Kevin Motter says he “was in a bad place” when American Legion National Commander Bill Oxford launched the 100 Miles for Hope challenge on Aug. 3.
“I had allowed my weight to spike at 270, and my blood pressure meds were stuck between VA and the Postal Service,” said Motter, an Army veteran and adjutant of American Legion Post 109 in Montpelier, Ohio. “The challenge allowed me to work on my personal health. I'm not stopping until Veterans Day. And maybe not even then.”
So far, Motter has ridden his stationary bike, walked and hiked for more than 950 miles and lost 21 pounds.
“My doctor had been on me for quite a while about my weight,” he said. “I knew I was creeping back up to dangerous levels of my weight where I should not have been. I’ve had blood pressure issues, been a borderline diabetic and my doctor had mentioned the possibility of bariatric surgery.”
During the summer, his blood pressure medicine, which is made in China, had been delayed by production and delivery issues related to the pandemic. “At one point, I went without the blood pressure meds for three weeks and it spiked pretty good,” he said. “When Commander Oxford put out that challenge, I said, ‘I can do that.’”
The former high school cross-country runner broke out his stationary bike and put in front of the TV for an hour each morning.
He’s averaging between 14 and 15 miles a day.
Just over halfway into the challenge, Motter could feel the difference. “I feel great. My clothes are looser. I have more energy. My mood has changed for the better.”
Motter, who celebrated his 61st birthday earlier in October by biking and hiking 20 miles, noted that his father passed away at age 62. Neither of his grandfathers made it to age 60.
“It’s a personal thing,” said Motter, who has set goals of logging 1,200 miles and losing 35 pounds during the challenge. “It was a very opportune time in my life personally for this challenge to come out. I’m going to continue this to hit my weight loss goal and then keep going to maintain it.”