Lessons Learned from Hepker Challenge: ‘It’s never too late to change your life’

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Seven months ago, Channel 13's Aaron Hepker told us life wasn't enjoyable at his current weight.  Now, he's lost 100 pounds and is learning that he can do more than he ever imagined.

He credits his trainer, Terri Good of Infinity Training Center with teaching him about diet and exercise.  But he's also learned it helps to surround yourself with people who support your weight loss goals.  Reid Chandler, a reporter here at Channel 13, is one of those people.  Reid and Aaron have known each other about four years.

"He was always kind of a quiet, withdrawn guy, until we started getting into conversation," says Reid.

A trip to Colorado in 2014, and a walk on a mountain trail, lead to a realization for both of them.

"While I was aware of Aaron's physical shape, I guess I didn't think twice about it being a challenge for him," says Reid.  "I remember very early in that walk, I turned around and I expected him to be right behind me and he was actually ten or twenty feet down the incline taking a breather.  And I remember him saying, 'Hold on Reid, give me a second.'"

Reid Chandler and Aaron Hepker

Reid Chandler and Aaron Hepker

Reid came face to face with Aaron's limitations.

"He said to me, 'Reid, part of my motivation is that I want to be able to do all these things that I see my friends doing that I've never been able to do,'"

Slowly, Aaron is starting to do some of those things.  He's accompanied Reid to Crossfit classes in Des Moines, they've walked the shores of Lake Michigan and journeyed to the top of the Hancock Building in Chicago.

"I can tell he's just a happier person," say Reid.

As his size shrinks, Aaron's confidence grows.  He's also inspired Reid.

"The lesson I’ve learned from Aaron Hepker is that nothing is impossible and it’s never too late to decide you want to change something about your life."

Follow Aaron and his journey on Facebook.