD). The program is a transplant option for candidates who have a living donor who is medically able, but cannot donate a kidney because they are incompatible.
Logan would donate to a stranger and Shane would receive a kidney, as well.
“I had a problem though,” Logan says. “I was at a BMI (body mass index) of 38. I could not donate over 32.”
In other words, Logan’s weight was preventing him from helping out his brother-in-law, a person who Logan says is more like a blood brother.
THE “E” WORD
“My family and friends knew I referred to exercise as the ‘E’ word,” Logan says. “It was something I just did not do and had no desire to do…I had to make a change.”
Rewind to February.
Logan and his wife, Kelsey, took a cruise to celebrate both Logan’s 36th birthday and their wedding anniversary, which was “a food fest on water,” according to Logan.
“It was the best thing ever. I could order two appetizers, three entrees and four or five desserts and no one thought twice about it,” says Logan, who at the time weighed 267 pounds. “The food just kept coming.”
The couple heard about a 5K race happening at one of the ports and joked about paying to run. When they found out it was free, Kelsey signed them up and Logan finished his first 5K in 46 minutes.
“When we got back to the room, I passed out for a few hours to recuperate and told myself, ‘never again!’”
But that all changed when they returned from the cruise and discovered Shane needed a new kidney. From then on out, Logan was on a mission to lose the weight to help his brother-in-law. The only question that remained was how.
For Logan, the answer was running.
By alternating between walking and running, he began shedding the weight. But, due to his very old tennis shoes, Logan suffered from terrible shin splints.
“There was one night after I got inside my front door I had to crawl to the bathroom and get in a bath of Epsom salts,” he says. “I needed some decent shoes.”
While researching running shoes, Logan stumbled upon a blog post about a woman who bought a pair of shoes with Tinker Bell all over them and used them only while training for the Disney Marathon as motivation.
Logan decided he needed similar inspiration and was soon hooked up with a pair of Brooks Ghost—a zebra print—at the local fit2run store in Alachua, Fla. Although he wanted to wear them all the time, Logan vowed he would only where them when he ran.
He ran a second 5K, this time finishing with an 11-minute, 20-second pace.
But the celebration was short-lived.
“On the way home I started looking for the next race we could run,” Logan says.
He then finished that 5K in 33:07.
“I was hooked.”
THE WHY TRANSCENDS
As the weight came off, Logan emailed frequent BMI status updates to the organ transplant coordinator.
“She must have thought I was nuts,” Logan says, adding it didn’t stop there. “I was constantly updating my co-workers and close friends with progress updates.”
In April, Logan’s company, Infinite Energy, where he works as a residential sales team lead, started a weight-loss competition. Since then, Logan has been holding solid in second place with hopes of taking first and the $3,000 prize in September.
Logan’s sister-in-law then challenged him to run a half marathon in December.
“It’s The Diva Marathon. I know it sounds stupid but she’s willing to pay for it,” Logan says, adding he was able to negotiate some terms. “I figured, why not? As long as I don’t have to wear the boa or tiara.”
During Logan’s running and weight-loss journey, Shane found a kidney match: Shane’s own brother, RJ, who will be donating within the next six months.
Although Logan no longer needed to get to a 32 BMI, he had set a goal and was determined to get there.
WHY STOP THERE?
Not only did Logan reach his goal, he is still on his journey – going from 267 pounds to 200 pounds (and counting).
“I was never a morning person before. If I was getting up 15 minutes before work, I was doing great. Now I’m getting up at 5:00 a.m. and am stretched and out the door at 5:15,” Logan says. “We also just bought a treadmill.”
Logan also now uses his company gym regularly.
“I’ve used that gym more in that least three months than I ever had…and I’ve been there three years!”
And he isn’t alone – his wife continues to run since that first 5K and her parents plan on joining them for an upcoming 5K race, as well.
“On Monday mornings when a coworker asks me how my weekend was, the first thing I think of is how many miles I was able to log,” Logan says. “If you had told me five months ago that running would be how I would rate my weekend, I would have said to put me out of my misery right then and there.”
What’s your WHY?