02 January 2012

The start zone

Once upon a time… I was a toothpick of a kid, so skinny you could see my resting heartbeat through my chest. It wasn’t that I didn’t eat, I did, in fact I ate everything in sight, I was just skinny. Throughout my junior high, high school and college years I ran as if I was trying to outrun the sun. Hours upon hours upon hours spent on an empty road or track or bleachers with a pair of sneakers and only my thoughts. That isn’t to say I was the fastest, I wasn’t. Truth be told I was one of the slowest people on any team I ever ran on, but I just loved to run. But I never quit, I always finished, and I always raced against myself.

Fast forward about a decade and running gave way to writing, life with my wife and a thousand other little distractions that kept me from lacing up. Couple this with the fact that I could no longer eat whatever I wanted and keep my boyish figure, not that it stopped me from eating, and you’re left with a guy wondering where things changed.

Then, my wife offered up the idea doing the Walt Disney World Half Marathon for 2009. She trained for two years for that race, and I showed up the day of having successfully completed 3 miles a week before. I finished, and was rewarded with the inability to walk for the next week. I finished, but it was incredibly stupid and I was incredibly lucky that I didn’t do serious damage to myself. It was then that I decided to train for the half in earnest for 2010 half, the full in 2011, and complete Goofy Challenge in 2012, just a few weeks after I turned 30.

Friends are aware that I was sidelined in late 2010 by a knee injury that kept me from the full and has kept me out of commission for most of 2011. I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact I was going to be a slightly overweight, shadow of my former self. Then, last month while in Walt Disney World for my 30th, I realized that is not who I am or who I want to be. Yesterday, I began the long road back to running, the pastime that I was entrenched in for most of my preteen to early –twenties.

With all of this in my mind and on my heart, I am ready to announce that I will be running in the 2013 Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge. It isn’t going to be an easy road back. There will be steps backwards, there will be sacrifices, and it will, in the end, be a humbling experience. I am not the kid I once was, but I owe that kid more than what I’ve become.

I hope you’ll join in, train along with me, and join me in Walt Disney World in January of 2013. I’ve begun using the Twitter hashtag #2013GoofyinTraining so that you can keep up with my progress and cheer me on, or let me know how you’re training is going. Remember Goofy Challenge isn’t a race against anyone except yourself, it is a testament to the endurance of the human spirit, and an accomplishment to be celebrated.

I’ll see you all at the finish line!

3 comments:

sezzell said...

Awesome Ryan! I've been doing Galloway training this past year and love it. If I do Goofy it will be slow and steady, but I'll be in it to finish! (and for the medals of course :) Good luck! I'm looking forward to hearing about your training!!

The Running On Veggies Mom said...

OMG, my husband and I are doing the same thing, we're doing Goofy! We'll be there in 2013. Good Luck! You should plan a big party after and we'll all meet up!......:)

Jenn said...

Awesome! :) I'm on your original training plan... half in 2010, full in 2011, and now Goofy this weekend. Good luck with your training! Looking forward to hearing all about it. :)