Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My Moment of Truth

This is from John "The Penguin" Bingham's book titled The Courage to Start. I will try and post excerpts from the book on a regular basis as time allows as sort of a motivational tool for all of us that will be training in the coming weeks. I highly recommend this book also.

My Moment of Truth

People ask if there was a particular moment of enlightenment that caused me to change. They are surprised to learn that there was no moment of epiphany, no blinding light. There was only the relentless march toward middle-age.
There was one incident, though, that maybe would pass for an epiphany. I had been invited to a fancy dinner party and needed to rent a tuxedo. The salesperson measured my out seam. Forty inches. Then she measured my waist. Also forty inches!
I had become a cube! I had the measurements of a decent-sized throw rug.
And so, at age forty-three, when I found myself standing in my garage with a pair of new running shoes, I knew that it was my moment of truth. Surrounded by the mechanical witnesses to my folly, I stared out at my driveway and and into my future. Ahead of me lay forty yards of driveway. Behind me lay forty years of bad decisions and broken promises.
I'm not sure how long I stood there. I was paralyzed by fear and more frightened of starting than I was of not starting. I knew that this was it. I knew that this would be the last time I would have the courage to start.
With a primal scream I started down the driveway, at a full sprint. Arms flailing and legs pumping, I ran at full speed toward tomorrow. For about thirty seconds!
That's as long as it took for my legs to hurt, my lungs to hurt, and my ego to hurt. I stopped dead in my tracks. Thirty seconds! That was as long as I could run. I was overcome with my own arrogance, and I started to laugh. After years of working hard and playing hard and living hard, I couldn't move my body for longer than thirty seconds.
It never occurred to me that I would stick with it. Why should this time be any different from the others? But I found myself putting on my running shoes, heading out the door, and waiting for the urge to quit to overcome me. As the days passed, and then weeks and months, I became perplexed. Surely I would quit. I always had in the past.
This time, though, something was different. Even now I'm not sure what made the difference. Running-well, okay, waddling-was becoming a part of my life. It may just have been the absurdity of it that kept me interested-the complete incongruity of "John the Runner" living in the body of "John the Couch-Potato".
(To be continued so stay tuned)


Blogger friend said...

funny post.

12:56 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home