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After battling colon cancer, man ranks at his healthiest

By Leslie Barker The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS - At age 36, Mike Morris was told he had Stage 3 colon cancer, which killed his grandmother at age 50.

He underwent daily radiation treatments for six weeks and also endured months of chemotherapy treatments.

He began eating healthy foods five times a day and exercising lightly twice a week. In six weeks, he'd dropped from 215 pounds to 175.

He bumped up his exercise routine, walking a half mile and running a quarter mile on the treadmill. He built up to running three miles straight and, encouraged by his best friend, started running more often and longer distances.

He completed his first marathon in March.

Now 52, he is cancer-free and "in the best shape of my life," says Morris. "I still have digestive problems because radiation shrunk my colon, but I'm glad to be alive."

n Typical week of workouts: "When I was training for the marathon, I would run three to four days a week and do cross training two to three days a week.

"However, when I'm not in training, I enjoy working out to fitness DVDs like P90X and Bob Harper.

n If I had just 20 minutes to work out, I would: "Do 20 minutes of the Insanity workout."

n Favorite healthy food: "My wife, Amy, makes the best fish tacos!"

n Favorite indulgence: "If I'm going to splurge, I go for chicken wings and a tall cold one."

n Proudest fitness moment: "Crossing the finish line at my first marathon was hands-down my proudest fitness moment. Nothing compares to the feeling of finishing 26.2 miles."

n Fitness mentor: Lonnie and Diane Clark.

"I used to tell people, 'I would only run to the fridge or to the bathroom,' but since meeting them six years ago, I no longer say that.

"They introduced me to a whole different side of running and working out that I didn't know existed. Every time we run, work out, do orienteering or ride bikes together, they inspire me to do my best."

n Fitness goals: "My fitness goal is to do my best during each workout and try different ways to stay in shape.

"Lonnie recently got me into orienteering, which is both a physical and mental challenge."

What my workout says about me: "My workout says that I am living life to the fullest and am not afraid to experience new things."

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