In 1992 I wrote a list of things I wanted to accomplish. The list was a combination of lifelong achievement all the way down to petty little things. One of the things on my list was to run the Boston Marathon.
Running the Boston marathon is an easy thing to write down but I found it a little harder to accomplish than I originally imagined. As a lifelong soccer player and pretty good athlete, I was never really a runner. A runner to only to keep in shape. I had no concept of time or speed. In my 20’s I got hooked on watching the Ironman in Kona. Noticed how I said watching. I had never really done any of the three sports and figured if I was going to get to Kona I was going to start with running first. That lasted a few months and I fell back into my excuses mode and packed on the pounds
By the time I was 35 in the mid 2000’s I was up to 225 pounds. Two things that year changed my life forever. One, I was diagnosed with hypo thyroidism. I was working hard at the nursery at seemed to still be gaining weight. Then one day my wife accidentally bought salt with no iodine and my neck puffed up like a jelly fish. I went in to find out what was wrong and turned out my thyroid didn’t work real well. A simple pill later and the weight started to come off quickly and I had this new found energy. I started running.
I figured now was time to do that marathon. During the summer training period I decided to take my family to Kona Hawaii . A place that I had always wanted to go and a place I planned on coming back to when I started doing triathlons (MUCH harder to get to than Boston). Unfortunately, I had a little accident. While surfing, or attempting to surf, the waves were getting way too big for me so I decided to head in. On the way in I got caught in a wave I couldn’t get under, tearing my brachial plexus and severely damaging the nerves off my c6 spine. Long story short, life guards save me, emergency room sends me to the mainland, takes 6 months to get full use of my left arm. That minute I found out I wasn’t paralyzed, and I thought I was the first 15 minutes, I vowed to never take my body and health for granted.
When I got better, I found a running group and have been training my ass off every day. It’s kept me strong both physically and mentally and given me the ability to think clearer and work harder. It improved my family as well as my wife and daughter have picked up running and the results are seen in them as well. My wife looks better now than 17 years ago when we got married. It improved her self esteem and she too has more energy. My daughter just assumes that exercise is what normal people do everyday and is on the track team. Running is not something I force on anyone or my family. I simply do it and those around me are drawn because of my personal results and once they get a little taste of that they are hooked as well.
So here I am in Boston, about to accomplish a life goal. One of many of life’s goals but every accomplishment makes my life that much more enjoyable. My first goal is to have fun with my friends that have also qualified. My real goal is to keep it under 3:30, 15 minutes slower than normal but winter training is a bitch and so is this course. Wish me luck, I’ll need it.