Here’s an excerpt from the announcement on the RunKeeper blog discussing how and why I’m so excited to join the team:
My personal journey into running, and thereby to RunKeeper, started a couple of years ago. I decided to join some family on a Colorado hunting and hiking trip in early fall 2009. As part of getting ready for that trip, I took a hard look at my fitness. I didn’t like what I saw.
I was fifty pounds overweight. I knew I needed to make some changes to both my diet and my level of physical activity. For diet, that led to colorful veggies and Greek yogurt, along with fewer desserts and seconds. For exercise, I settled on running.
Prior to this, I’d always hated running. Well, distance running, anyway. I loved baseball, but that only involved short sprints. And I’d had a long term on-again, off-again love affair with cycling, but never far or fast enough to give me any serious aches and pains. For me, running was the punishment given out by other sports.
But then I came across a plan from a gentleman named Cameron Hanes that helped me ease into running thirty minutes at a time, three or four times per week. Cameron outlined walking ten minutes, running five, then repeating both each outing for the first two weeks. Then his plan built up gradually over eight weeks to one hour per run, most of it running instead of walking.
Having a plan with specific, measurable “baby steps” made fitness achievable for me. I followed the Hanes plan, ran my first 5k race, and actually enjoyed it. I ran another, and shaved off a pretty good chunk of time. Then I went on the Colorado trip and found myself much fitter and happier hiking at altitude than I’d ever been before. I felt the benefits of the last couple of months of running. That’s when I made the decision to train for a 10k trail race, and from that came several half marathons and now a full marathon later this fall.
I’ve lost the fifty pounds and kept it off through running and eating right. Now I can’t imagine going more than a day or two without running. And I want to share my passion for fitness with everyone I can.
Enter RunKeeper. I tried several fitness apps as I got deeper into running and wanted to record and analyze my runs. RunKeeper stood out as the best for my purposes. I followed @runkeeper as a user, and was pleasantly surprised when RunKeeper CEO, Jason Jacobs (@jjacobs22), responded to some things I posted. I started following him on Twitter, and it was from that follow that I first saw the post for a Health Graph Platform Evangelist position. I immediately knew I had to apply–the role combines both my personal passion for fitness and running with my professional passion for developer advocacy and working with partners to solve real world problems.
When I spoke with Jason and the rest of the RunKeeper team, I found this same enthusiasm for fitness and improving the world’s health in the RunKeeper team. I was hooked! A couple months later and here I am, getting to spread the good word about the Health Graph API. I can’t wait to work with you!
A little bit more about me professionally: My background is in aerospace and software engineering. I leveraged that, along with passions for writing and speaking, to become a developer advocate and evangelist. I’ve been blessed to evangelize mobile, web, and OS technologies for the likes of Sun, Nokia, and Digital Reasoning Systems over the last twelve years. Most recently I’ve been working with O’Reilly Media to help developers understand and take advantage of the PayPal X payments platform.
I’d like to hear about your involvement with RunKeeper and the Health Graph API. I’m especially interested in your suggestions for making the API easier to use and more profitable for you. If there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know. You can contact me via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @billday. You can also find me on RunKeeper, and LinkedIn.
Looking forward to helping you succeed with the Health Graph!
More about my path into running from my Ignite talk “Run for Your Life!” recorded early last year, when I was about eight months into my journey: