The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE FIFTY: We’re ALL Runners!!!
Being the fiftieth blog post, I wanted it to be something that is a real sore spot, a real doozy. It is to me, at least.
A few years ago was my dad’s eightieth birthday. We had a little party for him over at my sister’s house. I had my picture taken with him on the couch. It was a good time.
Then later, I saw that picture of me with my dad.
It shocked me. It scared me. If I wasn’t already a depressed person before, I would have been that very second.
I was so fat.
I didn’t realize I was that big. I’m surprised the couch didn’t give way when I sat down. Or how about this one? I’m surprised we didn’t get a call from Greenpeace because they had heard about a beached whale.
That’s how I felt. I would keep looking at that picture or thinking about it.
What had I done to myself?
I was sad and embarrassed.
But instead of climbing further into that hole, I decided to climb out.
His birthday was in September. I decided that on January 1st, I would start a diet and start exercising. That day came and I started. A month went by and I was still sticking with it.
I decided one morning was the time to get the bike out and ride around the exercise trail that was right down from the house. By the time I got around, I thought I was going to die. I mean for real die, right there in the road. I thought I was going to have an honest to goodness heart attack.
I walked the bike back home and thought maybe running is the way to go.
The next day I started to jog. I made it a quarter of mile before I had to stop. But little by little, I got better. A few weeks after that, I ran two miles non-stop. All the way being encouraged by my wife and daughter. That was a wonderful turning point for me.
I started to run two times a week, then three, then four, then even five. I went from that quarter-mile to the two then a 5K, then a 10K, then a 15K. The furthest I ran without stopping was eleven miles before one of my knees started to seize up. But it didn’t stop me from running after a couple of days break.
And my weight went down, down, down. I started off at 262 and my goal weight was 198. After time and determination, I got down to 193. I leveled off at 196-198 but I had done it. I looked good, I felt great. I had energy that I had not had in a very long time. It was wonderful and I swore I would never get fat again…
I got fat again. After two years of staying in shape and eating right, I allowed stresses and worry to seep back in. My running became less and less. I just didn’t want to leave the house. Potato chips looked a lot more delicious than the grapes or the yogurt. I had stopped drinking soda entirely and I started to crave it and allowed myself one here or there. Then more.
But sweets is my Achilles heel. Cookies and chocolate became my wants and needs.
The body that I once had before getting healthy and skinny started to show back up in the mirror. That double chin I hated and feared among deep water and millipedes and centipedes and death started to dangle from my chin more and more. The smaller jeans and shorts that I had worn with a belt was getting tighter and then finding their way back into the dresser drawer and then finally at Goodwill. Bigger clothes were starting to dominate the closets once again.
Well… you get the point.
I didn’t gain back all the weight I once had but if I don’t get control of it, it’ll all be back with a vengeance, just like Bruce Willis.
You must understand, this is what depression can do to you if you allow it. I allowed it and by doing so, it’s made me feel worse about myself. I look in that horrible mirror and see the person I don’t want to be. I see people running on the road or in the park and I mentally cheer them on but a part of me hates them a little. It’s not their fault. It’s all mine.
It’s. All. Mine.
As the weather gets cooler, I’m starting to feel that buzz again. The buzz I use to get right before I put on my running clothes and running shoes. It’s a nervousness. But it’s a good nervousness. It’s excitement. It’s the excitement of the person I’m running away from and the person I’m running to. Both of those people is me. I’m running from the unhealthy fatter guy to the healthy skinnier one, to the happier one.
I have decided that it’s almost time. My favorite time to run was the Fall and Winter. I like it cooler or even cold when I run. It seems I was born to run then. Plus in the Winter, there are fewer people out. The trails are mine, all mine. I like that solitude when I run. I get lost in my head. I get lost in myself.
It’s almost time to put my running shoes on, to put in my ear buds and play my favorite running music and put some miles behind me.
And, by God, it’s time to be the person I want to be again. The person I’m not ashamed of again. The person that when I look into the mirror, I see somebody I’m proud of again.
That person is just down the road a few miles.
And he’s wearing thirty-two inch waist jeans.
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.