Friday, November 25, 2011

The "Running Thing"

So after the "boxing thing" came the "firefighter thing," neither of which worked out too well. But soon I got comfortable with the whole "married thing" (one "thing" I am glad to say is still working out well some 13 years later). I gained several pounds, had a kid...loved the whole thing.

Knowing I had given my life to the ministry, however, I tried to stay focused on the "Bible college thing," but I made terrible grades and couldn't seem to juggle school, full-time job, church ministry, and married life...let alone the whole financial part of Bible college. I took some time out of school and started a cleaning business. When it was somewhat successful, I quit my full-time job and devoted more time to the business. I figured I'd be making my own hours and soon I would be able to finish my schooling...but the "business thing" paid it's toll.

Soon it seemed that all I did was work all day and night and seemed to be getting nowhere. Soon my life seemed so empty. I pushed myself to get through, day by day, waiting for some light at the end of the tunnel. We had another child, and somewhere around this time I got into a gym. I think I was trying to break the cycle, push myself to do more than just the "same ol', same ol'" I knew I felt so much better and had so much more energy when I was in better physical shape, and I knew if I paid for a membership at a gym I would make sure I used it!

My focus at the gym was more of a "body building" focus, but I spent some time jogging on the treadmill to get my lungs back into shape. Soon I was running 1 1/2 miles on the treadmill, doing my workout for an hour or so, and then cooling down on the treadmill for another 1 1/2 mile before showering and heading off to work.

I met a guy at the gym who had no body fat and TONS of energy. He would be running on the treadmill when I got there, and often would still be running on it after I ran my 1 1/2 mile, worked out for an hour, and cooled off for 1 1/2 mile. And it is not like he was jogging slowly like me...he was booking! I just couldn't believe anyone could run like that, but I was inspired and wanted to try.

I never figured I was built to be a runner, but I felt like I had to give it a shot. I remember calling my wife one afternoon, and then my mom and dad, and telling them, "I'm going to run in a marathon." Given my history of trying new things, no one was surprised...of course, before telling them that, I didn't even know how far a marathon was. I began reading running magazines and checked out some books. I was instantly hooked. I quit the gym after a while and started running instead...Outside!...Where running was meant to be done.

Before long I saw an ad for a local race that was coming up. And it wasn't just a "regular race." It was a 12k trail run in the middle of the winter. I had to sign up. I did. The 2006 Sooner State Trail Run was the start of it all.

I will write more about this adventure soon...stay tuned.

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