I started this blog to hopefully jumpstart some conversations about life and running with other bloggers. And get some people thinking perhaps. I started it to express myself in a way I could never do so with the vast majority of people in my life.
I view my life as a constant journey, one that I take with calculated steps considering all I’ve been through. At the same time, I’m a distance runner, with several races under my belt and training for my second full marathon January 2014.
It was one day at work, during a safety instruction course, a training instructor asked all the “level five ninjas” in the room to raise their hands. As everyone in the room looked around confused, the instructor then clarified his comments. “I’m looking for the Tough Mudders in here, the triathletes and the marathoners.” With my fellow runner colleague Sergio out of the office, my hand – and mine alone – pierced the air. I felt a sense of pride.
At the same time, there have been many times where I’ve had to dig deep inside of me and unleash my guts, my intellect, my determination and what have you to push through challenges I face today on and off the pavement.
So how did it all begin?
I once used to be an athlete growing up, playing all sorts of team sports at school, and continued with soccer during university. However, an excessive study/work schedule slowly eroded my athletic ability over time and the 100 hour work week put an end to everything. Until I left my last firm, the day I left, I ran around Rittenhouse Square in Center City Philadelphia, and I struggled and was gasping for air just running from 18th to 19th Street. How in God’s name did I lose my energy and vitality and get so out of shape?
I decided to start working out to lose weight. I couldn’t be this young and feel so old and wiped out. My trainer told me I had to overhaul my diet – I was eating like crap. 6 days a week, and a whole foods diet…and by spring 2010, I’d lost 20+ pounds. It was then I ran into some of my former colleagues training for the upcoming spring charity 5ks.
I had never seen myself a runner, I was the slow one in the class growing up. However, I had wanted to get into some sports as an adult, but leagues are a bit difficult to get around to in Center City, especially with a schedule like mine. Running on the other hand, you can train whenever. And as much as I liked working out, I wanted to challenge myself. And running clubs, once my endurance I felt was up to snuff, would be a great way for someone like myself to meet and reconnect with people again.
It was one windy cold day in March 2010, just after my birthday that I put on some running sneakers and workout clothes and headed out to Washington Square West to start alternating run/walk intervals. The first day I swore I wouldn’t quit. I needed to make a change in my life, and running would gradually allow me to do it.
What I didn’t figure at the time is that running would change my life on multiple levels. It wasn’t just weight loss, it became a lifestyle. It allowed me to meet new people as many of my own friends were moving on out of the city into the next phase of their lives.
The rest, as they say, is history.
I’d like this blog to be a place for myself to reflect on issues of the day, on life, on love, on my adventures outside work when I’m on the road for business, on staying above the fray between my family and dealing with ongoing culture wars, event planning, current events, gourmet cooking, restaurant reviews (because I am quite the foodie) and other topics of note. And for my readers, a place to comment accordingly, share ideas and thoughts on my stories, and of course if you have any, advice.
Finally, especially with the Philadelphia races, I also put a bit of focus into the race recaps. Particularly with race fees rising as they are, I think it’s important that runners make the most informed decision selecting their races so they can make the most of race weekend.
Feel free to ask questions about any of the topics I bring up especially pertaining to running! I am VERY willing to answer any questions about the races I have run, particularly in Philadelphia or Washington DC as I am very knowledgeable about both cities.