TB12 Spotlight: Colin McRavey
If anyone embodies the TB12 spirit, it’s Colin McRavey.
Colin never considered himself an “athlete” per se, but he had been physically fit — so fit, in fact, that he was able to run marathons in his late 20s. But as the stress of life, work, and travel increased through his 30s, so did his weight. In his early 40s, Colin weighed about 350 pounds.
To get healthy again, Colin took up running and set his eyes on a goal: the Boston Marathon. This event had always held a special place in his heart, so in the months leading up to the event, Colin’s expectations grew. But just a few weeks before the marathon, Colin’s journey stopped short — and not because of overtraining. He stubbed and broke his toe on the tower of a desktop computer under his desk.
The injury put Colin off his feet for six weeks, but the disappointment of missing the marathon sent him into a two-year slump. All the pounds he had lost in training for Boston returned, and his appearance changed so much that, one day in 2017, he couldn’t recognize himself in a photo.
At that moment, Colin says, a light bulb went off
“What the hell am I doing?” he thought. And just like that, Colin decided it was time to turn his life around.
Knowing he needed a goal to get himself back on his feet, Colin found one: the 2018 Disney Dopey challenge, a four-weekend event that progresses from short to long distance running (5K to a marathon). Back at 350 pounds again, Colin couldn’t run right away, but he started with hours of walking on a treadmill. Once he could run, he progressed from one mile to two, then three, then five, until finally he found himself at the starting line of the Dopey Challenge in January 2018 — down 150 pounds.
Over the past 18 months, Colin has run 10 marathons, traveled the world, and even earned his World Marathons Six Star Finisher Medal. He ran his first Boston Marathon last year, and this year, he’s ready for more.
Now 46 years old, Colin trains for marathons more carefully than he did at age 27. In his words, he prepares for marathons “more like a triathlete than a marathoner.” To to reduce the stress put on his knees, he balances his running miles with hours on the bike and in the pool. To stay stable, Colin devotes three sessions to his core each week.
Time spent at the TB12 Center has kept Colin focused, grounded, and prepared. After devoting time to pliability through a personalized, targeted program, “lots of foam rolling,” and body work, Colin is proud to say the most recent leg of his journey has been injury-free.
For Colin, performing at his highest level is about much more than just better results — it’s about longevity, injury-prevention, and even confidence.
In his words, good performance is about “being able to start and finish each workout in the best possible condition, proactively working to minimize the risk of injury, and being able to turn up on race day confident in your preparation and ability to meet your goals — whether that’s just finishing the race or recording a new personal best.”
Running is more than a sport — it’s friendship
Running has done more for Colin than keep him physically and mentally fit. It has given him a community of “like-minded individuals” who all know the same struggle.
“[Runners] understand the trials and tribulations of the training — how it feels to run the distance,” says Colin. “Many of my strongest friendships have been born of a shared love for running.”
Running is Colin’s way to give back
This year, Colin is hoping warmer weather gives him an edge on 2019 so he can run the best marathon of his life — all while supporting the TB12 Foundation. Running, for Colin, is “a way to give back.”
“I love the philanthropy associated with most marathons,” he says, “and I’m a huge Patriots fan. Tom is an inspiration — who wouldn’t want to help?”
Not everyone can run, but everyone can give. Support Colin and the TB12 Foundation today.