Bragging time

  • I’m 56, never been a picture of great physical fitness, bordered on overweight after I got married. Started running 8 or 9 years ago. Stayed relatively active in it, achiveing a few milestones along the way.

    Last fall my senior in college daughter said Dad, how about running a half marathon with her. She had entered one with her housemates and quite a few fathers, so I said, sure, why the heck not.

    Started training. Crossing a street and looking over my shoulder to avoid getting hit by a car and being turned into a part of the pavement, I tripped. Don’t know on what, crack, pothole, dead varmint, whino, whatever, down I went, landed on my metal water bottle and cracked a rib. Stopped running for a month and had many uncomfortable nights in recliner, then bed.

    Started running again around Christmas. Chicago and training to run a half marathon in early April don’t exactly go hand in hand, but we were blessed with a mild winter, very little snow, and for those days outside wasn’t an option, a treadmill in the basement did the trick.

    (Tip for treadmill runners/walkers. Videos, plenteous on UTube offer cab views from trains all over the world, same with dashcams driving in very scenic spots. Even makes it feel like you’re climbing the big mountain that the train is going up and over.)

    Got into a nice little rhythm, increase one mile each weekend, do shorter runs on weeknights and soon I was starting to see the possible. Soon I was doing 6 mile tune up runs on weeknights and enjoying it! On March 13th, I ran 12.5. I should have kept going, but the race wasn’t until April 4th.

    March 16. Some bad news, non renewed, not proud of this, but humble enough to share that yes, I made some mistakes, albeit in a really tough teaching environment, and was told I wasn’t welcome back. Tough blow particularly in light of the current job market. I told them I’d be willing to teach a difficult to fill position next year and they’re considering it.

    This took the wind out of my running sails. Half marathon postponed to June 14th, but we had the option to run it on our own and turn in our time. Heck, for 80 bucks (ripoff) they should have just said send in whatever you want and we’ll credit you. So I stopped running. I was a bit depressed to be honest, had the daughters wedding coming up to look forward to but even that was a bit depressing as the big event with lots of people coming wasn’t happening.

    Then the double whammy of double whammies. Cancer. Before you go shedding too many tears it’s prostate cancer with a very high rate of survivability.

    The cancer was actually a motivator to get out running again. Not a ‘I’m gonna die next month I better run now’ type of thing, but just a wake up call that life will go on for me and just because some tough things have happened doesn’t mean I need to just sit around and mope. So I began to train again only 2 weeks ago. 5 miles on May 6, 7 on May 8, 10.5 on May 11th, then a little lull until yesterday I just steeled my mind into saying just get out there and get it over with. So I did.

    Slower than a legless turtle, but I did it.

    Never stopped, well once, because my shorts were about to fall down, so I stopped to tie them because my time with my shorts down around my ankles would have been even slower.

    Got threatened by a bunch of geese when I ran too close to the little goslings. Chicago’s lakefront is closed, but my route took me into a lakefront park and there were some cops in there whom I assumed would ticket/arrest/beat/laugh/taze me but instead I just said I was running a half and they cheered me on.

    My turnaround point was the Blues Brothers drawbridge from the original movie. Ran past the geese again, even madder this time, cops cheered me on, and I waddled home after the app said 13.1

    I’m doubtful I’ll run another of them, although 10K’s now are a cinch and I hope to stay active with it. It’s a bit addicting. Kudos to the marathoners, I can’t even imagine. And yes, I’m a tad proud of my accomplishment.

  • You should be proud, that’s awesome! Great response to some pretty serious adversity.

    My dad had prostate cancer at about the same age. He turns 85 this week, still going strong. Was also a teacher. Never ran a half marathon, though.

  • Sounds like quite the journey my friend. Cancer is becoming more and more common. Not to get off course or make a hat outta foil but I recommend watching “The Devil We Know” on Netflix. It’s about duponts cover up after poisoning water sources and chemicals found in everything from carpet and furniture to popcorn bags. As a guy that has lost several family members to Cancer and having a mom that is a surviver it does make me think.

    Teaching is a tough job especially in lower income districts. My wife taught in the ghetto of St Louis for several years for peanuts. She stopped after taking heat for failing kids that never came to class. The superintendent and principal wanted her to give at least 50% on all assignments regardless if they were even turned in. Nowadays parents are on the teachers about grades, not the student. I could easily see me struggling at that profession. I’d probably tell someone their kid is a lazy a$$ and get fired. Hopefully they see your value and continue as your employer.

    Good that you are running and working on being healthy. That alone I think will serve you well against cancer. I’m trying to take a little better care of myself these days and recently purchased a bike. I can’t run much anymore, I have plantar fasciitis in both my feet that will flair up if I run more than about 40 yards and two bad knees that concrete doesn’t help either.

  • @wissox man you are a stronger person than me!🙏 I know your faith will lift you up. Can you retire yet? Double dip? Keep us posted and run forest run!

  • @wissox thanks for sharing this. It’s not easy maintaining an exercise regimen when the unexpected happens. I appreciate your tenacity and hope you can maintain your physical goals for as long possible.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 No on retiring. But you’re right, God will see us through this.

  • @tundrahok My dad has had it too, not as long as your dad it sounds like, but for about 15 years. Gives me a lot of hope that I’ll be here be bugging everyone for the next 30 years.

  • @wissox That’s fantastic! Not all the bad news, but your ability to stick with it and overcome. I’m sure your family and friends are very proud of you. Praying for complete healing from the cancer. Hope you’re running for a very long time to come!

  • @wissox I join others in this group in being sorry to learn of your setbacks, but also in being very proud to know you’re being so proactive in taking care of your physical health. I hope the job situation has a positive outcome for you!

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