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!


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. :)