His: Against the Wind

Now you wouldn’t believe it if I told you.  But I can run like the wind blows.  From that day on, if I was going somewhere, I WAS RUNNING!

-Forrest Gump

forrest-gump (1)

Now Forrest knew from an early age that he liked to run.  Running got him him a football scholarship to Alabama.  It saved his life in ‘Nam.  And it made him a pseudo celebrity when he ran across the country several times.

Me on the other hand, I’m still not convinced that I like to run.  I run because I HAVE to.  Mentally, if I didn’t run, I don’t know what I’d do with myself.  This is a far cry from my earlier life when I didn’t just dislike running, I LOATHED it.  Running was a punishment at soccer practice when I was a wee lad.  Then it became the hardest part of practice when I was in high school.  IThere was no way anyone in their right mind would just go out and run for no reason, I thought.  Oh me of little faith.

After high school, it was on to college and a run free lifestyle filled with late night fried food and lots of Keystone Light.  I was a pig in slop.  Four years later, I was on to Wheeling, WV where I was working for a minor league hockey team (GO NAILERS).  I addressed this in an earlier post, but there was nothing to do in there so I became active.  I had a free gym membership through work and I took advantage of it.

I remember being on the treadmill for a mile and a half and breathing like a fat kid with asthma.  But somehow I stuck with it.  I would do that for a couple of weeks, then increase by half a mile.  Eventually, I was doing 5, 6 and 7 miles with ease and even got a coworker off of his ass to start running.  Oddly enough, I remember telling him that I had no desire to run further than what I was doing at the time.  But it’s funny what a person will challenge themselves with and what they’re capable of.

I ran my first half marathon in January of 2008 in a time of 1 hour 34 minutes.  After running thirteen miles, I became obsessed for lack of a better term.  If I could handle that, then I could certainly handle a full marathon.  So I signed up for my first in May of 2008 (and only so far but I am signed up for the 2010 Pittsburgh Marathon).  I ran the Long Island Marathon in a time of 3 hours and 19 minutes.  While I took a hiatus from running races, I have since gotten back into it recently with the past Sunday’s 5k (sixth place overall).  Ally and I also have a 10k on Thanksgiving Day in Wilmington, DE.

What I’m trying to say is that I don’t really know why people run, but for me it was out of shear boredom.  Now it has since become out of necessity.  This isn’t a call to everyone to get out and run because it’s not for everyone, but there may be something out there waiting for you that you don’t know about yet.

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