I was unable to locate a photo of me as a runner. Any photos I may have were taken long before digital photography was even imagined.
At that time, I ran at least five days a week. A handful of us, from my office, ran at least three miles during our lunch hour. Several of us also ran 10K races on the weekend. I was never fast, but once I established a comfortable pace I could do it just fine and I actually enjoyed it. I recall one lovely fall afternoon, I just kept running. When I was done I had completed over 13 miles, my own personal Half-Marathon.
What happened? Life happened. The challenges of raising a family, developing a career, political aspirations and a host of other things began to compete for my time. Then one day I woke up and I was 30 years older and 90 pounds heavier. Yes, you read that correctly. When I was a runner, I was an emaciated 140 pounds at a height of 6’1″. Over the years my weight crept up to an all time high of 230.
Most people thought I could carry that weight at my height, but I felt awful. That is why at 61 years old, I decided to rediscover my healthy body. In recent years running has been an incredible source of frustration. I had never lifted weights, so anything I do in that realm is considered a gain. But I was a fair runner and now I struggle for every inch of ground, in serious discomfort and even pain.
Some of the sources of my pain come from the fact that I still weigh 195 pounds. I look great and feel fine, except when running. When I came to the gym just over a year ago, I could barely walk, as I was just getting over a month-long bout of Plantar Fasciitis. In addition, I have been on several heart and blood pressure medications for nearly 20 years. These severely impair one’s ability to engage in heavy cardio-demanding activities such as running, jumping rope and burpees.
Over the past 30 days I have made a concerted effort to push through the pain and increase my distance and frequency. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have to like it, I just have to suck it up, and do it. I look for ways to help make it easier, everyone has an idea or two, but in the end, I just have to lace up my shoes and put one foot in front of the other.