After running the Austin 10/20, Willie and I were honored with state resolutions on the floor of the Texas State Capitol. Our weight loss achievements are now a part of Texas state history! This is/was such a honor for us and definitely a moment we won’t forget. We were honored alongside our friend Richard and Amie James (for creating a healthier community by creating The Gusher Marathon), Iram Leon (for winning the Gusher Marathon while pushing his daughter and just plain winning at life), and Felix Lugo (who ran his 50th marathon holding the American flag at The Gusher). We have no idea why were chosen for this honor with this great group of people, but we were and we’ll never forget it.
On a side note: Richard and Amie single handedly changed my life without even knowing it. The Gusher was my first race which started it all. Not only was it my first race, but it was my first half marathon. I battled a lot of demons that day but came out with great success. Without the hard work from them and the volunteers, I can’t really tell you if I would be running today. Running is something I love and is a huge part of my life. They planted the seed in me and I watered it to make it grow. And now they planted the seed for Willie and they will watch him grow too!
From my facebook:
Yesterday wasn’t the day to talk about this and I’m not sure if today is appropriate. But I wanted to tell everyone that we had the best weekend of our lives running and celebrating our achievements in Austin! Thanks to Amie James and Richard James III for changing our lives without even knowing. We strive to be better people and create a healthier community because of you! It was the biggest honor to have Rep Joe Deshotel honor us with a resolution with a group of amazing people: Amie and Richard, Felix and Iram J. Leon. That was an experience we will never forget and are forever bonded because of it!
Also, running the Austin 10/20 was a fun experience and was Willie Gillis III’s first “long” race. I am incredibly proud of my husband for doing something he never thought he would do…and he liked it. Even if the time was limited it was great to spend time with everyone from Beaumont and we are glad that y’all will be apart of our great memories from the weekend. (The message won’t let me tag anyone else but you all know who you are!)
Lastly, I want to thank Melissa for being there with us on Monday. It was a very emotional and special experience and it was great to share it the person who was there at the very beginning of our friendship and knew us (and loved us) when we were different versions of ourselves!
For us, losing the weight was something we wanted to do for different reasons. We’ve quickly learned from this “in the news” experience is something we find to be so insignificant is really a HUGE deal. People are out there struggling with lifestyle and weight issues and are looking for help and hope! Willie and I showed that hard work and determination to do win out over surgeries and crash diets. Receiving this resolution finally put everything in prospective for us by helping us realize what we want to do in the future. We want to help people transform their lives and we want to start in our community. We really don’t know what our next step will be, but we now have focus to develop the plan.
The day was bittersweet because the Boston Marathon bombings occurred around the time we were receiving our resolutions. But that day was one of the best of our lives. Willie had never been to downtown Austin or to the Capitol so we played tourist for a while and took a lot of pictures. Being on the floor was a once and lifetime experience. Hearing State Rep. Joe Deshotel talk about our success in front of everyone almost brought Willie and I to tears. (We wanted to keep composed in the moment; otherwise it would have been very tearful.)
The entire time I was standing there I held Willie’s hand and thought, “I’m so glad to share this moment with my best friend and husband.” I was proud of him, me and us for tackling what people said was impossible without surgery and being recognized for our success. This was something we did together as a team and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
It’s been crazy. CNN article, worldwide press, local press and state resolutions; our world has completely changed due to our weight loss. But we’re happy it all happened so we could share our story of healthy diet and exercise. We have inspired, motivated and helped so many people with one simple act and that is all that matters. We will continue to share our story because we’ve learned it does matter. Thank you for reading and sharing our story because you never know who it will help along the way!