LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – A Lawton native, whose helped with the Spirit of Survival in years past, has decided to walk the 5K in October for the first time. This is a challenge for him because he's had major health problems in the past but he says he's not going to let that hold him back.
"I've learned that it really doesn't matter what your medical condition is, are or were you can do anything you put your mind to. You decide you want to do it and if you really want to do it for you, then all things are possible," said Robert Hupp, a 5k trainee.
Back in 2008, Robert Hupp had 6 bypass surgeries on his heart. That combined with thyroid problems had put him in bad shape physically but he decided that he's NOT going to let that be an excuse for him not to participate this year. For some walking a mile or two doesn't seem like that big of a deal but for Hupp it was.
"Shortly after my heart surgery and my thyroid problems, I couldn't walk to the mail box and back without running out of breath. Taking the trash out was a chore," Hupp said.
With time he's gotten physically stronger and decided he could concur the 5K this year if he started training for it sooner than the start date.
"When I started in May, I could walk around the block and that was it and that was strictly walking," Hupp said.
But after months of training, that's not the case anymore.
"This morning, I'm up to a mile and a half and that's been over the course of a couple years of gradually going farther, father, and father. With the training plan I'm looking forward to the three miles in October," Hupp said.
Hupp says he decided to participate this year because cancer knows no bounds and affects so many people.
"I started because I have a large number of friends and family that's been affected by cancer. Some still have cancer and have passed on and it's just a good way to support the cancer center," Hupp said.
Another reason he decided to run was for his father who had cancer more than 25 years ago and was treated at CCMH. Not only can Hupp now walk a mile and a half, he can do things he used to enjoy before his health problems began.
"Being in better shape, I can actually go out and walk with my grandchildren. You know, in the past, I couldn't go on walks with them… We'd go out in the yard and watch them play and now I can go out with them and that's just a wonderful feeling," Hupp said.
Hupp says even though there are very good runners who train and participate in the Spirit of Survival, the trainers have never made him feel bad because he's not as fast or in as good of shape as someone else. He's a part of the Walking/Running 5K training group and says the trainers just encourage him and the others to be the best they can be. If you'd like to participate in the event, it's not too late to sign up for the Spirit of Survival. You can sign up by going to www.spiritofsurvival.com.