Ryan grew up in Spring & was recruited to play football. After his 2nd year in college, tragedy struck. His younger brother passed away in a heartbreaking accident & Ryan wondered if he could go on w/ life as usual. He considered not returning to school but his family encouraged him not to quit. He eventually graduated & returned to Houston to pursue a career. Ryan says he started running in 2013-not because of a desire to be healthy-but out of vanity. He had a vacation to #LasVegas planned & was frustrated w/ how much weight he had gained since graduating from college. Ryan says that when he was playing football he ate everything in sight. Unfortunately when his football days ended his eating did not change. The thought of sitting at the Vegas pool w/o a 6-pack was enough to cause Ryan to start running. He says it took about 6-months, but his body slowly began to change & he took pride in his ability to run farther and faster. Today Ryan is working to qualify for the Boston Marathon. He says that the idea of even doing a marathon-much less running fast enough to qualify for Boston-is something that would have seemed ridiculous a few years ago. His friends still ask him what in the world he thinks about while running for 3 ½ hours. Looking back on those days of playing football, Ryan says one thing he learned was how to work together as a team to achieve a common goal. He loved the camaraderie of the sport & joy of winning together. He feels that same spirit of solidarity w/in the running community. Although each person runs his own race the support and friendships he has found in the last 4-years have encouraged him to pursue goals he previously thought were impossible. Ryan says that although he still grieves the loss of his brother the tragedy caused him to view his relationships w/ other people in a different light. He knows how difficult life was a few years ago. He wants to be a blessing to everyone he meets in case they are going through something similar to what he experienced. Today, regardless of whether he is running at Memorial Park or lying next to a pool in Vegas, Ryan tries to give others the benefit of the doubt & always treats them w/ respect.