And Off We Go            

Since the point of my first half marathon I have run three more, I have done obstacle races, and other various races for charity. The ultimate goal that recently sits on my radar though, is a full marathon that I was half heartedly convinced to try out. As I write, I am currently within my training for it, and let me tell you, I wish I could go back to how much I doubted myself on the half marathon. Not that I allow it to hold me back, but the full twenty six miles is way harder than the thirteen, I give my hat to anyone who manages to accomplish them multiple times a year.

The training regimen is much different than it was before, and when I could dedicate a full half day to running ten plus miles, now I need to figure out a way to almost triple that run time. I work full time with a Louisville Roofing company, and still try to have somewhat of a life, it’s not an easy task to be sure, but it’s one I endure. I have suffered injury, and rashes, callouses, blisters and more, and my feet look like gnarled staff tops, but it’s a small price to pay to at least say that I’ve done it once, because let’s be honest, I’m only ever doing it once.

But to go back to the top of this blog, and the kind of support slash idolatry of those who manage to accomplish what you would like to. I want to reiterate in how it’s not at all a measure of me saying that I deserve it really, sure I work hard, I train hard and I dedicate a lot of myself to it, but it’s nothing that you can’t do as well on your own. I want this to be a blog, a message of inspiration to those who are sitting on that cusp of wanting something, and finally being willing to take that topple over the edge into actually doing something about it. To know that it’s never too late for you to make a choice in your life that can drastically alter your route.

The road isn’t going to be an easy one, and especially as you get older in life, the chance to make it through in tact and not hobbling over in pain lessens, but eventually, you get used to it. You get used to having to push a little harder to gain a little more, and each small bit you gain, makes you want to push harder next time. It’s the same spiral that leads to downfall, in reverse, and works to pick you back up and place you in a spot that you never figured you would get to before. Although, I can only speak of myself, and what I’ve done, and so when someone tells me that I inspire them, I begin to feel better about it, and to hope that they can use it for their own momentum.

Getting Set            

When the pounds that I had accumulated before finally started to drop off, I began to question myself as to what I was looking to accomplish. I knew that losing weight was my first priority but I was unsure as to what I really wanted to use it for. I learned as I went that I really enjoyed running as a whole, and thought it would be a good a place as any to put my attention. I started small, with charity runs, fun runs, two kilometre runs and so on, but it was a family friend who talked me into competing in my first half marathon.

I’ll admit, at first I was truly daunted at the prospect of running thirteen miles for anything, but figured that if I was going to be serious about making a drastic change, that I needed to do something drastic. I signed up for one that would be taking place a year from the date, because well, I wanted to give myself as much time as humanly possible to prepare for it. I was under no delusion that it would be easy, and was seriously debating on immediately backing out as soon as I gave the go ahead.

The thoughts from before, the looks in the mirror, started to come back although this time in another form. The negative side of things telling me that I had no chance of being able to do it, that I was setting myself up for failure and so on. And it was a tough mindset to get away from. I had spent so much time actively not working towards anything, that I suppose the idea of any sort of goal just scared the daylights out of me. But, I knew that this line of thinking wasn’t going to do anything productive, and so forced myself to think at least one positive thought to every negative, which turned out to take a whole lot of positive thoughts.

I knew I had to start somewhere though, and so I started small. I would make it a point to run a mile every day for a few weeks, then to add another, and another. Eventually I started to get really comfortable running ten miles three times a week. And over time added those last couple of miles to my capability until eventually, about a month before the first half marathon, I had all thirteen miles as a dedicated weekly run.

The day of the half marathon drew nearer, and my support network, which was thankfully large all came out to watch me tackle this first major accomplishment. I made it through the race with little to no issue, and placed fairly well for my age, gender and division. I was by no means a front runner, but I was happy not to have embarrassed myself my first time out, otherwise it could have been my last time out. But I knew that I had found something that I wanted to channel my effort into.

On Your Marks            

It’s an odd space to be in my current position, I have a lot of friends and family members who look at me as some form of inspiration, who comment on my dedication, and celebrate each victory I make when it comes to running. Now, I know that initial line really sounds like I’m putting myself up on some form of pedestal, but there’s a reason why I call it an odd space. Simply put, I never used to be the person I am now, and I would have been the same person who added comments like these to someone like myself, and wished that I could have done something to be more like them, without actually doing so.

There was a saying that I heard a long time ago, about what it meant when people said they wanted something. You could see a person driving a really pricey car, or in great physical shape, and say to yourself that you wanted to be like that, or to have that, and then make no movement towards actually achieving it yourself. I head that line back when I was overweight, not physically active, and feeling really down upon myself. I would look at people who were in these positions and tell myself that I wanted it, but did I really?

That was the question that stayed in my mind for some time, it would pop up as I exited the shower and didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. It popped up when I found myself out of breath doing simple tasks, and not being able to enjoy the physical aspects of life like other people could. I couldn’t tell you that there was some great pivotal moment in which something profound happened and I made a drastic change to my life, I simply started to really want it. To want it enough that I actually started making some real progress towards achieving it.

I started off small, as most people should, and I would jog around the block, and then I would do it twice. I began to watch my diet, and to pay more attention to what I was putting into my diet. I got some videos on weight loss exercises, and began to actually use them. I would talk to people who were in the lifestyle that I wanted to be a part of, and gleaned some of their insights. In other words, I began to do something to achieve what I wanted.

I don’t see myself as anyone to disparage anyone living their own lives, but I found myself in that pratfall of simply being angry and jealous of those who actually did something towards their goals because I wasn’t prepared to do it myself, and I learned over time that this can be one of your biggest hurdles. When you stop projecting your image outward, you can really begin to look inward, and that’s where the first true steps to making a change come from.