Before reading this, please note that as of today, I am training 6 – 7 days a week, trail running in the mountains and doing strength workouts in Beachbody On Demand. I am, however, nowhere near the athlete that I was before the accident. I just persevere to be an example of what is possible and how we can recover from even the worst things that happen to us.
My Personal Journey of Hope
Prior to May 1985, I was super fit and super healthy, routinely running between 50 and 70 miles a week. Between March 16th and May 5th, 1985, I ran 34:32 for 10K, 57:46 for 10 miles, 53:20 for 15K, 27:38 for 5 miles, and 16:26 for 5K. I was 34 years old. On May 17, 1985, at around 5:00 PM on a Friday night, I was driving home with my then five-year-old daughter and we hit a van broadside. The van had been stopped in the left lane of a four-lane road with its left blinker on and unexpectedly made a right turn out of the left lane directly in front of us. That accident, although we both survived, in an instant, ruined my health and changed my life. On Sunday, May 19th, I ran the Midland Run 15K (which I had run and eventually would run or try to run, 13 years in a row) and ran 53:03.
The next day, Monday, I had what seemed to be a toothache. This began a ritual of going back and forth between dentists and ear, nose, and throat specialists, each saying I had a sinus infection and not a toothache or a toothache and not a sinus infection. After 3 years and 13 doctors and specialists, a root canal, extraction of a tooth, and countless prescriptions for antibiotics, a dental specialist found a hairline fracture in a tooth that had actually been damaged by the car accident. The fracture had allowed bacteria to enter my jawbone, causing an infection in the jawbone and a cyst to form in the adjacent sinus. I had to have oral surgery on my jawbone with no Novocaine (it would spread the infection) at 9:00 one night and then later, surgery to remove the cyst in my sinus.
Thinking that my health nightmare was finally over, I was devastated to find out over the next 20 years that my health was irreversibly ruined. Three doctors, two of whom were specialists and the last at the University of Pennsylvania hospital, confirmed a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome and a systemic yeast infection from the overuse of the prescribed antibiotics. The doctor who performed the surgery on my sinus also performed a Caldwell Luc procedure which “opened up my sinus” and permanently altered the sinus in such a way that I could not properly blow that left nostril and I have had perhaps as many as a hundred sinus infections in that sinus since.
Out of a $10,000.00 settlement from the car accident, I got about $3,000.00 (the lawyer took the rest) and out of that, I bought my first Polar heart rate monitor in 1986 – a Polar Vantage XL. That is what led me to become a Polar authorized dealer. At my worst, I was so weak that I had to sleep on the floor downstairs because I could not walk up a flight of stairs and obviously could not work. Even on a yeast and sugar-free diet and the antifungal Diflucan (at $12.50 per pill per day, with no health insurance) to combat the systemic yeast infection, I only functioned at about 50%. Given my physical gifts and will, however, that was enough to lead a somewhat normal life. I became a personal trainer to have a healthy occupation (for many, many years I had managed a woodworking shop, but could no longer do the physical labor and it didn’t seem like a healthy occupation given my compromised immune system). I also started my www.howtobefit.com website to spread the gospel of fitness (a college aptitude test showed that I should be a bricklayer or a minister, so helping others with their physical walk through life seemed just right) with an e-commerce business selling Polar heart rate monitors.
As for running, it came back at times, (in 1994, I ran the Philadelphia Independence Marathon again) but I would never know what to expect from my body which was constantly being battered by health issues. I basically lost all confidence in my running. My marriage also failed because my wife wanted me to be able to make more money, but I simply couldn’t. I moved to Albuquerque because New Jersey was too damp and the climate here is much better for my yeast issues and to run. I also needed to get away from a racing scene that I once had success in and which had become a source of embarrassment. I began personal training in earnest, as well as coaching running at the high school and club level. At first, I ran well here, but the arrhythmias (high heart rates when I was running) that I developed, became much more frequent. In fact in my first race here, the Albuquerque’s Finest Half Marathon, I had an arrhythmia at 5 miles walked to 6 miles, stopped for my heart rate to come down from over 200, and still ran 1:30:00. At the finish, I mentioned to a local doctor/runner that I had to walk because I had an arrhythmia and he scoffed, “If you had had an arrhythmia, you would be dead.” Runners don’t like to hear excuses or reasons and although I had a few very good races here, I began to avoid them. My challenge was for me to deal with, not complain about.
Life was bearable and running an e-commerce business was not too taxing on my physical reserves. I could run, which many, many other people couldn’t do and I could work the hours needed to run my business. I thought that life was good. But then Polar changed direction in the US market and my e-commerce business was in jeopardy. In January of 2007, I became an Independent Team Beachbody Coach to become part of a nationwide fitness company that I thought could benefit my e-commerce customers. It was something that I could do part-time and in retrospect, I now know that it became the blessing of a lifetime. When I was no longer able to continue with Polar in the fall of 2007, I had another business to fall back on that was almost stress-free compared to the stress that I felt doing e-commerce.
Life Today as a Full-Time Independent Team Beachbody Coach
By becoming a full-time Team Beachbody Coach and integrating Beachbody On Demand streaming workouts into my training instead of beating myself up all of the time trying to run lots of miles, I am healthier and fitter. I still run five days a week, but I love the cross-training with Beachbody strength workouts.
With my fitness websites and this blog, I am fully committed to helping you achieve your health and fitness goals. I am a Team Beachbody Coach so that I can coach and mentor people online to achieve the same goals. I am constantly promoting the benefits of Beachbody products and programs and achieving financial freedom and personally respond to all of your texts and emails. I welcome any questions that you may have and always respond promptly. Direct your texts to 505 463-8865 and your emails to email@example.com.
Who is Rich Dafter?
That was 10 years after I had the car accident that for the most part ended my competitive running career. I had decided to start a running website to help other runners and became an ACE certified personal trainer so that I could help even more people have the health and fitness that I once had.
Fast forward to December 28th, 2006 when I got a link from Beachbody Corporate suggesting that I become a coach with them. By this time, I was selling Polar heart rate monitors and had a very successful online business. I saw being a Beachbody coach as an opportunity to help my Polar customers even more with free online coaching. I see it the same way even to this day. On January 8th, 2007, I clicked on the link that I was sent, signed up to be a coach, and a team was born.
About Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter
- Total number of years coaching – 39 (I started on November 29th, 1982)
- Years coaching runners and personal training as an ACE Certified Personal Trainer – 23
- Years as a Team Beachbody Coach 15 (I started on January 8th, 2007)
- Total number of Team Beachbody members – over 16,000
- Highest Team Beachbody coach rank – 2 Star Diamond
- Awards – Spring 2009 Team Beachbody Top Coach Region 3
- Interests – Being the best parent that I can be, volunteering and running
- Runner for 56 years and no meat athlete since doing the Beachbody Ultimate Reset in April 2012
Who is Team Howtobefit Coach Rich Dafter
If you ask me now what I do, I say that I am a full-time work-at-home dad who gets paid to be fit and healthy and help others to get fit and be healthy. I am also Rich Dafter, just an average guy and lifelong runner. I am driven to help and guide you to improve your health and fitness because I had a chronic illness that robbed me of my health. By telling my personal story, I hope to help others know that with will and perseverance they, too, can achieve their fitness and health goals and more.
As a full-time work-at-home dad and full-time Team Beachbody Coach, I need the energy, drive, and determination to keep going day after day. I am currently working out in Beachbody On Demand or running seven days a week. Click here to learn more about Beachbody On Demand plan options.
To fuel my lifestyle and my training, I use Beachbody Performance products and drink Shakeology every day. Shakeology has transformed my life from someone suffering from CFIDS (chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome) to someone who has recovered almost completely and enjoys a level of health and fitness that is unparalleled. If you have a question about Beachbody Performance, Shakeology, or have health, fitness, and positive lifestyle questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org