I wrote this within the week after my race. I have modified it with a clear mind. I’m not looking for sympathy or any other sad feelings, but many people ask me all sorts of questions and this sums up the “big” questions other than the race itself. I am still working on the race, but as of now I’m still working through a few things…

The pain of running 100 miles will never compare to the pain of being bullied for my weight…

Running 100 miles has never been about losing weight for me. Yes, losing weight has been a strong focus for me over the past 4 years, but looking good in a swim suit has never been my “why”… There were some times when I thought it was, but looking good has never kept me out of the kitchen or gotten me to the gym.

Running 100 miles however, has been about showing people I’m not a loser. It is about showing people that I am not defined by my past. Running has been a way to prove to myself that everyone that has ever called me fat is absolutely wrong and my body type doesn’t define who I am. I can physically do more than most of the people that picked on me from elementary school through high school. I can mentally put myself through more hell than most people can even dream about. This is why I wanted to run 100 miles. This is why I choose a race exactly 4 years after I started my journey to better health. This is my “why”. I am not defined by my past. I am not defined by my body type.

Yes, this probably sounds arrogant and cocky… But, I have put up with so much shit over the years, I’ve been put down by so many people, had my self-worth and self-esteem smashed into the ground by the tough guys and the popular girls. I have worked my ass off over the past 4 years and I have done more in 4 years in regards to my fitness, health and physical abilities than most people do in a lifetime… and to think it all started with a walk around the block…

The people that made fun of me while I grew up are long gone. The coaches that said I wasn’t good enough are long gone. The girls that wouldn’t date me because of what I looked like are all a thing of the past. We’re all grown up, they’ve forgot about me and moved on with their life. But you know what? I live with the internal pain every single day of what these people said and did to me. I live every day with the feeling that I’m not good enough because of how these people treated me. I live every day with the nightmares of the mean and nasty comments I heard while I was growing up.

I was never good at sports. I played them, but was mediocre at best. I rode the bench in most every sport I played. I never lifted the most, ran the fastest or farthest and sure wasn’t on any coaches radar for being able to go anywhere with my athletic (or lack thereof) abilities.

People ask me “why would you ever want to run 100 miles?”. I shrug it off as no big deal and give them a lame excuse of an answer. But deep down inside I have something to prove. It’d be great if I could prove it to the people that made me miserable while I was growing up, but when push comes to shove, they don’t care. I’m proving it to myself and my kids. I’m proving that I’m not a worthless fat piece of shit. I’m proving to myself that I am good enough. I’m out to prove to myself that I’m Possible.

The mental and physical pain of what I went through during my 100 will never be as bad as going home in tears because I was picked on all day and couldn’t do anything about it. The blisters on my feet and the fatigue I felt will never be as bad as feeling hopeless and alone when I had no one to turn to as a kid. The mental toughness it took to finish a 100 miles without the proper training will never compare to what it took to go to school every single day and hope that I didn’t get picked on that day. I don’t know if I can ever pick a challenge that will compare to what it was like growing up obese and having to get through the day…

For me, my story isn’t about weight loss. It is about fighting. It is about pushing myself to the limit and then getting over the hump without quitting. I’m fighting a man in the mirror and I can’t seem to out run him. I can’t seem to change the face I see when I look in the mirror. One day I hope I can change how I look at myself, but as of right now, I will keep on fighting until I can prove to myself that I am good enough. I don’t need to be good enough for this person or that person. I need to be good enough for the eyes I have to look at every morning when I get ready to face the day. I need to be good enough for the people that look up to me. I need to be good enough for the people that need some hope in their life. One day I hope to out run the man in the mirror and hopefully I can inspire and help some people along the way…

“My victory isn’t crossing the finish line. My victory is taking the next step after I want to quit.” Run Epic my Friends.

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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  1. This is an excellent post, Gary, and thank YOU for sharing it. YOU and awesome and always were. Your spirit was just hidden in the past and not visible to others. Seriously, keep on keeping on and taking all of those next steps. Your future is so bright because you want it to be and because YOU are worth it. : )


  2. I love this and your honesty and love your motto. You are such an inspiration. I was bullied as a kid for being the shortest one….I was never an athlete and always picked last for teams, but I learned through running and taking on new challenges that I can do anything I put my mind to. It’s funny how running new distances changes you. Keep being you! You are amazing!


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