January 1, 2013 – I tipped the scales at 181 pounds. To many people this might not sound earth shattering, but it was the heaviest that I had ever been in my 34+ years on planet Earth. On my first day of college in 1996 I weighed in at 156 pounds, and I had generally been averaging about 170 pounds from my late 20’s to my early 30’s. I certainly was not “fat” at 181 pounds, but I was not “fit,” and I was headed in the wrong direction. Having a few drinks here and there (and sometimes more) certainly wasn’t helping either.
New Years resolutions are made and broken by a lot of people every year, myself included. Still, I was determined to get into shape and to avoid the long slow decline that typically comes with advancing years. Call it a mid-life crisis if you will, but I had no desire to buy a convertible sports car. Quite frankly, I longed for a challenge and the thrill of competition that had been lacking for a long time.
I have always been a competitive person, and growing up, I played a lot of sports. I was blessed to have been pretty good at most every sport I tried, but I was never really great at any of them. Volleyball was probably my best sport, where I earned the MVP award from 9th to 12th grade, as well as all district and all region honors. Still, I was going nowhere fast as a 6 foot nothing volleyball player, and I was too slow to excel at many other sports. I did participate in some intramural sports in college, along with beer league kickball in my 20’s. Nevertheless, my days of regular and organized competition were long gone after high school, and I had a giant hole where the thrill of competition used to be.
On January 1, 2013 I did not know what would fill that hole, but I was determined to find something. I was also committed to getting back into shape, so I purchased the first pair of shoes that I had ever owned up to that point that were dedicated solely to running. Only later would I learn that my shoe selection would contribute to an MRI on my left knee and multiple injections.
Nevertheless, my resolution was made, and I was off and running (pun intended) with a whopping 2.09 miles on January 2nd.