Once upon a time, long, long ago I was in excellent shape. At 18, I was 6’2” and 200lb with under 10% body fat. Then came college, marriage, sedentary adult life, and child number one. Gone were the days where I could go running and turn out 7 minute miles. Gone were the days of playing full court basketball without nearly having a heart attack after five minutes. Gone were the days of being in shape. They yielded to the days of being overweight and ridiculously out of shape.
Then, one day, I found myself on the Central Asian Diet. (insert link to last week’s post) I found myself back at an ideal weight for my age and height. I found myself walking, something I always scoffed as adequate exercise for a (former) athlete like myself. I found myself feeling better.
Skip up to last Friday. Derrick asked me to go running with him and Daryl that afternoon. Daryl is in great shape and Derrick has been running with him for about six months now. I have wanted to start running again, (I last ran off and on stateside about a year ago doing 12-14 minute miles and nearly dying each time) but hadn’t started back yet.
Derrick told me they were going to run 5K, or about 3 miles. I reluctantly agreed to go, fully expecting to nearly die about a mile in and have to drop off. They even planned the route to allow me to drop off along the way and then meet up with them again towards the end of their run. They also told me it would be a slower pace to help Daryl get back again after being sick for a few days.
So away we went. Over a river and through some pastures we ran. Once we crossed the river, I was informed that we had run 2k, or over a mile already. I was greatly pleased with myself as I was still carrying on a conversation with them while we jogged. Next thing I know we hit 3k and 4k. As we neared home, I could hardly believe I had just run further without stopping than I ever had in my life. I did the full three miles, nonstop!!
I don’t claim to be in shape quite yet but I’m quite proud to be far better off than I ever imagined myself to be, all thanks to becoming half the man I used to be.