6/11/13

Run Fat Man, Run . . .

There comes a time in every man's life when he has to sit down, look in the mirror, and ask - often aloud - "What is going onnnnnn here?" That day came for me in the mid-90s. And again in the late 90s. Add another round of moments in the early, middle, and late 00s and at least one more in the early 10s. Now. Here we are . . . mid-2013 and I'm having that moment again.

Life is not EXACTLY doing what I expected it to do, lately. I try to find the silver linings and I try to stay focused and upbeat but there are days where I feel lost and like nothing is within my control. And I stare at my issues and - candidly - none of them are entirely within my control (every one of them allows me various percentages of control). Fast forward to a conversation I was having with the person that, by nature of courtship, marriage, life sharing, and co-parenting has genuinely/actually KNOWN me more and for longer than anyone else in my life (except my parents) just a few weeks ago where I casually mentioned that my eating, my weight, and my mental focus are the only things I can control in this life. Later that same day I got a call that made it all made sense.

I was asked, very directly, if I would be interested in running a half marathon (that is 13.1 miles to those that have ever sat behind a Volkswagon, Subaru, or Ford and wondered what that stupid sticker was all about) on Sunday, October 13, 2013. I hesitated and pondered for a few minutes (okay, fine, it was DAYS of debate and consideration and several questions and appeals for more information later) and then simply replied "I'm in. Let's do this."

Because here's the thing . . . I can't just give myself another job. I can only hope that someone eventually does and then I can use my brains, talent, passion, and frustration to (metaphorically) make every employer I asked for an opportunity regret the decision not to take me on these months. I can't just fix my marriage. I can only continue to show interest, love, and support and get myself back to happy so she is reminded of the man she once really loved. I can't just overcome my weaknesses as a parent. I can only work on them every day for the rest of the days I have the privilege to be a dad. I can't just make peace with anyone. I can only offer it. I can't make my house sell. I can just do things to help make it more sellable and provide any information I'm asked for. I can't shorten the distance between my family and friends. I can only love and be loved from afar and rely on my fantastic friends here to fill the gap. I can't do a whole lot of anything with most of the things that plague me.

The EXCEPTIONS I can control . . . the food I put in my mouth and the movements I put my body through. So when I was asked if I wanted to publicly challenge myself in a way that is (when added all together) bigger, bolder, scarier, and - frankly - more wrought with danger than just about any commitment I've ever made before - I knew what I had to do.

So, yeah. Here we go! I'm running the Prairie Fire Half Marathon on Sunday, October 13, 2013 in Wichita, Kansas. And I'm going to lose 40 pounds between now and then. Yes. FORTY.

Eating and moving are maybe the only two things in my life I can truly control right now. Control them I shall. I'm going to run out every drop of fear, frustration, angst, sadness, confusion, woe, and doubt I have between now and then. It's going to hurt. It's going to suck. It's going to be difficult. But when I cross that finish line on October 13th - however long after the winner of the race (it might be early in to the 14th?) - I'll have taken control of SOMETHING. And not just anything but the very essence of who I am . . . my physical body and life-long drum beat of commitment, goal setting, defying expectations, being out of breath, and being a man of character that I'm typically so proud of.

I don't know where anything else in my life will be by October 13th but I know I'll be running that day (and nearly 123 days in the meantime) and, at the end, I'll have something no one can ever, ever take away from me. I'll have run a half marathon.

Take that - things out of my control.

(DISCLAIMER - In exchange for participating in and promoting the "Start2Finish" program and the Prairie Fire Marathon (consistent with the guidelines I agreed to between June 10 and October 13, 2013 and available upon request), I have had the fees associated with the "Start2Finish" program and registration fees for the marathon waived and received a free pair of running shoes. The total, indirect "compensation" awarded me total a few hundred dollars. No opinions, thoughts, reactions, or content I share here or on other social media platforms or in person is in any way imparted, influenced, or instructed by either GoRun Wichita or the Prairie Fire Marathon organizations.)