When HGTV star Joanna Gaines first announced that her husband, Chip, was going to begin training to run a marathon, “Fixer Upper” fans rallied behind him in support.
The conversation started when Chip and Joanna met Gabriele (Gabe) Grunewald and her husband, Justin, in Central Park, New York, this past fall. Chip casually asked the professional runner how difficult it would be for “an average guy” to train for a marathon.
She told him that with some training he could be ready at the beginning of the summer.
He was inspired by Gabe’s story. She trains and competes as a professional runner despite being diagnosed with a rare cancer called Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma.
He realized that if she was able to continue running even after her diagnosis, he had no excuse to not pursue his dream of running a marathon.
Chip asked her if she would be willing to train him and she agreed! His first run was on January 8, 2018.
He imagined his 1.7 mile run would be a breeze. “Every time I imagined it in my mind, I looked strong, my breathing was steady, and I remained fully upright the entire time,” he wrote on the Magnolia blog.
But the reality was quite different. In an interview with Runner’s World, Chip later identified it as his worst run. “It was the moment I realized I could actually fail at this thing,” he said. “Some advice from a beginner: never judge your full potential based on your first run.”
In preparation for the May 6 Silo District Marathon being put on by the dynamic Gaines couple themselves, Chip has made strides in his training.
His growing family is extremely supportive of him. He said his children get excited for him on long run days and ask him how it went when he gets home.
Not only is he running over 15 miles, but he’s also lost 10 pounds so far! His progress was shared on Magnolia’s Instagram and fans congratulated him on his progress.
For Chip, training for this marathon has been an opportunity for him to take his own advice. In his book, “Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff,” he explained “Getting started is equally as triumphant as crossing the finish line.
“Your goal is too far off to have a straight line of sight to it, but I’m going to need you to keep it firmly fixed in your mind’s eye. The only way this is going to work, the only way that you’re gonna get there, is one foot in front of the other.”
“You have to keep moving forward. And when you think you are about to die — trust me, it’s just a tiny bit further.”
He still has a month to train, but he has already come so far. When he crosses that finish line in May, millions of fans will be celebrating his achievement.
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