Down By the River – My Journey to the Gate River Run
I was sitting with a good friend a couple of weekends ago watching football and throwing back a couple of brews, when I came to a life changing decision: I am going to get into running shape over the next four months so that I can start and finish the Gate River Run ®! Yeah, I know. I must be crazy. Here I am at 35 years old (36 on December 28th), 5 feet 8 inches (5’9″ on my driver’s license or if I grow out my afro), and somewhere between 195 and 205 pounds (you can decide for yourself whether I am in between or somewhere near one of the ends). Other than playing Flag Football every winter in a 30 and over recreational league, I haven’t participated in any regular exercise regiment in almost 10 years.
So I guess it begs the question, why am I doing this? I can answer this in three simple words: vanity, sanity, health.
Vanity – This one’s easy. My daughters (7 and 4) called me fat. Not phat in the hip-hop vernacular. Just plain FAT. Now I know that kids can tease and can be cruel as a normal course of their daily routine, but that’s usually with other kids. And unless your kid is a bully, they don’t mean anything by it. No, my girls were speaking the unedited, insensitive truth of children. Let’s face it; kids call it like they see it. I know my kids see other dads outside running, or exercising and playing sports on TV. Plain and simple I want my girls to look at their dad and not see some old fat dude
Sanity – Work and life are stressful enough. The economy has been in the tank for the past couple of years and is only now starting to slowing climb out of it. Exercise is a proven stress relief and the only thing it really costs is time.
Health – 10 years ago I weighed 170 pounds. That means I have been gaining and average of 3.5 pounds per year. And that is no bueno. There is a history of heart disease in my family. Both my paternal grandfather and aunt died of heart attacks in their mid 40’s. That’s only about 10 years from now and it really does have me terrified. If this adventure starts me down the path of consistent exercise leading to good health, then my greatest years of my life are still ahead.
Below is my running journal thus far:
November 30, 2009
Rode my bike 3 miles (apprx 1.5 each way) to the fitness center.
Ran for 20 minutes on the treadmill
December 2, 2009
Ran for 20 minutes on the treadmill at 1.5 incine while listening to Trey Songz album Ready
December 4, 2009
Ran for 31.23 minutes on the treadmill for a distance of 2.4 miles
So there you have it. This is part one of what I envision to be a weekly journal leading up to running the Gate River Run on March 13, 2010. I look forward to sharing my story along the way. Here’s to sanity, vanity, and health.