No Wonder You Were Afraid to Ask #41– Kyle Kranz – From an Obese and Depressed Child to a Sub-Elite Runner.

Kyle Kranz lives in Rapid City, South Dakota. Right along the edge of the Black Hills Mountain Range and National Forest. Here is his story.

I was born in eastern South Dakota and grew up on a dairy farm. Unlike most kids, I never did a great deal of farm work when I was young. I suspect it’s perhaps because my father did not want to risk me continuing the family profession.

In middle school and early high school I gained a great deal of weight and became rather depressed after being in a car accident and being unable to play soccer and football. One day it just clicked and since I could not run I started lifting weights and changed my diet, losing 80 pounds in total from my heaviest to what I weigh today.

In college, I was not sure the path I wanted my life to take, I was finishing up a degree I was not interested in pursuing (being a dietitian). My wife asked me what I would do for fun if I won a million dollars and never had to work again, and then figure out how to get paid to do that. I look at my run coaching as completing this circle. I spend my days helping people achieve their athletic goals, be it to run a certain distance event for the first time or to run the distance faster than they’ve ever done before. The Dalai Lama said the purpose of life is to contribute to other people’s happiness, and I think I do that.

I have trails within a five-minute run of my front door. After earning my degree in Nutrition I actually joined a startup managing their social media accounts, however during this time I began coaching runners as well. Currently, I coach runners all over the world as an online trainer.

I hope that I’m an example to people who desire positive change in their life. I went from being an obese and depressed kid who had never really traveled farther than a state or two away from home to being a sub-elite runner and coach working from my computer. That computer may be at home, a coffee shop, or any location that I choose. My wife and I have house-sat in Panama and Seattle thus far.

Connect with this Inspirational Soul online here:


Enjoy Kyle’s answers to the bonus questions!

Do I think I could survive a zombie apocalypse?

Yes, I think after Crossfitters, runners would do very well in an apocalypse. We’re not all terribly strong, but we have a lot of stamina.

What is one meal or food I could eat every day?

Eggs on Dave’s Killer Bread with Hampton Creek Mayo. My favorite! It’s fairly healthy but most importantly incredibly easy to make. Crack a few eggs into a small pan, toast the bread, spread the mayo, and the eggs are done. Minimal clean up. It’s efficient.

Is there a non-profit I’d like people to know about?

I don’t know if it’s non-profit, but is a great program that lets you support local classrooms. My wife has used it to request (and receive) donations for classroom items. The website works with to create a wish list for the teacher. That way donors can support a local teacher and they know exactly what the teacher is using the money for. If the teacher leaves, the items remain in the department.

Do you recycle?

Yes, I even pick up 5-30 bottles from the side of the road while out running each week. If I’m lucky and find an empty plastic bag I can pick up 10-20 pieces of garbage in a single run!

What is the most adventurous thing I’ve ever done?

Probably going to visit my (now wife) while she was studying abroad in Mexico. I had to get my passport specifically for this trip, I knew minimal Spanish, it was my first time as an adult on a plane, let alone navigating the Mexico City airport! Now a few years later and we’ve lived in Panama y hablo Espanol!

If I could gift anything to anyone.

It would be a trip to the Statue of Liberty with my father. He’s not done much traveling in his life and I think he’d enjoy that very much. I hope some day to be able to take him.

What is the coolest thing I ever won?

I free entry into a 125km race up in the Canadian Rockies called The Canadian Death Race. My wife and I road tripped up to it for our honeymoon.

What is the craziest thing I’ve ever done?

Ran 100 miles in one day.

Three things I would want on a desert island:

Chapstick, a knife, and some really nice pants.

Do you enjoy hugs?

I’m from the midwest, of course I do!

Was I someone in a past life?

My wife and I did a past-life regression hypnosis once, I think I was…but I’m not sure.

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