Runniversary is a term I made up, but I think it’s self-evident. It was four years ago today that I became a runner. I’ve told the story many times, but here’s one more. I awoke on Dec 1, 2010 with a mix of emotions. I was still running high from taking the family to Disneyworld in October. But I was also surrounded by deaths that affected me in deep ways. My sense of “there’s always time down the road” was challenged, finally. I was 15 months away from my 40th birthday. Tme to do something. I proposed a bench press goal, Meg countered with the Disneyworld half marathon in January 2012. I decided in that moment.
Within a month, I had my sights set on Ironman, with the NBC broadcast a heavy influence, as it is for many. By the end of December I was in the pool, and could barely handle 200 yards without becoming lightheaded. On my birthday that year, I swam a mile continuous.
I made predictions of the future back then, assuming what four years down the road would look like. I was sure that by Dec 1 2014, I would have done at least one Ironman, swam the Bay Bridge, climbed the course of Savageman, and run the Hyner 50k. I would easily do a 5k in under 30 minutes. And of course, I would be 125 pounds lighter. None of those have happened as of today.
But what has happened has been pretty impressive. I found my voice and stopped living my calling out of fear of what a few people might think and how they would react. I showed up to starting lines that I would have been terrified of in 2010. I ran that race at Disneyworld with my wife, and now I get to go back and run there with my kids too. I started a podcast with a friend I met through this world, and we’ve interviewed everyone from guys like us to best-selling authors and one of the greatest Ironman champions of all time. I started a successful 5/10k race that funds a preschool scholarship. I’ve introduced my daughter to Chrissie Wellington. I became a coach, yes a COACH, for Girls on the Run, where I was given the gift of working with elementary girls for four seasons, building up their self-worth and teaching them to handle bullies with confidence. Most of all, I’ve taught my kids not to give up on things that aren’t easy right away.
I am still setting those other goals in my life, and my weight is a constant burden. But the medals, the mileage and the scale are poor measures of life. If I had all those things, but none of the last paragraph, what would it have been for?
I will get all those things too. (Maybe not the Hyner 50k, the 25k had enough near death experiences.) But they will come when my commitment to consistency is cemented. I had decades of experience in developing the bad habits, perhaps it is normal to take more than four years to develop the good ones.
Thanks to all the wonderful supporters I’ve met over the years, old friends watching my evolution, and new friends I’ve made in this world. I wanted to hit 40 with something to be proud of. Now I want the whole decade to be epic. I’m on my way.