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.
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.