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Dec 1, 2010 was the day. THE day. The day I woke up and took all the static energy build up and discharged it into a slow but intense building fury of kinetic energy. Like recovering alcoholics who can tell you the date and time of their last drink, I will always remember the day I ran for the first time in my adult life.

It occurred to me that I should run the same route again, like I did on December 1, 2011. I still feel in many ways like I am at the very very beginning of a new life, but I have two years into this already. I will prepare another Doughhoy Year End video after the Rehoboth Beach half marathon next Saturday.

For today I think a quick recap of my day’s events serve as a guide to the changes I’ve been through, and where my life is headed.

We began the day saying goodbye. Our best friends of the last 8 years have left Pennsylvania. They stayed with us for two nights, as their entire house was packed into a moving truck this week. This morning they left our house for a two day drive to Nebraska. Though we have known about the move for a couple of months, it doesn’t seem real yet. It is going to be a tough absence for us, and our children. Still, it is a reminder that life is ever changing. Part of my struggle with all that led to ill health and the places I don’t want to be, are rooted in an inability to handle change well. Sometimes, we’re forced to. But our attitude will make all the difference in how we weather those changes.

After that it was our turn to hurry out. I dropped off the family at a mall to take care of a haircut and do some Christmas shopping, while I went to a 12 step meeting. Two years ago I was still in denial that this would be a necessary part of my life, and hoped the magic bullet of running would solve my problems. It has done wonders for me, and has led me to many other helpful things, but without the raw honesty of OA, I would be even more stalled than I am right now.

The part of the day we anticipated for the longest, was the trip to see Phineas and Ferb Live. The tickets were a birthday gift to the kids. We enjoyed going with them. It fits the theme of my emphasis on my children for the future, and a reminder that it was the prospect of a second Disneyworld visit that made me jump at running a half marathon as a way to take on the goal to “just do something.”

Following the stage show, we toured one of the kids’ favorite attractions, Hershey’s Chocolate World. I think the irony of this location is not lost on anyone who has struggled with food issues. As we passed through the replica of the “refiners” I remarked to Meghan, “this really is just like refining heroin.” But the kids do not have my problem, and if they can learn a real, true, balance in such things, I will feel quite successful as their father. Time will tell.

When we returned, I ran that 1.5 mile route, this time in total darkness. I know every inch of that route.

The title of this post is stolen from an Allman Brothers song. I like the play on verb tense. Running, training, living healthy, are not things that you do once, then put away. You keep doing it. It starts anew every day. Just like marriage, parenting, holy communion, or anything ongoing, the anniversary date or birthday, or remembrance of the words of institution recall not just a past event, but the celebration that this thing that started so long ago is still happening.

I am not as far along as I may have once thought I “should” be by Dec 1, 2012. I am farther along than I was on December 1, 2010. And that is cause to celebrate. I think I will try to coin a term: runniversary.

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2 thoughts on “Back Where It All Begins

  1. Well shoot, Andy, will you PLEASE get started on that book. This is SO book material, above is page 1. The story starts here, man 2 years looking back, and can move forward; it doesn’t have to be complete before you get started. People would totally read this book. _I_ want to read the “rest” just when I see these posts. Your story, complete with its other characters, friends, wife, the kids, the people on the boards, the people that helped with the lost bike, the nutty people in the swimming pool the day I met you for lunch, the $contributors to your competition in to support (?CHOP) and the cool people (famous, and not) you have met, those are all part of it. The “story” has the potential to affect people and is not just your story or philosophy on running, weight, or you; it is about the amazing interconnectedness of all these people and, I think, will have the perfect balance of introspection, brutal reality, and “feel bad” perfectly meshed with amazement at humanity, goals, philosophy, and “feel good” to it. You are neither Weatherman nor Amish sect starter. However, “Doughboy to Ironman” by Andrew Weaver (AUTHOR) you so are. This is where all those “creative writing” courses in college were pointing. GW would want to read this story. I hereby volunteer to be an editor/reviewer. Write chapter 1 and send it to me.

  2. Amen to what Shannon said. Also I’d love a chapter on OA. AA is better known and understandable as you can cut alcohol completely but you can’t cut food completely

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