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There must be power in the juice
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Its 4:30 a.m. on a Friday morning, and Im on a lonely stretch of country road, about to finish the third mile of a five mile run.

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The sound of sneakers gliding along Georgia asphaltand the occasional whoosh of a passing carare about all to be heard over my labored breathing as I start up a particularly nasty incline Ive nicknamed Heartbreak Ridge.

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Back in July, I chanced upon a Netflix movie called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

In the movie, an Australian fellow named Joe Cross chronicles his journey back from being grossly obese.

He credits the power of juicingdrinking your fruits and vegetables instead of eating themwith his remarkable transformation.

In July, I weighed in at a scale-busting 263 lbs. I couldnt run across the street and back.

So seeing as how I was grossly obese myself, the movie struck a chord with me.

I went to Walmart, I bought a juicer, and on Aug. 1, I set out to see what I could do about my sorry situation.

My first day, I was so excited, I was awake well before the alarms abrupt beeping started at 4:30 a.m.

I ran for one minute, and walked five. I repeated this three times. That was my first workout.

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Back in my kitchen after that workout, I got out the cutting board and chopped four carrots, two apples, a cucumber, a couple of stalks of celery, a lemon and a piece of ginger and tossed them into my new juicer. The resulting juice looked disgusting, but it tasted surprisingly good.

I did the same thing the next day, and the day after that. And the day after that. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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By the first of September, I was running two miles and tossing down a cup of fresh juice before the roosters even got out of bed.

I found I was feeling better than I had in years. I had more pep, more energy. My disposition seemed sunnier.

Maybe its all in my head, but I think theres something to this juicing thing. I havent been able to find any scientific data to indicate its any better for you than, say, eating an apple a day. All I know is, the more Im drinking it, the less Im craving red meat, sweets and other oh-so-good but oh-so-not-good-for you foods.

Science or no, it couldnt be doing any harm. And didnt Jack LaLane preach the benefits of juicing right up until his untimely death at the age of 99?

The middle of September found me in Beaufort, S.C. I had read that actor Gary Sinse, who played Lt. Dan in the movie, Forrest Gump, would be there to raise money for the Wounded Warrior program, to help our brave soldiers who return from Iraq and Afghanstan with missing limbs and shattered psychies.

Part of the festivities included a 5K run. Thats 3.1 miles. Its one thing to get up before dawn with just the possums and coons and the occasional red-tailed fox to watch you huffing and puffing down the highway, quite another to actually try to run three miles with hundreds of other people.

But I did it.

And I didnt finish last. I didnt even finish last in my age group.

Six weeks prior, I couldnt have run across the street and back.

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This coming Sunday, I will be in Washington D.C. to run the 10K portion of the Marine Corps Marathon.

Thats 6.2 miles. Ive run that far in training, getting up to do my roadwork before dawn. Ive run over a hundred miles total in the last three months. I believe I can make it.

And I have lost 27 pounds. I feel better than I have in years.

The way I see it, if I can make it to the finish line, I win, even if I have to crawl the last mile.

And I couldnt even run across the street and back three months ago.

I have said all of this not to tout my own feeble efforts, but to say that if, Joe Cross and myself, you find yourselfdue to lifes circumstancewanting and needing change, you can do it.

You can. Just start, no matter how small your start is. You can do it.

And youll enjoy the process, too

You can do it.

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