Thursday, September 29, 2011


I started this most recent journey at 284 pounds.


Coincidentally, this is my 50th post on this blog. Not even kidding.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Mountains Are Calling...

Every time I am in the mountains...

I feel free

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks
-John Muir

When I close my eyes I see you
No matter where I am
I can smell your perfume through these whispering pines

Sunday, September 25, 2011

10,000 Reasons To Smile

I was nervous for today.

I haven't had the time to do much running recently, even though I've been pretty active. But not what I was hoping for heading into my first 10K.

As the morning unfolded, I came up with a list.

Jeff Parker's Rules for Running a Race
1. (For the venue) If you have one speaker at the starting line, don't expect the entire crowd of thousands to hear anything the announcer says.
2. If you can not run a mile, do not start at the front of the pack. Especially when there are pacing groups.
3. Not every woman should be allowed to wear spandex shorts or pants.
4. NO man should be allowed to wear spandex shorts or pants. Or booty shorts (yes, that happened).
5. If you quickly change your path OR stop, please look behind you before you do so. You might get trampled.
6. Nobody under the age of 14 or over 60 should be allowed to run. When they beat me, I feel bad about myself.

Ok, now the race.

It. Was. Awesome!

The race started outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High (Broncos), went through the Pepsi Center (Nuggets/Avalanche), and through Coors Field (Rockies), looped back, and the finish line was at the 50 yard line of Mile High. The sports fan in me loved every second. The runner in me hated it. Because at the entrance to each stadium, since thousands of people were funneling through small hallways, everyone had to walk for a little bit while trying to cram into them. Those small breaks honestly added probably 6 minutes to my time. So I realized that it might not be the best race to try to set a PR or in my case, set the bar for a 10K, but as I ran through the tunnels and saw views of the stadiums that nobody else gets to see, it was all worth it.

For the majority of the race, I was fine. Good pace. Good rhythm. In the zone. I smiled as I crossed mile 5, but then I started to crash. Honestly, the last mile was the 3rd most difficult mile I have ever ran in my life (2001 when I ran my first mile at 275 lbs, 2010 when I ran my first mile at 284 lbs). Miserable... Aching... Must... Keep... Going...

As I rounded the corner of Mile High, entered the tunnel, saw the field, and more importantly- the finish line, I took off. 6.2 miles later, I crossed the finish line.

Had there not been the stalls at the stadiums, I probably would have finished somewhere in the 1:02-1:05 mark, but I have to go with when I crossed the finish line.

Official time:

Shoutout: I received this in the mail the other day from a great new friend. Thanks for the support!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Decade...

I feel like it's cliche and tacky to make a post about 9/11. But as I started thinking about the day, and as the tears started falling, my fingers started typing.

New York has always felt like my second home. Growing up, we would take a trip to visit family every few years, and I fell in love with the city. I knew the streets and subways of NYC more than I knew Minneapolis. To say I love New York is an understatement.

In April of 2001, my mom and I spent my spring break in NYC. My life was a mess. I was suffering from depression, and was going downhill fast. I couldn't feel anything in my life. Only hurt. So my mom let me choose whatever I wanted to do for the trip - there's only one thing I wanted to do. Go to my favorite place in the world- the top of the World Trade Center.

Standing on top, looking out at the city, looking out at the world, I remember feeling something. Feeling peace. Feeling comfort. Feeling free.

Five months later, I was in the middle of Mr. Krebs' multimedia class. I was a junior in high school. Someone ran into the room and told everyone to turn on the TV. I felt a dagger as I watched my favorite place in the world up in smoke. As I watched the towers fall, my heart fell with them. I numbly went from class to class, and I couldn't stop crying. I started freaking out, so I called my mom, asking if she had heard anything from my family who lived in NY. Nothing yet. Eyes glued to the TV. Later found out they were ok, watching the events happen from their house.

Tears streaming down my face. Eyes glued to the TV. That's all I really remember for the rest of the day.

Thousands of people lost their lives on September 11, 2001. I remember feeling so much pride along with the rest of the country in the weeks and months that followed. Even now, whenever I look back on that day, I think of the people like me who were struggling through their lives. Who went to NYC to escape their worries. Who stood on top of the towers, and looked out at the world on that beautiful September day. I feel for every single life that was lost on that day - in NYC - in DC - in PA. But my heart really goes out to an unknown few. I know there were people like me standing on top of the WTC.

As I watched the towers fall, all I could think of was how many people were in my favorite spot, just tying to feel alive.

My favorite patriotic song, thanks to Mr. Disney.