When he started physical therapy, he couldn't stand on his right leg for more than three seconds or touch his finger to his nose.
By February, though, Kersey gradually started to run again.
"I was basically trying to teach my foot how to hit the ground," he said. "It was relearning how to run... I went slow and had to watch my foot."
He ran his first post-stroke 5k at the end of March, logging 27:01 at the Terence Nabors Memorial 5k Run and Walk in Nitro. He most recently finished the Komen Race for the Cure in early May with a time of under 25 minutes.
"I just want to keep improving, every days an opportunity to get better," he said.
Kersey went back to work as a HVAC technician in January. He most recently started having heart palpitations, and doctors haven't yet cleared him to work again. He's wearing a heart monitor so his physician at the Cleveland Clinic can figure out what's causing them.
Since his stroke, Kersey is trying to be healthier. He stopped eating fast foods and red meat. Now he mostly eats fruits, vegetables, fish and chicken, he said.
He's lost around 30 pounds.
He still has some effects from the stroke, though. His right arm and leg feel like they're in compression sleeves, he said.
Doctors told him that the recovery he makes within a year of the stroke would be the most he ever recovers.
"I'm going try to help my body recovery as much as possible," Kersey said. "The doctors said only a small percentage ever make it back to the way they were before.
"But if this is all I have, the tightness, the weird feeling in my hand and in my foot, then I can definitely live the rest of my life like that."
Kersey's will run his next Tough Mudder Aug. 24 in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
"I kind of already knew that he was going to come out of this, and still be Steve, and just push himself," Stewart said. "He's always pushed himself. He's always been a runner ever since I met him."
A week after the Tough Mudder, he'll run the 15-mile event in the Charleston Distance Run.
He's done the CDR 5k nearly every year since 1995. He sat out one year during that time because of knee surgery.
"Just doing it is an accomplishment, from not being able to walk to running 15 miles," he said.
Staff writer Lori Kersey is Steve Kersey's cousin.
Reach her at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.