Monday, March 22, 2010
Many boys and girls grow up wanting to play on their favorite team, with and against their favorite players, or on the same field, court, or rink as the great players they admire. As a little boy, I took clinics from Tyne Sandberg, Jody Davis, and many other Chicago Cubs players. and I ran around the Wrigley Field outfield. I even took several pieces of ivy from the outfield wall. I've been privileged enough to walk on the United Center floor where the Chicago Bulls play. I've sat under the basket, walked down the same tunnel as many NBA players and media members, I've walked by the locker room where Jordan, Pippen, and the rest of the players of the 1990s Bulls dynasty dressed, and I've been in the same room where many a press conferences have been held. I've never been on the Soldier Field playing area. Until now! The Fleet Feet Soldier Field 10 Mile Run Presented by Adidas will afford me the opportunity as the final stretch of this race runs into Soldier Field with the finish line being on the fifty yard line on the Chicago Bears logo. For those fans not close enough to see the runners cross the finish, they can watch it on the stadium jumbotron. Special thanks to Justine Boney of Fleet Feet for helping me iron out some issues in order to register for this event. On May 29, 2010, I will get that opportunity to run where Dan Hampton, Walter Payton, and many of others have displayed their hall of fame abilities.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I've heard a couple versions of the following formula. Preparation+talent+luck=destiny. Some times, the biggest portion of that is luck. It may be argued whether or not I have the God given ability to be an elite amateur athlete, but one thing is certain, when I am properly motivated, I display a dedication that few possess. When I decided to bulk up during my college days there was no stopping me. When I set my sights on losing forty pounds of that bulk to get sexy lean in order to regain my confidence and self esteem while having a reason to write scenes in my plays or films which would call for me to be shirtless to show off said physique, I stayed with a work out schedule which some said bordered on the compulsive obsession. Yet, I successfully reach my goals. That same drive was present entering 2010. Preparation and some talent brought me here, but lady luck eluded me as a week into the new year I suffered a lower back strain which eventually became such a debilitating experience I could not find a comfortable position whether I tried to stand, sit, or lay down. For over six weeks I faced the pain on a daily basis. It often moved up my back and even down my leg and all over my body. The pain was miserable. The days were hard. I had to stop all daily activities hoping rest would cure it. After all this time of simply living through the pain, it has stopped. I feel better. I can now return to working out and aiming for the athletic and physique goals about which I previously wrote in other entries. My first race of the year is set to be on the first Sunday in May. There is enough time to ready my body for that four mile race as well as the half marathon and ten mile run which also take place in May. I just hope I am lucky enough to remain healthy from this point forward so I can put my talent to the test by preparing on a daily basis to meet my destiny.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
As far back as I can remember, my dad would watch every sporting event imaginable which was televised. If it's on TV, my dad is watching. He would always watch Chicago, Boston, and New York Marathons. 26.2 miles seemed other worldly. The athletes who did it race in and race out were amazing. Each time I watched a marathon coverage, my desire to run one would grow. The realization that I could never began to settle into my mind. By the time 2003 rolled around I had decided anyone who does that to his body is crazy. The months of training followed by 26.2 miles in one day is simply nuts. On top of that, I heard horror stories of runners collapsing, becoming dehydrated, hospitalized, and taking weeks to physically recover.
Fast forward to 2007. After a few years of watching Gina Lombardi's Fit Nation on Fit TV and coming across an interview and the story of Lokelani McMichael, I found myself wanting to some day try an Ironman. The last leg is a marathon. Well, I'm going to have to at least run a marathon individually first don't I? I had contacted Matt Miller of the C Different Foundation and he offered me a chance at running a half marathon. Within five weeks with virtually no training, I had run 13.1 miles in one day. I began to do more races. Then in December of 2009, I ran my longest distance to date when I ran the 30K in Sugar Land. More than anything, that experience made me that much hungrier for a marathon. Yes! I can run 26.2. I can devote myself to a dedicated training plan. I can tune up my body in preparation. I can do this on the same streets the great Paula Radcliff has dominated. On the same streets I walked as a young boy. I can run 26.2 in my home town of Chicago, Illinois! I previously had a chance to run a marathon in Fort Lauderdale but due to illness which prevented me from training, I reluctantly had to drop out. In the end, it's only fitting I make my marathon debut on my streets in front of my family and friends for a charity, Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association,, who does such wonderful things for individuals who otherwise may not have a chance to enjoy athletic success. It is official. I am registered to run the Chicago Marathon on October 10, 2010. Is it nuts that I will put my body through this? If it is, I am proud to be crazy!