This story is the second part in a four-part series about our Halfsy Hero Julia Wessel. Our series will follow Julia and three other heroes as they train for the 2018 Good Life Halfsy.


The relentless downpour has been putting a damper on Nebraska for weeks but has intensified in the last few days. As thousands who left Memorial Stadium soaked from this weekend’s canceled opening game can attest, the weather can really rain on your parade.

Nebraska usually sees most of its rain in May, with another wave of heavy precipitation in July. This September cell is brought to you courtesy of what meteorologists are calling a “stuck storm”. An intense downpour is expected this Friday. That storm is supposed to be enough to move the whole system along, and we can finally get on with life.

Julia Wessel understands. Even Mother Nature has her plateaus. So has Julia. But as she runs through the gloom and the flooded paths, she also knows that it’s just a signal to push through. To hold on, and to get to the other side.

“I am planning to be fit by 50, which is only about 3 years away.”

While Julia is able to express the wisdom of her (something less than 50) years, she is also able to express the energy, enthusiasm, and child-like optimism of someone who has never seen a setback.

She hasn’t let the rain slow her down, insisting that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad planning. When the winter comes, you’ll still find her outside, layered up and running. And this week, when the rain just wouldn’t stop, she was outside with her sister in law, getting a 9.4 done.

“Tonight, I’m really proud of myself. It rained about 3 inches, and it was hot and humid, but I finished my miles. At the end of my run, when I’m just about over it, there’s a hill that runs about a quarter mile. It’s at a good 6% grade at least. I ran the whole way. I’m grittier than sandpaper!”

And yet the closest thing Julia has had to a derailment during her training is the very success that comes from her ability to crush goals. After all, once a goal is crushed, what’s left to work for?

“I reached my goal weight with Weight Watchers after 14 months. It was a lot, and a lot of work, but once I’ve set my mind to something, I’m kind of hard-headed about it. I’m going to get there. And once you’ve stayed at your goal weight for 6 weeks, you become a lifetime member, as long as you don’t fall too far from your goal weight. It unlocks all of these other features and tools. But now I don’t have a goal weight to go after. It kind of left me… directionless. Like, what now?”

But Julia knows that rudderless feeling is just a stuck storm. An obstacle. If she sets her mind to holding on, there is a beautiful day waiting for her on the other side. Besides, she’s never minded a run through the rain.

Check back for more Halfsy Heroes, and to read the next installment of Julia’s story!