Michael Friedman is an inspirational Weight Watchers leader in Oakland, California and is featured as part of Power Surge's GIGSā„¢ Series (Getting Into Good Shape). Michael joined Weight Watchers in 1990 and reached lifetime status in 1991. Over the next years Michael regained much of the weight he lost and in September 1997 he returned to Weight Watchers weighing 255 pounds. By February of 1998 he was again running on the streets of Oakland. When he completed the famous Bay to Breakers 7.5 mile race in San Francisco in May 1998, having surpassed all his goals, he decided he would run a marathon, 26.2 miles. On December 13, 1998, at age 51 and having lost 85 pounds, Michael ran the Honolulu Marathon, raising over $3,000.00 for the Arthritis Foundation in the process.

Losing weight, becoming fit, and successfully completing the marathon have changed Michael's life forever. He is now a dedicated endurance runner and ran his second marathon on March 7 in Napa Valley, California. His current plans include the San Francisco Marathon in July and the Portland, Oregon Marathon in October. An ultra-marathon may be in his future sometime. He is assisting the Oakland coach for the Arthritis Foundation and has embarked on a course of study at California State University at Hayward to earn a Certificate in Fitness Teaching. Michael eventually intends to gain certification as a personal trainer.

Michael is a devoted single parent, equally sharing custody of his two wonderful children. He resides in Oakland and continues to be employed in his day job in the corporate world. Visit the developing Michael Friedman Web site.

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