As seems to be standard operating procedure for us bipedals, Sasquatch included, when the Earth completes a full orbital revolution of the Sun we must take a moment and assess ourselves, reviewing our primary action items, and gauge our overall status on this plane of existence.Â I know, DEEP.Â Well, I was recently asked about my running past and how the hell I got to where I am now and in my recollection of it all I realized I have yet to truly tell the tale.Â Honestly, it was hardly an epic journey, but it was certainly more amusing in the retelling than I had previously thought.Â And so, without any further introduction, From Fall-icle to Furball!
Picture it, the Upper West Side of Manhattan, 2004, in a bizarre twist of fate, the job that was going to keep me in New York is stripped from me before it really even started, as my fickle employers decided to cut our entire department after only two weeks sending my boss, myself, and three others scrambling to find alternative employment.Â It wasn’t something I could’ve foreseen, but was nonetheless an unavoidable disaster, which put me in the throws of a very unhealthy depression.Â What kind of unhealthy, you ask?Â Why, one that was full of large quantities of food, a ridiculous contribution to Coca-Colaâ€™s profit margin, a well-pronounced love affair with baked goods, and an amazing coaching record on FIFA for PS2 (Viperz FC dominated all of Europe). It was an epic fall that sucked the life force clear out of me.
In the wake of that employment disaster I found myself living with DG (you’ll get no more than that about her), coaching soccer on the weekends, editing grad school and thesis papers, and spending the bulk of my week employed, using the appropriate neologism, as a Manny.Â Oh yah, it was baller!Â Hanging out with a 6-year-old boy with an incredible brain for science and nerdiness was actually pretty friggin’ awesome.Â Well, in addition to my descent into a life of odd jobs, I also stopped being active, really not doing more than the little bit of soccer I played with my 2-8-year-old classes.Â Needless to say, the only thing that I was gaining was girth â€¦ topping off at a delicious 236 lbs of pure Sasquatchian laziness after about 9-months!! You donâ€™t believe me?! Check out the photographic evidence below!
Now, as fate would have it, DG, who had NEVER even been a participant in a gym class in her entire life, decides to join a club called â€œMarathon Runningâ€ at school for credit.Â I swear on my life itâ€™s true.Â I couldnâ€™t make this up in million years.Â Anyway, once she got into a bit her asthma, which had plagued her entire childhood, teen, and young adult life appeared to have disappeared!Â With a new found love for cardiovascular exercise she got a bit cocky and seeing this mass of humanity flopped on the couch that once been a runner, she wielded the most lethal three-word attack anyone can throw down â€¦ the infamous triple dog dare.Â She dared me to race her at her next race (a 4-miler)!Â Oh yah, apparently playtime was over and go-time was next in line!Â What ensued was a battle of the sexes with the evocative power of that â€œWho broke my windowâ€ ad from the 80â€™s.
With the gauntlet thrown and DG now completely obsessed with this â€œclubâ€ and training, I was going to have to actually extract myself from the mold I had created with my big, stupid body and actually start running again.Â Just for a little background, I did run the previous two years while at Columbia, just to keep from becoming a complete lunatic (partial is always acceptable), but only say 3-5 miles during the week, or I played basketball in Riverside Park if the weather was nice.Â That being said, the first run I went on after my athletic hiatus was a humbling, humbling experience.Â I was so used to running faster and carrying less weight that I went out and just ran like I used to and, let me tell you, my legs, lungs, and sweat glands did NOT appreciate it whatsoever.Â I remember getting to the Park without any issue whatsoever, like a gazelle bounding across the plain, but that was short lived and within 2-miles I became the gazelle that was mauled by gang of lions and was now a pride snack, basted in a 3-week old rotten bacon scented sasquatch sweat (yah, I smelled absolutely delectable).Â As I rolled the door, thankfully to an empty apartment, I put my keys away and sat on the floor to “stretch”, but I decided that corpse pose was a better idea.Â The next day was worse as my olde friend DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) decided to come by and have a chat with every muscle fiber of my body and tell them all to eat more sh*t and die! Fortunately this didn’t persist and things did get better.
We finally hit race day several weeks later and squared off as equals.Â Really, it was quite tastefully done.Â We each went to our own corral and ran our own race and tried our very hardest.Â Of course, I wasn’t quite trained up enough yet AND I had never run a NYRR race since living in New York, so when the gun went and everyone started I get caught up in the swell and just went after it, like a guy sprinting for water after eating a whole dried poblano.Â That first mile was agony, sweating bullets, everything on fire, praying for unicorns to come pee on me and take the pain away (put that in there just for you Sharon), but there was still three miles to go.Â I fought through and crossed the finish line where I proceeded to quickly step to the side and try not to vomit on myself or anyone else! Two minutes later, still dry heaving and pale, DG comes through the finish line looking like she was ready to toe the line again in five minutes, eyes glistening, huge smile, and barely breathing heavy.Â The race was mine … but man did I look like crap!!!
So, how did I get into running? A triple dog dare bet with a girl!!! On that race day I ran 4-miles in 33:32 and just a couple of weeks ago I ran a 10k in 37:07.Â A lot has changed since that bet and what a wild ride it’s been!!