I'm not sure what I was doing on Feb. 7, 2006. I was probably eating too much food, definitely sitting around doing nothing. Running was the furthest thing from my mind. A marathon? That was for crazy people. I mean, who would ever want to run for four straight hours? Five straight hours? Insanity.
Life has a way of putting you in situations you never thought you'd find yourself, however.
Surf City is definitely one of those for me.
I weighed more than 300 pounds on Feb. 7, 2006. I'm guessing I was closer to 315 or maybe even pushing 320. But that month, I started to eat less and less, in anticipation of the personal trainer Mrs. LB had convinced me to sign up for. So I dropped down some before my official weigh-in, which was 308.6.
I never thought I'd run a marathon then. My trainer asked me what my goal was, and I thought he'd have some sort of you've-gotta-be-effing-kidding-me response when I told him my goal: I wanted to have a 1- in front of my weight. I didn't say that I wanted to run a marathon, because I didn't. I didnt' say that I wanted to run, because I didn't. I just wanted to not be fat. I was tired of being the fattest guy in the room wherever I went. I'd had enough. So I put my trust in my trainer, and off we went.
Six months later, I was down to 260 or so, then had gone down to 250 by the end of the year. In 2007, I lost 60 pounds all by myself - I'd stopped seeing my trainer in October of '06. It wasn't until after I'd reached my first-ever goal, to have a 1- in front of my weight, did I get into running. I went from 198 to 188 like (snaps fingers) that just by running; intervals, mostly.
Even then, I did not think of running a marathon.
I signed up for a 10K in 2008, with the help of my brother. The Camp Pendleton Mud Run was the first race I'd signed up for but I ran a 5K in June of that year. I never thought during my training for the Mud Run - which was really when I realized that I loved to run - that I would want to run a marathon.
But here I am, counting down the days until my first marathon. On Feb. 7, 2010 I will run my first marathon.
I know a lot of things in life seem impossible. I thought it was impossible to lose weight. I thought my only weight-loss option was to have some sort of surgery. I was as out of shape as you can get, as unhealthy as you could be, destined for diabetes, a good candidate for some sort of health-related illness, morbidly obese, zero self-esteem, felt disgusted with myself... and yet here I am now. I proved everyone, including myself, wrong.
I'm not trying to boast, trying to sound like I did something great that nobody else can. On the contrary, if I can lose 120 pounds, trust me, a lot of people can.
To sort of bring my two toughest challenges together - losing weight and running a marathon - I wrote this on the back of an old race bib and I will pin it to my back on Sunday.
Maybe fellow runners will see it and give me some encouragement - Lord knows I'll need it during the race. Or maybe that will give someone a jolt at the end of their own marathon challenge.
Whatever the case, I firmly believe what I proved to myself once, what I will prove to myself once more, and what I scribbled on the bib.
Nothing is impossible.