Wilson’s Story

FullSizeRenderMy name is Wilson “Beefcake” Horrell and I am beyond excited to be part of the Lift Heavy Run Long community. 5 years ago, my life had gone completely down the shitter. I was smoking well over 2 packs a day, drinking vodka at 6am, and was nurturing a $300 a day drug habit. For about the previous 8 years, if it didn’t come from a gas station, liquor store, or drug dealer, it didn’t go in my system. Fried gas station or fast food was all I knew, and there had been virtually zero physical activity over the course of a decade, with the exception of some amphetamine induced manual labor. Shortly after a couple of back to back visits to a treatment center, I found myself depressed, suicidal, and about 300 pounds. Something had to give.
I started lifting a few machine weights, and attempting to “jog” from light pole to light pole in between cigarettes pulls. I was literally walking up stairs on all fours, and just had no motivation whatsoever. I truly just wanted to die. After a few months at the YMCA and a couple of other local gyms, I stumbled upon Olive Branch CrossFit. I had found my miracle. There was a group of people who were accepting of a loud, stinky, sweaty monster who had problems making it through the warmup, and whose butt crack was hanging out about 80% of the time. I was a disaster…the members were a blessing.
As I started to gain a bit of strength, I decided to run a 5k. My finish time was 44minutes 34 seconds. Clearly, there was no sonic boom, or land-speed records broken, but hey, what the fuck…gotta start somewhere. YOU.GOTTA.START.SOMEWHERE!
So, as my time at Olive Branch CrossFit got to be a little more enjoyable, I started to learn a little bit about the owner, Von Ralls, and his passion of running. It was rumored that he ran 50mile races! I had no idea that these things even existed, and I certainly had no reason to believe that someone as unathletic as myself could ever achieve one of these things. I looked on his website and was in awe of the people in the 50/400 club. My goal had been set, and it was time to get to work. Over time, my strength came pretty quickly, as I am a heavy, broad hipped, broad shoulders guy. My running…not so much. I tried to run, but damn that asphalt hurt the Beefcake. I managed to knock out 8miles one day, and I was PUMPED! I don’t remember how long it took, but it was considerable, but once again, fuck it. 8miles is 8miles. I was Lifting Heavy and Running Long. Hell yeah! Not long after this, I was introduced to a group of runners while taking a workshop on the “Pose” method of running. Many of these runners joined the CrossFit gym, and our relationship grew. Von and some guys took me on a trail run and left me for dead, but I managed to get 10miles! (Lifting Heavy…Running Long). Amanda Drogmiller taught me how to run on the trails and introduced me to the trail running community. While absorbing all the love that these crazy people gave me, I happened upon the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was pretty as the sun, strong as an Ox, and tough as a tree trunk. Beefcake was smitten, and ready do dish out a little love himself. This goddess would soon become my wife and inspiration, and lifting heavy and running long was our passion. I waddled out a 25k, an 18miler, a half marathon trail, a couple of 50k’s, and next thing you know…Amanda, some friends, and I had finished a 50 miler at Tunnel Hill.
Now, I’m not particularly good at any of this bullshit. My diet sucks, I run slow, I don’t follow a training plan, and I don’t work overly hard in the gym. However, I have found more satisfaction in being a father, a husband, a friend, and an overall participant in life because of the people I have met either at the gym or on the trail. I don’t know what lifting heavy and running long means to you, but to me, it’s about being a little better than I was the day before. I’m never gonna be in the Olympics, the CrossFit games, or the NFL, but if I play my cards right I just might stay out of a vodka bottle, a jailhouse, or an early grave. I’m so grateful to have a community where I can share about myself, while learning about others. If we all work a little bit, support each other, and maybe take a few chances, I think we can really accomplish some pretty cool shit. In the meantime…Lift Heavy Run Long.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,
Wilson “Beefcake” Horrell