Episodic Genius

occurring occasionally and at irregular intervals


This post isn’t about computers at all.  The next couple of posts won’t be either.  It is about something that I never thought that I would write about.

Before age 30, I thought I hated running.  It was painful and painfully boring.  I never thought I could enjoy it.  I was on the track team in high school as a high jumper and they let me skip all of the running only when I had decided to quit the team.  I could write for paragraphs to stress to you how badly I felt toward the activity but I won’t.  Just know that I had strong negative feelings.  Enough said.

When I had just turned 30 years old I went to climb a fourteener in Colorado, Long’s Peak.  I’d never done that before but I thought that I was in shape for it.  I went with a couple of guys about my age, a few high school students – who incidentally were cross country runners – and a 40 year old friend.

I didn’t mind that the high school boys were running circles around me.  It hurt a little bit that the guys in their 30s were doing better than I was but I could handle that.  The thing that really hit hard was that my 40 year old friend was doing a darn good job of keeping up with the boys.  As I grew more and more exhausted and wondered if I’d ever get through the day I realized that I needed to do something.  In 10 years, I wanted to be like my friend and keep up with those kids.

I didn’t immediately think about running.  I started with a lot of other things over the next couple of years.  I started eating a little better and trying to get to a better weight, thought I was never fat.  I put more energy in to two activities that I already loved:  swimming and bicycling.  I also did a lot more walking.  From that day, I have only gotten better.  In fact, I would say that on that day I was in the worst shape of any other day in my life.

I was on a good trajectory and I was happy about that.  However, I knew that I had a ways to go.  Somewhere around age 32 or 33 I realized that I probably needed to come to terms with my intense hatred for running.  I got out one day and ran around the block.  It was just one kilometer.  I can’t remember if I walked in the middle but I was pretty bad.  It hurt but I’d done it.  I started running.