Friday, March 30, 2007

2 steps forward, 3 steps back

Sometimes you have to look backwards in order to move ahead. In 2004, my brother-in-law Steve was serving overseas in Iraq and the surrounding areas. I looked at the sacrifices he was making for what he believed in, looked at the struggles he had been through to become a Marine at the age of 30, and decided that I needed to take steps to change my own fitness level. I ate better, started exercising, and eventually started running. I dropped 40 pounds, was running up to 20 miles a week, and felt the best I ever had. In the middle of all that, I became closer to Steve than I had been since high school (while being as geographically separated as is possible, basically).

Then things changed. I hurt my foot while running a 10K race with Steve upon his return in 2005. Things got more complicated at home, and at work. I lost my drive, and eventually lost my fitness. It took a little while, but two years after that road race it's 2007, and I'm heavier and more out of shape than I was in late 2004. I just reread my blog post from that day, from the race. It's sobering to look back on what I've lost.

That's looking back.

What motivated me then isn't what is motivating me now. Now it's time to look forward. I'm not getting any younger. I am lucky to be as healthy as I am, given how poorly I've treated myself in the past. I deserve better, my wife deserves better, and I know I'm capable of better. I'm tired of knowing my potential and being so far from it.

About a month ago, I convinced myself of this, and have quietly been working on it. I've done four weeks of the same 9-week program that got me into running in the first place. I've been recording my food intake, logging my exercises, and generally ramping up towards being more responsible. And I'm finally confident enough in it to post here that it's what I'm doing. Even though nobody really reads this, there's a certain amount of commitment involved in putting it down "on paper" as it were.

The habits are getting back in place. The body remembers what it takes. The comfort of knowing I can do this (since, well, I did it before) competes in my mind with the frustration that comes with doing it all a second time (and having it be harder).

So, once again, I'll probably be posting fitness-related items in here again, as I try to keep myself honest.

Life is a journey, and sometimes you have to loop back around and cover the same ground twice. It's okay. We're not in a hurry....

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