It has taken a while for me to work up the nerve to begin writing my story. I can’t exactly pin-point why. I am not ashamed of my past; maybe it is just hard to relive it. I think my hesitation has been that my memories may be recalled differently by the people that lived through these events with me. I found the quote below nearly 10 years ago when I was reading a memoir and it has stuck with me ever since.
“There are three sides to every story: yours. . . mine. . . and the truth. No one is lying. Memories shared serve each other differently.”
— Robert Evans
Before I jump into telling how I started running, I think it is worth telling a little bit about how I became a 14 year old that was 5’3″ tall and weighed 230 pounds.
Long before childhood obesity was a buzz word and the primary concern being addressed by the First Lady of the United States, I was an above average sized kid. I guess you could say I was a trend setter. 🙂 I came of age as the first Nintendo Entertainment System entered living rooms across the country, planting the seed for a future generation of children that got little to no exercise while sitting in front of their television sets. While my brothers only occasionally played the Nintendo, I developed a deep personal relationship with it. When I was not at school, I was playing Mike Tyson’s Punch Out and The Legend of Zelda for hours on end.
Sitting in front of the TV playing video games did not make me overweight on its own. As you can see in the picture below where I am looking at a bag of Peanut M&M’s like a grown man looks at a Victoria’s Secret model, I have always had a natural pull towards a wide variety of foods, both healthy and unhealthy.
I’m not a big fan of change. In fact, I HATE it! When I find something I like, I rarely branch out to try something new. Once I know what I like at a restaurant, 99.9% of the time, I will order the same thing from that time forward.
I am not much different when it comes to my running shoes. I have been running on and off for nearly 20 years and I have only tried a few different brands of shoes. I started off wearing Nikes in high school. This wasn’t necessarily because I had a strong affinity for how their shoes felt on my feet when I ran, Nike was just the only brand of athletic shoe I was really aware of at that age. Plus, I knew that Nike invented the running shoe market, so I figured that they had to be good shoes. Unfortunately, this was during the dark years for running shoes at Nike. Some of my friends parents that were seasoned marathon runners begged me to get out of Nike’s and into New Balance or Saucony shoes. After enough poking and prodding I eventually gave in and flirted with the New Balance brand. I can’t really elaborate on why, but New Balance’s shoes just weren’t for me. Around the time I gave up on New Balance, I finally got smart and went to a real running store to buy my shoes. The sales associate watched me run and analyzed my foot strike. Their assessment was that I had a neutral arch and decent form, I just needed a heavier sole to support my larger clydesdale frame. The associate suggested the Mizuno Wave Rider shoe and I have never looked back.
Being the loyal Mizuno supporter that I am, I have never considered trying Adidas shoes. My stance may just have to change after stumbling across this old series of ads from 1999 – 2000. These ads hit the nail on the head when it comes to the things that make runners different from the general public. The series entitled “Runners. Yeah, We’re Different” is simply brilliant. I’ve taken the liberty of placing all the ads that I could find from the series to brighten your day. Enjoy!
Anyone that has worked with me, or been my friend long enough, knows that I am prone to stretching at random (sometimes inappropriate) times and stretching in random places. I definitely have mimicked what the gentleman above is doing at the bank.
Summer officially kicks off tomorrow and for me that means doing a little summer reading. When I get time in between work, family time, and longer training runs to prepare for my fall marathons, I love to read books about running legends and the history of our sport.
To help my readers kick their summer off right and as a thank you to all of you who have been reading and sharing your stories with me through your comments, I am giving away a copy of one of my favorite books of all time. If you have yet to start reading, feel free to Follow my blog with Bloglovin.
I’ve taken the liberty of giving a brief synopsis of the book below…