I entered my first road race at age 11 in April of 1980. Over the years, on and off, and to various degrees, I’ve kept running.
Due to various health problems, by January 2011 I carried 232 pounds on a 5’10″ frame. I could not run a half-mile and it took over 7 minutes to not do it. I swore to my doctors that I was a runner but I had no proof that I could be again in any meaningful way. Then, instead of resigning myself to a life of prescriptions I began to turn my back on medicine and face the discipline of living healthy. It’s a journey, not a destination.
As of this writing I weigh 175 pounds, a loss of 57 pounds so far. By comparison, my 13-month-old daughter is about 19 pounds. So I’ve lost three good-sized children. This spring (2012) I ran my first 5K in forever but it didn’t take forever– just 29:56! Putting down all those babies makes a real difference.
But this blog is not about how great exercise is and how everybody should do it. It is not about diet or healthy living in general. It is not even about me, although being the writer and subject of said blog it’s going to sound like it’s a lot about me. At heart, it’s going to be about change.
Change is exciting! And scary, sometimes. Still, it’s the only way I know how to grow.
You thought maybe I’d have some advice for you. Sorry, bub. I’m going to do what I feel is right for me, then tell you about it. Some of the stuff I’ve done and will do may turn out to be terrible for me, let alone you. You’re gonna choose your own path. Follow the blog if you like (yes, please) but don’t follow in my footsteps, as it were– you follow?
No, you still want advice. Ready?
Here is the only advice I can give you: Surrender only to the good impulses you have. To live a healthier, happier, longer life all you have to “give up” is any thing you love less than living a healthier, happier, longer life. White bread, cigarettes, Celebrity Apprentice, Bejeweled Blitz, a thousand strenuous acquaintances– the things you think you should quit– are, in fact the things you should quit RIGHT NOW. Find something else to get you through the “right now” that is less destructive to you than the bad thing you think you “deserve”. Treat yourself to being a better self!
That’s it for advice and counsel. Down the line, we’ll get into what’s going on in my body during training and races as I try to push the needle past 6mph on some runs. We’ll get into the music that plays in my head, too, the stuff that drowns out the Critic in my head. Maybe we’ll get into my past as a runner and as an all-around human being. Maybe we’ll have a dialogue in the comments. Anything is possible.
And that’s what this blog is about!
Music notes: The fine Joan Osborne song “Strenuous Acquaintances” refers to “a hundred strenuous acquaintances” but was written in the late 20th century, well before Facebook and the emergence of “friend” as a verb.