Run to the Hills

Posted on May 29, 2013 under Storytelling with no comments yet

I recently returned from running my first road race in almost a year.   The walk from our car to the start line, through the grounds of the Public Gardens, was sublime.  On this cool, crisp May morning I lined up in Halifax with thousands of other participants in a perfect fusion of experienced runners and rookies.  I arrived with no pressure, no expectations and no timing device.  I surveyed the scene of anticipation and high anxiety, which is the usual brew on race morning.  My mind momentarily wandered back eight years, almost to the day.  The scene was very different.

My annual checkup coincided with my mother’s 80 birthday.  Tipping the scales at a svelte 200 pounds, my doctor suggested that I look in the mirror … a scary proposition at the best of times.  What I saw wasn’t pretty and I wondered to myself if I would ever see eighty if my current lifestyle didn’t change.

Instead of mirror gazing, I went home and, summoning courage, sat down with my wife.  “I’m ready”. And with those two words, I embarked on a new journey which would take me from the La-Z-Boy to the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

Lest you think that this is a self-congratulatory piece, let me set you straight.

Men aren’t the best people to take advice, especially from their spouses.  When I decided to make some changes in my life, my wife “suggested” that I begin by hauling my lazy arse out of the aforementioned furniture and start walking.  She also suggested that my eating habits left something to be desired.  You mean that rum and coke and a bowl of potato chips are not listed in Canada’s Food Guide?

For most of us, making changes is never easy.  You have to want to change and no amount of hectoring or nagging to get you to quit smoking or lose weight is ever going to amount to much.  My wife calls it “reminding”.  You either have your epiphany on your own terms or you don’t.  Sometimes the consequences of doing nothing are infinitely worse than being “reminded”.  

I won’t bore you with the details of my journey.  This would be akin to looking at someone else’s vacation pictures.  The beauty of this journey is that, happily, I haven’t arrived at the destination yet.

The energy is palpable as the starting guns goes off.  But rather than racing, I am running.  There’s a big difference.  When you’re running you notice flowers.  You recognize the sheer beauty of Halifax Harbor as you labor up the MacDonald Bridge.  You see the outstretched hands of youngsters pleading for a high five.  You actually hear the brass band exhort you with the strains of “Chariots of Fire”.  You are no longer running for a personal best.  You are running for your life in the truest sense of the word.

It is never too late to change.  Get out there and walk, bike, or swim … or rake the lawn, plant a garden or push a grandchild in a swing.  Enjoy life by participating actively in it.  As Iron Maiden sang, “Run to the hills, run for your lives…

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Tri Mac Toyota!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.