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Saturday, November 28, 2009

I am not a runner

I’m been doing this fitness thing for a long time. This isn’t my first rodeo, so to speak. I’ve learned a lot over the years. One of things that I’ve learned is that this industry is fluid. What’s good today is bad tomorrow and vice versa. In other words what makes a lot of money today may not make as much money tomorrow. Oops… was that our loud?

I digress.

OK, here is what I’ve learned. I’ve learned that I don’t know everything. Yes, it pains me to admit that. I tend to form very strong opinions about certain things. This is good for me as a fitness professional. I am unique and I stand by my guns. This is part of the reason that I am successful.

I can’t be stubborn though. That could hold me back.

Thus, some opinions have softened and even changed over the years. This is a good thing.

Maybe it’s me getting older. Maybe it’s me being involved at different levels of the industry. Regardless of what the reason the fact is this: I have learned to evolve and change.

I’m still always right. Don’t confuse the issue. Anyway…

I write this introduction for a reason. The reason is that I’ve changed my opinion about something. It is something that is near and dear to my heart. It’s an activity that I do everyday. It’s and activity that DEFINES me. Yeah, it’s running.

For years I’ve let people get away with a lame excuse. That excuse was this, “I am not a runner”. Fine. You’re not a runner. Not everybody can run or has the mental capacity to run so it’s ok if you don’t.

That’s a bunch of crap. I no longer accept that excuse.

Humans are made to run. Did you know that humans can beat a horse over a marathon distance? Did you know that humans can beat most any animal over a long distance? Did you know that the early humans would chase their prey until said pray got tired and then we’d simply club them to death!

Check out this interesting audio piece from NPR about running. It runs about 17 minutes and is well worth it:

Because we sweat while other animals simply pant and drool we can go much further before we need to eat, drink and rest. Humans are long distance creatures.

What about the sprints? Yeah, not so much. Usain Bolt is one fast dude but my dog could outrun him over 100m and my dog is FAT.

We weren’t made to swim either. No self respecting alligator is going to let Michael Phelps out swim her.

Jumping we suck at as well. My cat stands like 6 inches off the ground but yet can jump on the counter with very little effort. That would be like you and I jumping on to the roof of our homes from a standstill. Not likely.

Don’t even get me going on how much we can haul on our backs versus what bugs are capable of. Have you ever seen an ant doing lunge walks? See you got me going…

But we can outrun most animals over a long distance.

You are a runner, just like me. Most of you just don’t know it.

So what does this all mean?

It means that if you haven’t done a marathon you need to. Start small. Do a 5k first. Then a 10k or a 10 miler. Then a half marathon. Then the whole enchilada. The full Monty. The marathon. 26 miles 385 yards. You can do it. It’s in your genes. Where is there a race?

Find a race. Pay your entry fee. Do the race. Stop whining and do it.

My knee hurts. My ankle hurts. My back hurts. I have asthma. I get cramps. I cry a lot. I’m depressed. I’m anxious. I’m too busy. I don’t have money. I don’t know how to train.

You know these are all excuses. Everybody should do a marathon at least once in their lives. I’ve done mine. My wife has done hers. My friends Peter and River just did theirs. What about you?

Yes, you can walk a marathon. If you can walk you can walk a marathon. Yes, you can overcome all the EXCUSES that I listed about. You can and should do a marathon. Who wants to go for a run?

The vast majority of Americans refuse to take 100% responsibility for their lives and their fitness levels. This is why we are one of the sickest, fattest and slowest developed nations on earth. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Just imagine if every American trained for and completed a marathon in the next year. That’s the thought I want to leave you with. Just imagine….

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