November 13, 2012

Marathon #2, or "This Time It's Personal"

Growing up as an overweight, clumsy kid in New Jersey, I hated physical activity. I was slow on the soccer field and bored in the outfield; always the last picked on the team in gym class, always the first chucked out by a flying dodge ball. Whether I was enduring the annual feeble attempt at a Presidential Fitness Award or feigning my period to avoid swimming laps, the thought of having to move at a faster-than-normal pace seemed like torture, like some kind of punishment.

Now, just look at me.

If I could go back and talk to Younger Me, I would have so much to tell her. I'd try to help her forget there were other kids in the gym, and tell her that it doesn't matter if someone else can do 50 push-ups: If you can do three, be proud of that. Be proud of what you can do—whatever you can do. Comparing yourself to other people just scares you. It makes you feel small and useless, a failure, a loser.

You're none of those things. And one day? You're going to love the way that exercise makes you feel. One day, kiddo, you're going to run a marathon. You're going to run for four hours in the driving rain and you're going to smile (almost) the entire time, because you're having fun. Real fun!

And then you're going to run another marathon. In your home state. On your home turf.


My home turf has taken more of a beating lately than I ever took as a fat kid: Hurricane Sandy has severely damaged and in some places completely decimated the shoreline, wreaking havoc up and down the Jersey coast. My family lives there; my sister's house was without power for 11 days. My brother-in-law's uncle's house looks like it got swallowed in pieces by the earth.

Bruce Springsteen went on TV and played music to raise money to rebuild the town he got his start in, Asbury Park. Now I'm going to run 26.2 miles to do the same thing: Raise money toward the recovery and redevelopment of my home state. I worked hard to be a stronger, healthier person, and now I will use that development toward helping New Jersey bounce back stronger and healthier.

Jersey Strong. Let's do this.



2 comments:

  1. Baby, you were born to run!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So great to run on your own turf, especially after all the damage and hardship. It will be a great feeling to go out there and run to help. I am from Staten Island so I can relate to how you feel. You go out there and rock it!

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Thanks for jogging by!