Growing up, my dad was a runner. He didn't run marathons, train on a set schedule, or even refer to himself as one. But our two-story, river town home had a treadmill in the carpeted basement, opposite our nineteen-inch television, the kind that swiveled on a wooden base. He was moderately fit, and so was I. When I was an introverted ten year-old, my father set a simple goal for me. Run one mile in less than eight minutes, and I would receive twenty dollars. Twenty dollars to a ten-year old, is equivalent of... Fuck. That deal would still be worth training for. My father even purchased me a pair of running shoes, which, in retrospect, would have to be at least double my reward. But hey, I had never bought shoes before.
I remember running around a dozen times on that treadmill, and I just couldn't get into it. To this day, I still can't get into the treadmill thing. I would have much rather played capture-the-flag, or ghost in the graveyard. Both of those involved running until my chest burnt, but I didn't piece things together subjectively through real-world connections like that. I was ten. Anyway, I can't remember ever receiving that twenty-dollar bill. I probably starting thinking about and boobs and shit.
Fast forward six years. I'm fat.
Fast forward one more year. Still fat. Depressed, too. By this time, I had discovered drugs, put my penis in a real vagina1, had a stay at a mental health center which I entered through the emergency room, had one hell of a heartache stemming from a girl with a terminal illness who I don't think I even kissed2, and I had a lot of free time due to a school suspension. For drugs. Add all of these together, and you get an angsty lil' fucker stuck in a perpetual state of melancholiness to say the least. I had tried losing weight before this point, but not anything serious. I
had probably lost a little through small diet changes, i.e.; water
instead of pop, not eating. I decided to not be fat anymore. I started running daily, usually a mile or two. With approximately 210 pounds3 pounding the cement, I was doing pretty good. A good way to motivate myself a little more was punishment. Not spanking or putting clothespins on my nipples, you silly cunt! Every time I took a drug, which was usually nothing more serious than an opioid, I would go run the next day. Pretty great, huh? I should include that in my resume as proof that I'm a self-starter. The weight started coming off. For those keeping track, I hadn't made my deal with the devil yet.
Fast forward three months. I was pretty much not fat anymore, but still kind of chubby. My senior year was coming to a close, and I had grown fond of a beautiful girl who had it in for me. However, she was the pseudo-intellectual type. She was the type of girl that finds the music on her brand new iPod by googling "indie playlist January 2011." She also had daddy issues and tried way too hard to be mysterious. This is totally why I liked her. We would drive to the park and make out and talk about how I would leave her in a month or two when I moved 2000 miles north like a fucking idiot, or stay and date her. I did Adderall a few times a week and subsequently ate less and slept less. Every time I took it after that summer I would get side effects that fucked up my life for a few days. I'll never touch it again, but it was great during that time of my life. Obviously, the Adderall I bought temporarily aided in my attaining my weight loss goals. I would run when coming down or after waking up, which was at five or six in the afternoon. I ran listening to The Smiths and I was doing really well for myself. Then, I left the best looking girl I was too chicken to get to second base with, and forgot about running for almost exactly one year. I had my "first year" of college, which was essentially me dropping out, in addition to throwing and attending parties all too often. I gained weight once again. God damnit.
I'm now back home and have been running steadily for a few months now. My gut is gone, though. Running is addicting; I completely believe in the "Runner's High." For those curious, it's an awesome euphoria rivaling hydrocodone. There's something adventurous and fascinating about running under the stars that I hope I don't grow tired of. Pushing my body past its limits on a regular basis really helps me feel centered and like my life is in focus. When I'm having a shitty day nothing takes my mind off of it by getting a few miles in. Sure, sometimes I work myself so hard I want to just collapse into the traffic, but after I'm done, I feel complete.
1 Shout out to H.S.! P.S. My bad. P.P.S. Don't contact me, please.
2 She's still alive, I think.
3 230 lbs at my heaviest. I'm 185 lbs now.