Every year, thousands of people lace up their sneakers and run, or walk, in St. Luke's FitOne 5k, 10k, and half marathon.

For one Meridian man this upcoming weekend of races isn't about the competition. Instead, it's about doing something he never thought he could do because of physical and mental roadblocks.

For Scott Muglia, getting up and going outside didn't happen for six years unless he absolutely had to. He says it all started in 2011 with a phone call to his wife.

"She said something doesn't sound right in your voice and I said, 'Well I'm having chest pains' and she said, 'Get to the hospital right away,'" said Muglia.

He spent a week at St. Luke's in Boise, then returned to work, but after several other illnesses he wasn't able to to work anymore and he lost his job.

"I could not find a reason why I should be alive, it just didn't make any sense," said Muglia. "My self worth was tied up in my career."

In the following months his life went on a downward spiral, spurred by PTSD that set in after getting sick.

"We lost the house, lost the car, lost my motorcycle," Muglia said.

EVENT GUIDE: Get fit for life with FitOne

Muglia and his family ultimately ended up homeless. After years of short-term living arrangements they were finally back on their feet.

"While that was all well and good I was basically a shut-in for the vast majority of the six years," said Muglia.

In June Muglia saw something on TV that would change his life. It was an ad for St. Luke's FitOne encouraging people to sign up for the race this weekend.

"I've actually used that as a catalyst," Muglia said. "It's the right time I need to be outside, I need to be changing my life."

While Muglia knew he wasn't going to run, simply walking was a step in the right direction.

When Muglia signed up for FitOne, he was also entered into a contest where the grand prize was a year membership in Axiom. Muglia's name was drawn, and since then he's been getting out to the gym and preparing for this weekend.

"Its just taking that initial one step at a time and making that commitment to say I'm going to go a little bit today and maybe a little further tomorrow," said Eric Stride with FitOne.

FitOne organizers say if they can help just one person like Muglia, their mission is accomplished.