CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Racing through the streets of downtown Cleveland is a fitness routine for Kathryn Ferenz.
"I do things today that I never thought I'd be able to do. I feel very free. I experience and live dreams I never knew I had," she said.
Kathryn didn't always live life that way.
Two years ago, she weighed 237 pounds. She struggled with health issues - and decided to make a change, so she underwent bariatric surgery at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.
"It's not easy. It's just a small tool of the surgery to lose weight and it's really up to maintain it from there," Kathryn said.
She changed her eating habits and starting breaking a sweat.
"My boyfriend bought me my very first pair of running Mizunos. I didn't even know what Mizunos were at the time. I put them on and I said, hey, maybe I'll start running," she said.
For years, Kathryn used to sit on the third story of her former apartment and watch the runners go by on race day. Back then she never dreamed she'd be taking part in the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon race series.
"It wasn't until about six months ago after running many 5Ks, I thought, you know what, I'm going to go for it and I signed up and I started training and here we are this week," she said.
Kathryn's training includes calorie-blasting group classes at Rise Nation. Thanks to intense workouts, a clean nutrition plan and surgery, these days Kathryn is down to a fit 107 pounds, which is less than half of what she once weighed.
"There's dreams out there you didn't know that you had and go for it and never let yourself talk yourself out of doing something," she said.
Kathryn plans to get her personal training certification this summer to help others reach their health goals.