Tuesday, February 12, 2013

You've been selected by Team REFUEL.....

"You've been selected by Team REFUEL...." is what read on my phone from a new notification to my email address. Selected for what? Getting selected for any of the great prizes would be an honor and I was excited to find out. Was it for one of the trips to Spain or Scotland to run a RnR race there or was it the grand prize to star in my very own I got chocolate milk? my After ad? I open the email and read this: 

Team REFUEL has recognized your dedication in representing REFUEL at your run group trainings, on your personal blog, and at races across the country since April when you joined the team. We value the recognition you’ve brought to Team REFUEL and how you continue to encourage athletes everywhere to refuel with ice cold, low fat, chocolate milk.

It’s our honor to award you the Team REFUEL Sponsorship Program Grand Prize in recognition of your efforts this past race season. As the grand prize winner you will star in your very own REFUEL | got chocolate milk? my After ad. YOU are joining the likes of Ironman World Champions Mirinda Carfrae and Chris Lieto; and Olympians like Dara Torres and the U.S. Swim Team, and Carmelo Anthony. You’ve earned your spot as a recognized athlete of the REFUEL campaign and we look forward to featuring you in “your After”.

I had won the Grand Prize to star in my very own I got chocolate milk? My After ad! Craziness. Out of all the great athletes and personalities on Team REFUEL they chose me. What an honor! 

A little background about myself is that I'm currently studying for my medical boards. After reading/studying about the many diseases and disorders that can be prevented by the simple act of being active and eating healthy I decided to lace up my shoes.  It began with just walking around the block for a few months with the distance getting longer and longer each time out. Being able to think about nothing, think about everything, and the freeing feeling of choosing whatever direction I wanted was great.  I was hooked! Walking turned into running and then eventually a 5k up to marathons. 

One of those races ended up being the Dallas Rock n Roll half marathon. I was pacing a friend for her first half marathon and wanted her to experience everything, starting with the expo. That's where I first saw the Got Chocolate Milk Team REFUEL booth. Growing up I had always LOVED chocolate milk and really have been using it after my workout so my interest was peaked. I inquired what was going on at the booth and they told me that it was for athletes to make a "my after" video application to join Team REFUEL. Normally I would not be first in line to jump in front of a camera to speak but since this was my friend's first race I decided I would have some fun and make a video. As nervous as I was, I did it.  I can hardly remember what I said, I think I ended the video with "Go running! Go Chocolate milk!" We finished the race and a month later I received an email saying I was a finalist. I went on a crazy campaign to get my family and friends to vote for me and because of them I was able to get voted onto the team. 

One of the things I'm most proud of as an athlete is creating a local running group here in Beaumont, TX. I had fallen in love with running and wanted to share that love with my community. So after some friends had told me that they too wanted to run a half marathon I decided to start the Golden Triangle Strutters. Weird name I know but I wanted a name that was fun because after all that's what running should be. It was tough goings at the beginning to get people to come out but now I'm proud to say that I have a good amount of regulars that join in on the runs. 

Keep moving forward! Never give up! Those are the words I tell myself daily especially when the workouts or runs get tough. This works whether it be in running or in life. We all have our own journeys to go through. If you keep moving forward and never give up, we can and will raise our hands in celebration when reaching our goals. 

So you're probably thinking to yourself by now "Does he really drink chocolate milk?" The answer is most definitely YES! Low-fat chocolate milk has been my after for a good while now.  When I'm lifting weights or running a marathon, one of the first things I look forward to is getting me an icy cold cup of low-fat chocolate milk. Not only does it tastes great right after a workout, but it also provides me with the fluids, electrolytes, and the perfect carb to protein ratio that my body needs to replenish itself from the tough workouts that I do. 

Thank you again Got Chocolate Milk Team REFUEL for choosing me as the Grand Prize winner to star in my own I got chocolate milk! My after ad. I'm excited, honored and bit nervous to see what all that entails and I will do my best to do whatever is needed of me for the campaign. Here's to another great year of running, working out, and Got Chocolate Milk! Go Team REFUEL!!

Dancing with Richard Simmons while representing Team REFUEL after the Gift of Life 5k!