17th January
written by Randy

I have never been a good runner. In fact, I’ve never enjoyed running. In my early teens, we had to participate in the President’s Physical Fitness Challenge, some kind of fitness test that was conducted twice a year among students to encourage them to be healthier. The activities included chin-ups, stretching/flexibility, and running.

The first time I ever ran the mile, I was tired after one lap (one quarter mile), and utterly exhausted after the second, leaving me walking the last half. I came in with an embarrassing time somewhere over 12 minutes. The second time, I was able to get under 10.

The following year, I practiced running every day for a few weeks leading up to the big day, and I finished with a very acceptable 6-minute mile. It felt like a real accomplishment for me.

I also hated it. And since that year running was no longer a requirement, and I never bothered with it again. That was almost 20 years ago. Since then, in spite of the fact that I do enjoy walking a lot, I don’t think I have ever run one full mile.

I know people who love running. I have friends who enjoy it. I’ve had several coworkers who do it every chance they get. Some who love to compete in marathons. They get a high from running. What I’m saying is, these are people who can do something that I can not do.

And I don’t like that.

I believe I can do anything. I honestly, truly do. When we’re children, people tell us we can grow up to be anything, and we can do anything we put our minds to, and I believed that. Over the years, many people allowed life to beat that idea out of their heads, but it didn’t work on me — I still believe I can do anything and be anything.

However, I can’t hold that belief and then also look at the people around me, jealous of the fact that they can do something I can not. And as an alpha male, I’m not very good at deference.

So this year, I am going to run a marathon. In the course of one year — actually, less — I am going to transform myself from a person who hates running into a person capable of running 26 miles. I’ve registered for the Columbus Marathon on October 16th.

Without a doubt, completing this goal will result in a few other benefits as well. I expect that the increased cardiovascular activity should be good for my overall health. The extreme extent to which I’ll have to train should be the perfect cure for those last few nagging pounds I haven’t been able to shake. And there is sure to be a huge benefit in the form of mental strength.

I’ve faced a lot of big, scary things in my life, and I’ve taken on a lot of big challenges… but I have to admit that this one is the most intimidating yet. I hope I will succeed!