The Most Inspiring Video You Will Ever Watch

Just try not to cry.

When DietBet player Roger Wright posted this video to YouTube in 2009, he didn't expect much. "I never thought it would get more than 1,000 views!" he says now, laughing at his gross underestimation.

Well, seven years later, his video has been viewed over 7 million times and was dubbed "the most inspiring video you will ever watch" by friends. What's even more striking is that Roger didn't even publish this version of the video: he made the video and forgot about it, and it was only after a friend reposted it that it began to gain serious Internet momentum.

But what are we still chattering on for--watch for yourself!

Once you collect yourself, the video above probably leaves you wanting to know about this man and his incredible transformation and achievement. Lucky for you, we're on it. We reached out to Roger and got some background on him and his journey.

It all began during one fateful week in May of 2008. "First, I had a physical and my doctor called to tell me that in addition to high cholesterol, and everything else that goes wrong with morbid obesity, I was now a Type 2 diabetic," Roger says. "Second, I was trying to get on the show The Biggest Loser and found out I didn't make the cut. Third, my sister-in-law called and told me that my niece Julia was going back up to Children's Hospital in Boston thanks to cystic fibrosis."

Dealt these three blows, Roger found himself out by the barbecue grilling some ribs and thinking about how if he gained some weight he might make it on the next season of The Biggest Loser. That's when he had an epiphany: "I came to the realization that I was never going to make it on the show, and that, unlike Julia who didn't have a choice, I was voluntariliy killing myself."

Partly inspired by his father, who ran the Boston Marathon when Roger was 7, he made a declaration right then and there: "I walked into the house, looked at my wife and said 'I'm going to run the 2009 Boston Marathon, raise money for cystic fibrosis, and lose 50 pounds.'" 

Then, with the unconditional support of his wife and his friend and trainer, Rick, Roger got to work.

He started his training with a 3-mile loop, which took him over an hour to walk. After a week, Rick told Roger to run the last half mile home. Roger made it 10 yards before he had to stop. "Never give up," Rick said, seeing Roger's defeat. "Every day, just add one more telephone pole, and eventually you'll make it home."

"It took me 45 days, but I made it," Roger says. "It took me another 45 days or so, but I was finally able to run the entire three miles. Then five. Then 10. Then 20. On April 20, 2009, 10 months after I started training, I had lost 113 pounds and ran the Boston Marathon nonstop."

Before he began training with Rick, Roger had never run more than 1/4 of a mile, and for good reason: "I hated running!" Roger says.

That changed five months into training, under unlikely circumstances. "I was running down a narrow road in 7-degree temps, cursing every step, when a car drove by and splashed me with freezing snow/slush," Roger remembers. "I grabbed my Gatorade and discovered it had frozen. I should have been upset, but all of a sudden I started laughing, and that's when I realized: I loved running."

To Roger, running symbolized what he was capable of. "I never forget that I was able to face adversity, challenge myself, and prove that even at 47, after a life of neglect, I could change. I think running is a lot like life. The more effort you put into it, the better you become and the more you enjoy it."

Despite Roger's incredible accomplishment, he admits that the journey is never over. "I have accepted the fact that I will always have a struggle with my weight," he says. Though he's mostly been able to stay within a healthy range, he tends to gain weight once a marathon ends, whether by taking a break from exercise or rewarding himself a bit too much post-race. During the past few years, DietBet has been a tool that's helped keep him in check ("Unfortunately, DietBet didn't exist back in 2008 or 2009," Roger jokes. "Had it been around, I would be a very rich person!"), timing his games to coincide with the end of an upcoming race. 

"Today, I just finished a DietBet and I have a marathon in three days. It will be my 46th full marathon in less than seven years."

It wasn't easy for Roger, and isn't easy even today, but he took to heart Rick's advice never to give up. Because, in the end, it's worth it.

"I've never finished a marathon, a training run, or other strenuous exercise and physically felt great," Roger says. "Actually, just the opposite, and my body always says, 'NEVER AGAIN!' But in my head I am loving life and never happier. I was able to change for the better."

You can hear more from Roger at his website, Running For My Existence.

Individual results may vary from Success Stories.

Make it WayBetter

Roger lost 113 pounds by channelling his passion and love toward a goal that didn't have anything to do with the number on the scale. What can you focus on that will inspire you to work hard and push yourself (and let the pounds fall off along the way)?