Andres Gutierrez, NBC 5 News
As thousands lace up for the Fort Worth Cowtown this weekend, one participant explains why he switched to a healthy lifestyle for the better.
Thousands of runners will lace up in Fort Worth this weekend for The Cowtown.
As Cowtown officials expect 30,000 runners for this year's competitions, one participant thanks recounts his decision to switch to a healthy lifestyle as he preps for one of the races.
For Andy Axsom, the director of student affairs at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, cardio and strength exercises are engrained into his morning routine.
Axsom’s new exercise regime is a big difference from three years when he weighed 385 pounds.
"I knew that I had to be a better example for family, my friends, for myself,” Axsom said. “I knew that I wanted to have success in my life. And having improved health and wellness was going help achieve my goals.”
Since starting his fitness journey in the summer of 2010, he's lost 135 pounds. Along the way, he completed numerous competitions even making it all the way to the Dallas Marathon.
Axsom is one of 7,200 people scheduled to compete in the half-marathon at the Will Rogers Memorial center Sunday morning.
"I cannot tell you how many times I failed,” Axsom said. “But each and every time I’ve fallen down, I’ve gotten back up."
Coach Heinz Schwarzkopf admires Axsom's determination.
"Even when I was running alongside him it was easy to push him and tell him to do this or do that and he really wanted it,” Schwarzkopf. “I couldn't have asked for a better athlete.”
Axsom hopes to motivate others and has a message to those who need the extra push…
"Just prove to yourself that you can do it,” Axsom said. “I think that when you can really set your mind on something, you absolutely can accomplish it--if you're focused, determined and motivated.”