Seymour native working toward running 50 miles in a day, raising funds for a good cause


While recently putting together a pool table, Tyler Henkle started thinking about ways he could give back to the community.

The first thing that came to mind was partnering with a business to further it along.

Rob and Theresa Schwartz’s family had been longtime friends with his family, so he was going to contact their daughters, Heather Grube and Julia Boyd, who operate Beautiful Chaos in downtown Seymour, to see if they would be interested in being the first partner.

About 20 minutes after he finished the pool table, Grube messaged him about redoing her father’s billiards table as a gift for Father’s Day.

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“It was just very bizarre and synchronistic how I was thinking about her and thinking about how I can get this of the ground, and then all of a sudden, she contacted me,” Henkle said.

He told them he was going to attempt to run 50 miles Sept. 1, and if he completes it, they would donate 50 percent of their shop’s profits that day to a local nonprofit organization of their choice.

They accepted the challenge.

“It was easy for us to say yes because why wouldn’t we want to give back to our community anyway?” Grube said. “He’s not asking that we give him money. He’s just asking that we support some sort of charity or foundation that we feel led to do that with. It was easy for us to accept the challenge because why wouldn’t we want to be able to give to something that we believe in?”

Shortly after, a college friend told Henkle if he completes the 50-mile run, she and a friend will donate $50 to Love More, an organization started by Erin Davis of Franklin and her daughter, Wren, that focuses on raising people’s spirits and promoting positivity. They sell signs, T-shirts and stickers with “Love More” on them and give the profits to area charities.

Henkle met with his friend and Davis to discuss his plan, and Davis said she would accept donations on his behalf and funnel them back to a good cause in Seymour.

Day 50/50 was coming to fruition.

From there, it was up to Henkle to start training for the big run and also get more businesses and individuals on board to support his initiative.

Three people already have committed to match him dollar for mile, and he’s going to set up a Facebook event page that has a link to donate to Love More.

For Henkle, it’s not so much about the amount of money he raises. It’s about fighting back against the issues that plague the community, such as drugs, overdoses and suicides, and finding ways to support organizations that help people.

“It’s just trying to do something to show people that you can do more and be more than you currently are,” he said. “The idea is, ‘Hey, this guy is doing something that’s way out of his comfort zone, way kind of crazy idea that he’s hoping is going to produce some type of positive change.’ My hope is that people see that, notice it and they are like, ‘Oh, well, if he can run 50 miles, what can I do today to help out the community?'”

Friday was the start of his 50 days of training leading up to Sept. 1.

While there may be adversity along the way, he said he is focused on accomplishing what he set out to do.

“Crazy ideas are the only ones that end up really changing the status quo,” he said. “I think a lot of us have those crazy ideas that we’re just not willing to pursue because we’re scared or we’re in our comfort zones and it may be easier to just sit there and think, ‘OK, I’ll let someone else take care of it.’

“But at the same time, if everyone just sits there and says, ‘Let’s let someone else take care of it,’ then nothing changes, and a month goes by, a year goes by and you look back and you’re like, ‘Huh, maybe I should have taken that opportunity,'” he said.

Beyond Sept. 1, Henkle said he doesn’t want the energy and positivity to stop. He sees it as something that can continue.

For the past eight years, he has been going through his own personal transformation of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

After graduating from Seymour High School in 2009, Henkle went to Franklin College to play football and earn a four-year degree.

A year and a half later, though, he said he found himself walking down the wrong path.

Growing up the youngest of seven siblings, he said he constantly had oversight. Once he was at college, however, that no longer was there, and he said that freedom “kind of smacked me in the face.”

“I started to do things — drinking, smoking marijuana, engaging in other less-than-savory substances,” he said.

He wound up getting kicked out of Franklin College for drinking, and he moved to Bloomington for the next two years.

But his habits didn’t change.

“Lots of fast-food meals, drinking, smoking, no real direction at all. Just hanging out,” he said.

To top it off, in the spring of 2012, a two-year relationship he had with a girl ended.

“It was at that point that everything just kind of culminated,” Henkle said. “I wasn’t sober. I wasn’t physically happy with myself. I was the heaviest I had ever been at that point, roughly 275 pounds. The unhappiness on the inside just showed on the outside. I was in a very deep, dark place.”

He contemplated suicide.

“I was doing the wrong things,” he said. “I was making the wrong decisions, so it kind of came to a tipping point for me where if I didn’t get it together, then I wouldn’t still be breathing.”

With the support of his parents, he checked into Bloomington Meadows, a mental health facility, for three days.

There, he said he heard stories from people who had been through things that he couldn’t even comprehend, so that put everything in perspective.

Henkle said he looked in the mirror and didn’t like what he saw physically.

“I realized it was me that had to change,” he said. “Even though at the time, I was frustrated with society, I thought it was my ex-girlfriend’s fault, ‘Why did you leave me? You’re the reason I’m unhappy now,’ I was the reason that I was unhappy.”

He moved back home to Seymour and was allowed to return to Franklin College.

In March 2013, however, he was kicked out again after he was accused of selling marijuana on campus.

“I can honestly say without going into detail as to the specifics of it that there was marijuana in my room, but I was not selling drugs. I was not doing anything of that sort,” he said. “I didn’t say anything. I just let (police) do whatever they needed to do at that point.”

The case later got tossed out due to illegal search and seizure, Henkle said.

He then returned to Seymour and started taking classes at Ivy Tech Community College in Columbus. In the spring of 2014, he earned an associate degree in general studies.

Then in 2016, he received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a certificate in substance abuse counseling from Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus.

He landed a job with Centerstone in Columbus, where he helped people in substance abuse recovery and later also became a health coach.

He, however, reached a point where it became difficult to go home every night thinking about his clients, especially those still heavily involved in addiction, he said.

“Because I had gone through a period of getting in touch with my own health, I realized it was taking a toll on me, and I needed to make a change,” he said. “As they say, if the airplane is crashing, you’ve got to put your own oxygen mask on first before you can help others. That’s kind of the way that I saw that.”

That related to a lesson he learned in psychology classes.

“They are big on if you’re going to go into this field, you’ve got to take care of yourself first because if not, you’re going to burn out and you’re not going to be able to be the best you for those people that need you to be the best you,” he said.

Ever since then, he has been working toward becoming a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

“I firmly love and appreciate every piece of adversity I’ve come up against to this point because they have all made me who I am today, and I’ve never been as proud or accepting of who I am as I am now,” he said.

Now, he’s mentally preparing himself for roadblocks he may run into with Day 50/50.

“Up to this point, all of those roadblocks that I’ve come up to, they’ve all just helped me to take the next step up to better myself,” he said. “You’ve got to take the good with the bad, but it all comes down to how you adapt yourself when you do run into the bad. Anymore, I just see those as opportunities. Not setbacks, but setups for the next step.”

Henkle said if he can at least inspire one person to do something positive and out of their comfort zone, Day 50/50 is a win.

“I decided right when I realized that I was going to try to run 50 miles that I’m going to shoot for the stars with this thing. I see no point anymore in playing things small because I don’t think that’s who we are as humans,” he said. “Through life circumstances, through the path that I’ve been walking on, I’ve just been blessed to be at a point where I can do this.”

He’s now focused on putting in the training to complete what he set out to do.

“Part of me questions if I can get the whole 50,” he said. “But at the same time, there’s something in me that knows with enough faith, not just my own faith but through also support from others and encouragement and things like that, that I can do it.”

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For information about Tyler Henkle’s Day 50/50 initiative, contact him via


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