Monday, September 6, 2010


I'm a 37 year old man that likes to drink beer and watch football. I like to eat hamburgers and play guitar and ride motorcycles and play video games with my kids. I like to take my wife out to dinner and eat awesome food. I like teaching math because I like the feeling of helping people accomplish something, that is, overcome a hurdle in their lives.

Here is a picture of my on Labor Day weekend, 2010. I'm sitting on the couch with a beer in my hand (what I do best). This, mind you, is after working out for five weeks, five days a week. I'm the one waving to the camera.
I'm very overweight. I have been for about a decade. A handful of times I'll decide to do something about the weight and cut back the beer, start working out and drop a few pounds. On a good run it'll last for three months. But, eventually, since I never had a goal other than to "be healthier" it fizzles out when something new comes along.

So of course, my question is, will this time be different? If history is any indication of the future, no. I'll stick with this until November and be back to my old self again.

The thing is, I wasn't a fat ass my entire life. Not until I was 28 or so. Before that, physical prowess had been a big part of my identity. I had won a strong man competition in high school, was a member of the 1000 pound club (weight lifting), had run a mile in under 5 minutes, but really stood apart from others when it came to distance running.

I'm 5' 10" and in the army I weighted 210. Not exactly a runner's build. But I never got tired running. I couldn't keep up with one or two people that could run 2 miles in the 10 minute range (although I smoked heavily then), but otherwise, I was so much faster than everybody else that it was what I was known for.

When I got out of the military I was married, had a family, quit smoking, went from a laborious job to a desk job and gained a lot of weight. I got back in shape and when I had a severe back injury. The doctor said I had a 90% chance of being permanently partially paralyzed in my right leg.


So, I used that as an excuse, well the fear of it repeating, for a long time and did nothing. All the while life became more complicated and I settled into progressively worse habits. Now I'm 37 and about 280 pounds. I'm thinking that in 3 years I'll be 40 and will have likely lived half of my life.

My dad had told me about people that always relive their past through stories, but have nothing to be proud of in the present. By-gones is what I call them. People like me who can brag about past accomplishments but now ... well, I can drink more beer than most people. See what I mean. It's a sad commentary.

So here it is. In my 40th year, I want to run a marathon. At least, now that I'm in my 37th year, I think I'll want to in my 40th. I'll have lived half of my life if I make it to 40 and want to run a marathon to prove that I still have the desire and drive that I used to have.

You may wonder, as I have, "Why a marathon, why not just try and get to some former level of fitness?"

The answer is, "That's not how I work." If I set an easy goal, I'll lose interest. When I went to college, I picked the hardest subject I knew, math. That's what I majored in. I want a big goal because I want a big accomplishment. I don't want to brag about it, I just want to accomplish it!

This is something that I've been thinking of for several weeks. I'll post updates here to keep those that are interested informed of how things are going. In the mean time, I plan to do a lot of "road work," pickin' em up and puttin' em down. We'll see how it goes.

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