Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why I Run!

Why I run?

I'll be honest, I've never really had someone come out and ask me that. Not sure what to think about it, except maybe a little discouraged, and somewhat heartbroken. Not for the whole attention thing, but the sense that what if there are more and more folks out there that don't give a damn about their health. Sure, some people I know swear to me up and down that they are eating better, exercising 30 minutes to an hour a day for 3 days a week. Let me turn the tables a bit, and ask..."ARE YOU REALLY??". Yeah, I thought so! Make no mistake, I am not one to judge, but I do get judged on occasion for what I do in the world of fitness. I can't really do anything, but let it go. Best conversation I had on my 31st birthday was with my father and step-mother. As a family, my wife and I met with my with dad, stepmom, and sister at the Outback for a steak dinner and chit chat. Now, granted I am a CPT, doesn't mean I'm "perfect", but I like to chow on some good eats from time to time. Growing up in Texas, I was raised on steaks, baked potatoes, burgers, hot dogs, you name it, this kid ate it. As I've taken my health more serious these past 3 years, I've given up a lot of those habits. Still have them, but not as much. So, back to the conversation: We order our meals, I enjoy what I was having, my wife didn't finish what she had, so of course, we take it to go, and I have it later. As we were getting our meals boxed up, my wife said, "yeah, Tim will eat it, then go run 6 miles or so later". My loving and endearing step monster, I mean mother said under her breath, "You run too much".

   Normally, I would've taken that to offense and said something off key that would've pissed her off, but I didn't. I just simply said that running is my break away and a big reason behind why I feel better most of the time. To me, I still find it odd how people, like my step mom (chain smoker and occasional drinker) like to drop subtle hints to health and fitness gurus like myself about how it's just wrong to eat healthy and workout. Honestly, I want to say "f&%k you" to those people and tell them that if they could only get off their backsides aka "ass" and get moving, their lives wouldn't be as miserable as mine once was.

  It gets better. Those that are miserable, make every excuse in the world NOT to want to do it. Oh well. I'm done hearing them, and listening to the critics. If you slam me, I'm just gonna smile and think to myself how much longer I am going to live than you. Those of you that smoke and eat grease and are beyond 65, I hate you!! Just saying in a laughing matter because yall have already cheated death by 10 years or so.....Enough of my rant!!

  Since I haven't been asked the faithful question, I'm asking myself "why I run".. Well I can tell you after this week, it's been made clear that I love it. Not just that, but the feeling of satisfaction after every distance I do. Over the years since my first race, I've become a distance junkie. My goal at some point once I'm comfortably able to do 20 miles without effort, is to go "beyond" 26.2 aka ULTRAS. I have friends I've met along the way (in person, and on Dailymile) that have done ultras (50ks to 100 milers) and I am amazed at their talents and efforts to go that far. Someday, that will be me. I would love to start out small with a 50k (31 miles) and work my way up to 50 and ultimately 100. For now, I'm happy with my 13.1's to 26.2's. As this week is winding down on a Sunday afternoon, I am beyond amazed for myself personally, that I am just 4 miles away from hitting 40 for the week. I can't remember the last time I had a number like that in my running career. I'm also humbled that I am coming off a 14 mile run I did yesterday, and even still more surprised that my body has recovered more quickly than before. Living in a loft apt (with stairs), the biggest surprise came yesterday when I got home after my run and was able to walk up the stairs to my bathroom and able to take a shower and then go about my day. Even so today, I feel a little spent, but overall if I were to do a "recovery" run, I could go easily for a 5-6 mile jaunt and feel satisfied with that. Given that I've ran half marathons before and coming home wounded and feeling beat up, that in itself is a great feeling.

  I run because, with it, comes great accomplishment. In my spare time, I train clients on a part time basis, and I love it. Along with accomplishment, I find a sense of confidence as well. In so, my one and only client, has decided to give C25K (couch to 5k) a chance. I couldn't be anymore excited about his opportunity. I say, it's never too late for a fresh start with this sport. I run because, I don't miss seeing the overweight guy in the mirror anymore. I don't miss having high blood pressure, diabetes, or be a the risk of a heart attack. I run because in partial of hearing the criticism from family, it something I can always do. Growing up, I had the unfortunate accident of breaking my arm in a skating rink. The following fall, I tried out for football, and my parents basically said no. Mom said it was because of money, dad said it had to do with confidence, my friends said they would've loved to have had me on the team. My parents didn't want to admit, but it had a lot to do with my skating injury that made their decision for me not to play. I begged and begged from all of Jr High and my freshman and sophomore year of high school. By then, I gave up. During all of that time, my mom gave me an alternative to do martial arts. Ok.. I as I thought about it while I was in it, I'm pretty sure my mom invested a pretty penny into me not only taking monthly lessons, but competing in tournaments. Along with competitions, belt testings, and training, I endured my fair share of injuries. Given that I separated my shoulder, blew out my knee, and cracked a few ribs, I'm pretty sure, I suffered the same injuries in martial arts as I would have if I had played football. Oh..and would've been cheaper. Just saying. Growing up with divorced parents and having "step" siblings, I had my share of competitions and personal battles of notice. My step brother played football and baseball for his school teams, and I of course had karate. I never felt the satisfaction like he did and yes I did feel a lot of jealousy towards him. Thankfully, my step brother was humbled enough to understand it wasn't competition he was after, and never really rubbed in from his point of view. But still, the anger and jealousy came from my end because I felt like it was unfair and I was cheated. When my father and his mother split, my father remarried to my current step mother that I dislike. At first, she was "wow'd" about me being in martial arts (at the time) and later became a critic. In my defense, I felt screwed because while all other siblings were allowed to play sports; my brother played football, sister played soccer, why couldn't I do anything. Believe me, I enjoyed competing in karate, but I wasn't complete with it as if I would've been if I played football or baseball.

  As the years of "what could've been" passed on, I let go of my anger towards my family as I thought about what kind of athlete I could've been if they had only given me a chance. To only have it resurfaced one night on an occasion where my life was celebrated by another age gone by, only made me realize how good I truly had it. What pissed me off about the most was that I wasn't recognized for it when I was younger. Oh well! Why I run?? I run because even though I will never get the privilege of being to wear the pads, the helmet, the uniform, and play on artificial turf, I have a sport I can still compete in. And I don't need a degree or have to spend four years at the college level hoping to get noticed by the pros to come join their team. I run because deep down, I know there are others out that really can't. I know those people have hearts as big as the ocean, but not the body to. I run because I'm proving to myself that I can. I run because even though I get criticised from time to time, I don't have to take anyone's crap and let that steal my joy. I run because someone else is running too, and they have the will to achieve their goal(s) with the same tenacity as I have. I run because I have certain amount of distances that dare me to kick their ass. I run because it's what I do...

...........what are you going to do??