I used to have a black Camaro with over-sized rear tires and a crazy loud stereo.  The Clarion power booster and Pioneer triaxial speakers made me the most hated kid on the block.

Old men and woman would swing their rakes in disgust as I blew through the neighborhood cranking Boston’s “Don’t Look Back.”  And it kinda made sense because I was too young to have anything to look back at.  But now, as I turn into an old man with a rake, it’s almost impossible to ignore the past, and frankly, I think it can be a healthy reminder of what we’ve accomplished.

Last week my neighborhood running store asked if they could interview me for a massive blog feature story.  Owner, and former University of Oregon track team runner guy, Lee Wilson, thought I would be a good testimonial for their Couch to 5K program.  I thought, “Hell, I’ve spent a ton of money there and they’ve given me free water and use of their bathroom a few times, why not?”

So, I stopped by the store and sat in front of a young woman named Jenna who peppered me like Barbara Walters.  I mean, tough questions that make you squirm and blush.  She didn’t use a recorder and occasionally wrote a note or two, but let me tell you, she nailed the story.  Frankly, I don’t even remember what I said, but somehow she captured the essence of how I grateful I am that my buddy Jim tricked into signing up for Nashville Running Company’s Couch to 5K.

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The three-year-anniversary of “my starting to run” is this January.  Since that day I have done many things I never dreamed of.  Two full Ironman, three 70.3’s and many 5 hour bike rides.  It’s not really that big of a deal to me now, but I am genuinely amazed at what the human body and spirit can accomplish.

So, today, I am looking back at that January day in 2012 when running 60 seconds seemed like climbing Everest.  Just yesterday I lopped down the trails for an hour and five minutes while making bird calls.

It’s quite a transformation, but I think more than anything, I’m just grateful to be able to do that.  When you can just get up and go, it is an insane feeling of freedom, and there aren’t many things better than independence.

And I can’t help but wonder where this will go next.  I have no interest in doing anything more extreme than an Ironman.  I just want to find that place that feels right and gives me energy.  That makes me the strongest, happiest, and best person I can be.

Is that a steady diet of Ironman, Xterras, or leisurely runs?  I’m not really sure, but for some reason all of this makes me want to get another Camaro.

You can read Jenna’s full masterpiece here.

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Measuring Progress

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