Thursday, February 3, 2011

Born to Run my Mouth (or How Running isn't Interesting and Swimming with Sharks ins't Challenging)

"If you don't know me, then it's your own fault, cause I'll talk the ears off of a tree."
That was the byline of my High School Yearbook. The picture was this one of me with my head hanging out of a car window.
I've never been accused of being short on words. "Smartassed," however, that's a different story. I was villainized in my college classes for being the Teacher's Pet because I liked to answer questions. The truth is that I was just bored of the loud Sucking sound that came out of many people's mouthes, so I figured I would fill the void with something that might sound smarter, or at least marginally more interesting than that awkward pause teachers do that makes you prone to answer questions.
And in case you didn't know, they do that on purpose, just to make your day 35% more awkward.
So when I say I know how to talk, please believe Me. Take it from KMB, or someone else who has spent far too much time around me, but please take me at face value when I say it.

You could surmise, then, from this information, that would be really good at sucking wind to form all those words (a couple of my favorites being uvula and homonym, or obfuscate). The truth of the matter, though, is that I'm not.

I'm an asthmatic. I grew up in an era where people didn't know better than to hotbox children with chain smokers during their formulating years. And I'm okay with that.  The bigger issues became the gym teachers, jaded by decades of school kids who were disinterested in athletics, or because I wasn't basketball player material, who were convinced that it was distaste for running, not inhibitors, that made me quick to stop and slow to catch my breath. They were convinced I "could grow out of it," never imaging what it would feel like to have an angry gloved man grab your lungs while playing street hockey and squeeze with ever more subtle pressure until it felt like you were breathing through four or five bendy straws taken from 7-Eleven.

I'm not blaming the asthma on a life that was more on the slovenly side than on the team sporting side. I was never good at sports, mostly because of my disinterest in practice. The same reason why I wasn't very good at trumpet or wasn't any good at stoichiometry. Things like that simply were challenging or interesting.

Video games, on the other hand, was both, as was trying to make people laugh. That's the reason i've played Metal Gear Solid through four times, and had over 100 hrs of playtime Final Fantasy X my senior year of high school (when I should have been studying fork the SATs.

I've mentioned in my article Regarding Batman and Benchmarks what my goals are, but these are just part of the idea of a Challenge. Here are some thoughts I've outlined regarding reasonable challenges:

  • By March, I'll be running four times a week, and will improve on my index by 15 points when measuring speed and distance.
  • By March, I will have resumed/found anew 1 hobby.
  • By March, I want to have finished 8 books.
  • By April, I'll be waking up early and my workout will be a mix of weight training and running four times a week. I'll also be regularly going to our gym and doing classes three days a week. 
  • By August,  I will be ready to run in a half marathon.
  • By September, I will have reached my weight goal.
  • By September, I want to be pursuing three hobbies I currently am not.
  • By December, I will have done 3 things I've never done before (excluding activities on Honeymoon, unless I go into a shark cage)
  • By December, I want to have finished 32 books, including the Lord of the Rings, and the Bible
  • By year's end, I want to have my first great idea, and do something to support it's growth.
  • By year's end, I want to get promoted
  • By year's end, I want to save 3/4th of what my take home pay was last year, or have assets at that value.
The second, equally as important part, is keeping this interesting, since that's really where things like video games leave things like running in the dust in my world.

Here are my proposals to the fair reader:

  • Partner with me to own my challenges 
  • Wager your own personal goal with mine, and on the honor system, we'll keep each other on target and trustworthy.
  • In the balance can be a trinket (Star Wars toys), charitable donations, concepts (going on an adventure to Hot Dougs going head to head with going to a vegan or ethnic restaurant, or spending time at a museum or poetry reading or Indy rock gig in exchange for three hours of Van Halen, Harry Potter, and Blue margaritas), or any other bright ideas that that promotes personal growth
  • We'll put our wager on paper (or spit in palms), and document our progress mutually, either by blogging or social networking.

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