It’s a new year, and resolutions for health and happiness abound. A few years ago, Brayan from Colombia resolved to get healthy and lose weight, and he’s sure come a long way since.
As a child, 15-year-old Brayan struggled with obesity, but overcame it by discovering a new hobby — running — which also boosted his self-esteem.
“I remember the first day of training,” Brayan said. “They were doing some random races and I fell down. That made me feel terrible.”
Brayan did not let that first failure get in his way of reaching his goals.
Classmates used to tease Brayan about his weight. One day he decided to go running to train with his cousin, Mariana, who is also sponsored through Unbound.
“I kept going, at the beginning only Tuesdays and Thursdays, and every time I could hardly finish one lap around the track,” Brayan said. “I was in such bad shape.”
“Over time, I kept training and my coach started to ask me to participate in different runs, and I started to lose weight. After a while, I lost about 44 pounds. I used to weigh about 176 pounds and now my weight is 132 pounds.”
While Brayan experienced bullying from classmates, he found new friends and a positive environment through running.
“I remember my first track and field race, it was a 1,500-meter race,” Brayan said. “I came in last, and when I got to the finish line I [felt like I]was dying. I almost fainted, but other runners were cheering [for]me and motivating me.”
Through his training, Brayan has learned about perseverance and discipline.
“It is not important to make it to the finish line first, but to actually finish,” he said.
Brayan has been sponsored for 13 years by Daniel from Virginia.
While most of his sponsorship benefits go toward paying his education expenses, Brayan is able to use some of his benefits to defray the costs of running shoes and nutrition to help with his training.
Brayan is in his final year of high school, and hopes to study physical therapy.
“I love to learn to treat people, help them in their disabilities and to accompany them to overcome their problems,” Brayan said.
Brayan is grateful for the support his sponsor has shown him over the years and values all that he has received through sponsorship. He believes that his sponsor’s support has helped him to overcome in life.
Help unlock the potential in youth like Brayan. Sponsor today.