#BeYourOwnIcon: Derek Mitchell
Kansas City’s Derek Mitchell has had every reason to remain stagnant. But the 36-year-old continues to keep moving forward, understanding that each step he makes is one towards a healthier lifestyle that can inspire others trying to lose weight, become more active and overcome medical conditions.
It began a little over three years ago in March 2014, when Mitchell competed in his first 5K in his hometown. At the time he weighed 625 pounds, the result of prolactinoma, a benign tumor on his pituitary gland that blocks the production of his testosterone which in turn slows down his metabolism and has led to his obesity. Seven years ago, doctors discovered Mitchell suffered from the condition and he has since been taking medication to address his testosterone deficiency.
Realizing that medication would not address his weight issues, Mitchell took to other means. Two years ago, he eliminated soda from his diet. That same year, he vowed to walk at least one 5K a month. He ended up doing 21. He followed that up with 30 5Ks in 2016. So far this year, he has completed two 5Ks, bringing his total to 53 5Ks, along with two 10Ks in the past three years.
While his weight has fluctuated since 2014, he has lost roughly 65 pounds. Of all his accomplishments, that may be the least of them.
With each step Mitchell takes and each race he finishes, the 36-year-old is serving as a role model for those who are dealing with similar circumstances every day. His story has been featured on the local FOX affiliate in Kansas City, Runner’s World, People Magazine, Inside Edition and The Daily Mail.
He has nearly 26,500 followers on Facebook, many of whom have used Mitchell’s accomplishments as an example of what they can achieve. “I get messages almost on a daily basis from people who started doing races because they saw my story,” Mitchell told American Sunglass. “It is humbling, but at the same time it is awesome to see the kind of effect you can have someone. It is also a way to motivate me not to stop.”
This year, Mitchell is continuing with his goal to complete 30 races, but he plans on increasing his distance. He wants to participate in 25 5Ks and 5 10Ks. With each finish line he crosses, Mitchell is not only serving to improve his health, he’s reminding all of us of what we can achieve when we set our minds to it.
You can continue to be inspired by Derek’s story by liking his Facebook page www.facebook.com/derekmitchellstory.
Achieve Your Goals
There’s no magic bullet that will suddenly improve your health. Like Mitchell, it takes time, dedication, perseverance and courage. And, of course, a decent pair of sunglasses might help during those days spent training in the sun.
At American Sunglass, we sell several brands that are intended for the athlete in all of us. Whether you’re tackling a 5K, 10K, half marathon or longer, you can’t go wrong with Oakley, one of the leading brands when it comes to durability, performance and style. Smith and Serengeti Eyewear are equally as popular, thanks to a combination of form and function that will meet all your endurance needs. Now it’s your turn to start running. All it takes is one step.
Words of an Icon: “There is a sense of accomplishment when you cross the finish line.” – Derek Mitchell