I’ll Run for You!
I don’t remember much about my brother’s running days. He was in track, cross country, and JROTC. Coming from my point of view; he was a super human. I pictured him running for days without any complications. A huge smile on his face as he channeled his enter Forrest Gump. The other competitors falling to the side; and him, with the endurance beyond what any could imagine, continuing on. I must have been all of 12 when I recall him running for the last time. It was during a JROTC event. He was doing a cross country race in full fatigues. Fatigues are the camouflage uniforms that the military uses. I remember him emerging from the pack in the lead, he was swift and alive. It didn’t seem like there was an ounce of weary in his bones or a thought it his head. He proceeded to run straight up a mountain without breaking a strides. He at that moment was the greatest specimen I had ever seen. I never saw him run again, his life was cut short.
Decades later I found myself in the worst physical shape of my life. I remember being ashamed of how I got here. I was never the runner my brother was, but I am an equivalent fighter. My fights continues. I remember that day in two parts. Sitting on the couch saying to myself this is not you, you can change this today. I sat up, stood up, and then walked over to my shoes. I remember how brand new they looked. I didn’t wear them that much. I laced them up and told myself you are going to run. This isn’t you and now you have to fight to bring who you are back. I walked through the hallway by the kitchen and made the right turn to the garage. I opened the garage door, I remember the cracking and pausing as it worked its’ way up. I headed out to the parking lot; It was an amazing fall day with a slight cool breeze. One of those days were you just stop and take in deep breathes with immediate clarity. I put in the code and again the cracking and pausing began and stopped. Then I ran.
Then second memory is that of victory. You see about 10 years earlier I could run 3 miles without stretching, preparing, or for that matter doing anything. I just got up and ran. Now with a body 80 pounds heavier, filled with beer, pizza, and chicken wings, this was no longer the case. When I close my eyes I can still see it. I rounded the last turn with my hands and arms high in the air, channeling my inner Usain Bolt. I was proud, at that moment I was proud of myself. It is so small looking back now. In 2015 alone I completed; Del Sol Ragnar, two Spartan Beasts, two Tough Mudders, two Spartan Sprints, two Super Spartans (completed a double trifecta), 10K, a half marathon, and a few other events. At that moment though I was proud that I started. That moment is the moment that lead to all the moments in 2015. When I circled that last turn it was the first time in 10 years that I ran 1/2 mile without stopping. I was at that moment beyond jubilant.
Obstacle is the Way
That half mile was my threshold and is something that stays with me now. I’m a fighter and my fight these days is fear. I seek out not only the joys in life but that which I am afraid of. There is a pride that is associated with overcoming your fears and there is also freedom. When you pass through a fear you inherit control. Control over those associated thoughts, increase control over self and your life. The quote “What would you do if you knew you could not fail’, is always in the back of my mine. I’ve skydived before even though I am still afraid of heights. I will bungee jump one day so as well. With as many Obstacle Course Races I’ve done, I have never ran more than 6 miles straight, till this past November. I always told myself I am not a runner. I been quoted saying “I hate running.” The truth is I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the training. I’m afraid of the pain and fatigue that a person will go through sometime between miles 6-26. Which is a question I ask myself all the time. “When you have nothing left but will power will you quit or keep going.” I honestly don’t know that answer. In the past I’ve said countless times that I would never run a marathon. I don’t have any need to. Not running a marathon in my eyes is running away from fear. I don’t do that.
I was thinking about my brother the other day and wondered how many would he have run by now. I don’t know the answer. It could be zero or 30. What I do know is he never had a full chance in making that decision. Life is about choices. My brother didn’t have a fair shot at choices. I know that I am capable of running and many people aren’t. There are those with physical and mental impairments that can’t run. During my decision process two more quotes lead me to say yes! One friend told me, “Only one percent of people run a marathon.” Yes I know I’m a one percenter. The second quote was one I read, “I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet.”
26 Miles for both of us!
So I will run. February 27th 2016 I will run in the Phoenix Marathon. I will run for my brother and I will run for me. I will run for any person who wants me to run for them too, like @meemiecat who reached out to me on instagram. Each mile, one through 26 I will dedicate. Along the way each mile you will all run with me. Chachi runs for you!
Please share, maybe this will inspire a person to run. Maybe this will article will bring a smile to someone’s face because they know I will run for them. #chachiruns4U