A PROMISE FORGOTTEN

I have been fighting to correct my health and not drop dead of a fat man heart attack for the past couple of years. So that places this blog among the 1500000000 similar blogs on web. 

“I am fat now but watch me lose weight and be awesome and a fitness model online so I can get rich and famous.”
Honestly, I care about one thing, a promise I made to my dad when I was about 10 or 12–to get him a Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run Belt Buckle. 
See in 1984 on my 5th Birthday, my parents and siblings were not home and I spent the day with my grandparents–because my dad was doing something amazing….Running 100 miles through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in Northern California with other ultra marathon runners and endurance athletes, each fighting to finish under 24 hours and earn their coveted Trophy Belt Buckle. Sadly with 15 miles left, my dad was injured and was unable to finish the race. DNF (Did Not Finish), no buckle, no finish line and sadly his last race. all of that work and effort and he was injured.
I remember growing up and hearing tales about this race as if it was this mythical event that only insane people participated in….In all honestly, who the hell runs 100 Miles straight? That is insane and I would bet extremely unhealthy
The Western States has grown into the most prestigious of all the ultra endurance foot races. And my dad, the now retired police officer, former smoker, always slightly overweight, a man that was NEVER an athlete, just up and one day decided he was going to be a runner and that he was going to compete among the greats…..and he was awesome. He could run forever without stopping.
Fast forward to his chubby son, with poor self esteem and a loud mouth to compensate, who was actually a nationally recruited Division 1 scholar-shipped football player once upon a time–up a decides at 34, after years of smoking, hard drinking and fatty foods (sans the last 15 months of cleaning up my act and dropping from 320 to 248 and back up 260) THAT I was finally going to fulfill this absurd promise to my dad that I made to him 20 years ago. That I would run the race and earn him a buckle.
So I guess you could call this Blog the social contract–the public expression of a son’s love for his father, the culmination of everything that I have ever done wrong and right coming together in this one perfect moment to complete something that I promised I would do.
I have categorically failed at every single athletic undertaking I have tried. I was OK at high school football but somehow my size and my agility earned me several college scholarship offers. In college, i was always injured and lazy. I had no love for the game at the time. I wasted the opportunity and now have to live with the regret. In 9th grade, I was on track to be the heavy weight champ for my wrestling  league, but I failed because I was too scared to wrestle and lose to some jerk I hated. My problem is that I am scared of failing, I am scared of disappointing myself and loved ones, and I am scared of ridicule. And those fears have defined my life to this point. Well not any longer. I am going to run the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, I am going to cross that finish line and hug my family and I am going to hand that belt buckle to my dad–probably with tears in my eyes.
Tomorrow is day 1 of the Journey. And it is going to be a pain in the ass, wrought with trials, tribulations, blisters, miles and a good amount of luck….after all–one must enter a drawing in order to run the race….400 names drawn from several thousand put in the hat.
http://www.wser.org

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