Growing up (and growing old) I never liked running. It was hard. It was boring. It was bad for your knees. The fitness gurus who claimed it was good for you were full of it. Just look at Jim Fixx. Okay, maybe he would have died earlier if he hadn’t been a runner, but to the young me, it didn’t inspire much confidence in the sport. At least not for health benefits.
When I was younger, I enjoyed biking. When I was in the Navy, stationed in Long Beach, my best friend and I would bike up and down the beach. There was a nice paved bike path that went for miles. It wasn’t uncommon for us to ride twenty-five to thirty miles down the coast on a Saturday morning and hang out on the beach for a few hours, then ride back to get ready for whatever Saturday night plans we had.
After the Navy, though I still rode occasionally, I mostly fell out of the physical fitness routine. From time to time I would get the urge to get into shape and join a gym for a few months, lifting weights and maybe do a mile or so on a treadmill when I remembered that cardio had a place too. For the most part, though, I led a fairly sedentary lifestyle.
As I got older, I started to notice I didn’t have the energy I used to and could feel my heart race climbing the steps. I knew I had to do something. Eventually, my wife got me into running. Since then, I’ve become an avid runner and participated in races of all distances from a mile dash to full marathons. And I’ve started riding the bike again too. Getting such a late start in running puts me behind the runners who have been doing it since high school, but I like to think that means I don’t have the wear and tear on my body that they do so I’ll be able to do it longer. In fact, I have a goal of running a marathon on my hundredth birthday.
Seriously. It’s on my calendar. The Rocket City Marathon. It won’t fall exactly on my birthday, but close enough. At that age, I probably won’t remember when my birthday is anyway.
I’m married with two kids (and sometimes a dog) who keep me on my toes (why do you think I run?). I’m a software developer by trade, though I’m also a writer with a few fiction books to my name. Other than running and biking, I like to fly small planes, scuba dive (especially in caves), and camp. And read books and watch movies. And eat ice cream (okay, that’s part of why I run too).