My Story

There is a difficulty in writing one's personal story, in that it continues on even as you write it. So what I'm sharing today is less a summation of my life and more a snapshot of a moment in time.

The story of My Fitness Journey begins here in a blog entry I posted back in May 2012. I talk briefly about my background, explain where things went bad, and share how I went from being seriously overweight to being a marathoner.

But that was then. And here I am now, July 2015, and there is so much more to share about my journey. So here it is, all the good and all the bad.

My Story

On Saturday, May 19th, 2012, I ran my second (and still fastest) full marathon. It was an amazing event and I was as prepared mentally and physically as I have been for anything in my entire life. (You can read the race recap here.)

As proud as I was that day, the truth is that life continues after a great victory and it won't always be positive. And as I sit here today, fearful that I am back at the beginning of a very long road, a part of me still knows better. I am not the person I was years ago, and I am not really starting over. Instead, this is just another part of a lifelong journey to health.

First, the bad. On May 19th, I weighed 182 pounds. And on July 19, 2015, I weighed 235 pounds. Seriously. That means that in the past three years, I have put on fifty-three pounds.

And there it is. The truth about where I am now. I am carrying more weight than I have since as far back as January 2000.

What a horrible thing to have to share with everyone. I mean, I'm Captain Awesome. I'm featured in a documentary about Weight Loss. I've shared (and failed) at more personal challenges than I can even remember. I've talked about this before.  At what point do people lose all respect for me and start to wonder, "who the hell does he think he is? What a loser." How many times can one guy start over?

The answer? As many times as it takes. Again and again, no matter what. This is life, folks. Sometimes it's a party, sometimes it's a nightmare. But it's always life, and it's always moving on whether I am doing well or doing poorly.

And today, I am okay with that. I am accepting that this is where I am. I have let the stress and sorrow of real-life events knock me off track. I have wept over lost friends, worried over finances, and taken on the troubles of the world rather than spend any time honestly looking at my own life.

Now, though, is my time to step back and focus on myself and what I need to be healthy and happy. It's not being selfish, it's being honest about caring for the caregiver. Right now, it's okay to put myself first.

I have already made the commitment to focus on fitness through the Summer and Fall. That will prepare me for a very busy October and November, when I will run the Yosemite Half Marathon (October 10th), the Capital to Coast Relay (October 16th-17th), the Revel Canyon City Marathon (November 7th), and the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon (November 15th).

"But, John," you say, "you were already working on a challenge for the marathon. What happened to that?"

It didn't work.

And that's okay. It's not about being perfect, it's about not ever settling. And now, I am rallying myself around a new plan with specific benchmarks, training and running schedules, and accountability.

This guy:
March 1988

Became this guy:
September 2009

Who fought back and became this guy:
May 2012

Who let himself again become this guy:
September 2014

But is, at heart, always this guy:
July 2015

Let's do this.

(I will update this again, most likely at the end of this year. By then, my story will have changed again. I'll have these races behind me and be in a different place emotionally and physically. And I'll have to set new goals. And that is life, folks. It keeps marching on.)

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