From heart at­tack to health buff

Alpine Observer - - News -

MAL Wil­son was a self-con­fessed ‘slob’ be­fore turn­ing his life around and that of others, now he hopes to do the same in the com­mu­nity he now calls home.

The 66 year- old has re­cently moved from Bris­bane to Myrtle­ford and hopes to in­spire others with his story of how poor health al­most cut his life short at age 42 be­fore later run­ning marathons.

Mr Wil­son had coro­nary artery by­pass surgery in 1994 and was told if he did not change his ways he would be dead within five years.

He said he had no prob­lem eat­ing a bucket of KFC or an early morn­ing meat pie and pastie be­fore suf­fer­ing the heart at­tack that very nearly ended his life.

“My old life, I threw it down the drain,” he re­called.

“We would never put dirty fuel in our car but into our body for some rea­son it’s dif­fer­ent.

“They cut me wide open and this man (the sur­geon) had my heart in his hands.”

Weeks later, a chance meet­ing with that very sur­geon who gave Mr Wil­son a sec­ond chance at life put the wheels in mo­tion for a new pas­sion - run­ning.

“He bought me a pair of shorts and a shirt and said, ‘here, hop on the tread­mill’,” Mr Wil­son said.

“That was it, I never looked back and be­came ob­sessed.”

Mr Wil­son went on to run 14 marathons all over Aus­tralia, in times that con­sis­tently stayed just un­der the four-hour mark.

He be­lieves it was sheer ded­i­ca­tion, hard work, pos­i­tive think­ing and a good diet that trans­formed him.

“After the surgery, you think when is this go­ing to hap­pen again,” he said.

“For the first six months you just think you’re go­ing to die, drop dead at any mo­ment.

“But now the way I have looked after my­self they say it will be some­thing else that kills me.”

Mr Wil­son hopes that his story will help others to turn their life around.

The for­mer Bris­bane man is now re­tired and hopes to give back to his new com­mu­nity by of­fer­ing free run­ning classes. “I love it here,” he said. “(I love) the peo­ple, the moun­tains, the cli­mate and the streams.

“My sis­ter took me to Mt Buf- falo when I was a kid and it’s the hap­pi­est I’ve ever been.

“I have vis­ited nearly ev­ery year since I was nine years old, just to see that moun­tain.”

While Mr Wil­son’s marathon run­ning days may be over, he hopes to climb his favourite moun­tain soon.

“I am go­ing to tape my knees up and run from one side to the other,” he said.

Mr Wil­son of­fers train­ing for in­di­vid­u­als and groups and can be con­tacted on 0417 787 748.


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