Monday, November 16, 2009

Just Another Road On My Journey

Sometime last year I determined that I would start incorporating exercise as part of my overall plan. Still to ashamed of what I had become I shied away from the typical gym membership and eventually opted for running.

I used to fancy myself as someone athletic in my youth. Not sure why I remember it this way, perhaps because the truth was being suppressed to protect my already fragile ego. I played soccer at my High School but transferred prior to my Senior year and rules would not allow me to try out at my new school. No matter as I likely would not have excelled as my interest deviated from mainstream at that point anyway.

Flash forward 20 years or so and I find myself living a mostly sedentary lifestyle with exercise consisting of moving from one room to the next never straying so far that I could plop down to relax and catch my breath. I had made an attempt at running back in the early 90’s but seemed more laborious than it should have been and without a plan I was doomed to failure. However, the lure of running never went away and I could not shake the urge to try again.

Knowing that I needed a plan if I want to have any success I Googled “running”, “Jogging”, “running plans”, etc. and eventually landed on a site that took probably the most simplistic approach. Couch to 5K ( was a 9 week program that promised a simple to follow method of training that even a Neanderthal such as myself could follow.

I attempted once in the Fall of 2008 with no success having quickly developed shin splints. This ailment I would later relate to improperly fitted footwear. Decided to take the time off and research what I did wrong. Spring of 2009 comes and I am still determined to finish the program so I laid down the cash for a fitted pair of running shoes and asked for advice at the local running shop. Started out running mostly on soft paths and grass to keep the impact on joints at a minimum and worked my way up through the weeks repeating some along the way.

My 9 week program took closer to 14 but I was able to finally finish a 3 mile run while on vacation with my family at Fripp Island, SC. Could not have been a better venue for this trip to come to an end and I was excited I was able to finish despite feeling like I was going to pass out for the better part of the run. South Carolina in July is hot and I am sure this made it more challenging than it should have been but I was not going to pack it in because of little heat. My daughter rode along side me on her bike which helped some to distract me from the pain and dizzying discomfort I was in. I am not a tall guy but being vertically challenged took on an entirely different meaning for me that day.

Which brings me to the title of the blog post. The photo above is of a road on one of my regular runs. Last year at this time I was trying to run for 60 seconds without passing out. I have since run a Half Marathon with plans to run a Marathon next year. How did I get here from there? I stopped making excuses, plans for tomorrow, next week or next year. Tomorrow, next week and next year will still come whether you commit to your goals or not. Why look back in 6 months and wish you would have chosen your paths more wisely and just take the right road now. That road that looks to go on forever will eventually end and now I know which way I am going when it does.

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