Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fat Bastard

A couple of weeks ago, while I was entertaining a few friends with some gumbo and football, someone made a comment about a picture of me, my sister and brother-in-law atop Mount San Jacinto in Palm Springs, Calif. OK, he wasn't my brother-in-law yet, but close enough.

Anyway, the comment was something along these lines:

“Look at this picture of Foggy when he was skinny.”



I forget who said it and believe me, I bear them no ill will, but it's had me thinking a bit over the past three weeks. At the time of the picture in question, I was 19, in the Marines and living in the high desert of California. Three factors guaranteed to make someone skinny.

I look at the picture and know it's not the skinniest I've been as an adult: at Parris Island I got down to about 190 (and looked like a chemo patient for the effort). The smallest I've been since I got out of the Marines was during my first year at Carolina when, after the required four-month period of post-Marine Corps laziness, I cut 30 pounds in two and a half months to get back below 210.

Generally speaking, I think I'd feel pretty good below 225.

But it's been a long, long time since the needle on the scale stopped there. Of course, it's not like I look like this:

but still, it'd be nice to take all my suits to the tailor.

Inspired by this clearly careless and painful comment (kidding, it was more thought provoking), and a couple of very lovely people I've recently met - Charlotte Harris and Sarah of Was it for This, who are both tri-athletes - I've decided it's long past time for me to make a few changes. And since riding my bike hasn't been getting the job done this past year, I had to figure something else out.

So on Saturday afternoon - incidentally while Sarah was either finishing or finished running 20 miles - I went up to Clarendon to get me a little something.

Two little somethings as it turns out.

And, since they say you should always have one, (who the hell are “they” anyway?) I set a goal. It's a modest goal, but it's a goal nonetheless.

Don't get me wrong, I've never really liked running. It hurts my knees something fierce and I don't think I've ever run more than 6 miles at one time in my whole life. But I'm going to give this a shot and, to keep myself honest, I'll be writing about it – and my aches, pains, highs and lows here over the coming months.

They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. If the very helpful woman who sold me my lovely new Saucony Triumphs at Pacers is correct, it'll also take about three pairs of shoes.


Sarah said...

Awesome! Keep us updated on how the training is coming :) Let me know if you every want a running buddy!

Lemmonex said...

Bold step. Good luck. Make sure to keep us all updated.

restaurant refugee said...

Wow, you don't mess around when setting a goal. Good luck, and let me know if you ever need a running partner (presuming said running would take place at a reasonable time in the afternoon.)

Fearless in Toronto said...

Good luck with your goal. This inspires me to actually get back on track and start working out again...first thing tomorrow morning.

charlotteharris said...

Those Saucony's look fabulous on you! ;-) I am thrilled for you and look forward to hearing about how much you discover you loooove running!

FoggyDew said...

Sarah - You may be hearing from me. How 'bout the week of Feb. 23? Kidding. But I think that's been my problem in the past, no one to run with and I get bored.

Lem - Thank you and I will. Especially when I go to get my knees replaced.

Ref - Just for clarification, that's the map for the Marine Corps 10k, not the marathon. Perhaps we can get together some Saturday and run around the Mall. Always wanted to do that.

Fearless - First thing in the morning is a good time. You're not quite awake yet and you may suprise yourself.

FoggyDew said...

charlotte - Thanks. They're real comfy and I've been a fan of Sauconys since way back in the Grid 5000 days. There won't be any discovery on this journey, I already know I hate running (I'd rather be riding my bike), but I know it's something I've got to do.

Lisa said...

Um, the Marine Corps Marathon is hardly a modest goal. Good for you! As for fat, you are not remotely. But I understand where you are coming from.

LiLu said...

My Sauconys are my fave. But I don't do races anymore... the gun always makes me have to pee. I'll, um, pass you water?

Bravo, darlin.

FoggyDew said...

Lisa - Thank you, thank you for your kind words. The MCM is not my goal, but rather the 10k that is run at the same time. If I were to run it, they'd have to rename it the Arlingtonathon because, like Pheidippides, I'd cross the finish line shouting "We have won" and then drop dead. Stone. Cold. Dead.

FoggyDew said...

LiLu - Sounds like a plan. See you at the 3-mile mark in October. That should be right about the point where my head is getting ready to explode.

Arjewtino said...

Good luck, dude. I made the same decision nearly a year ago. It'll change your life.