From the half-hearted running log I started on my computer, I think it was the week of my 56th birthday in late February 2008 that my daughter Nicole was visiting from New York. I don’t actually remember if Nicole invited me to go run with her or if I invited myself, but we drove a couple miles to the Gastonia Greenway to do our run.
It was a beautiful day for running — sunny and unusually warm for the time of year. We decided that since I hadn’t run in a long time I would dictate the pace, so we would run for a while then when I was tired we’d walk until I was ready to run again.
I had always been a skinny kid, and even as an adult up until about the age of 30 or so I was still pretty skinny, but over the years I picked up a pound here and there, and here I was now at the age of 56 weighing 193 pounds, which is probably about 30 pounds more than ideal weight for my body frame.
As we began to run that day the extra 30 pounds quickly took their toll on me. It wasn’t only the extra weight but also the general lack of any meaningful exercise that had me gasping for breath after just a few steps. I’m not sure if we would go 50 feet or 50 yards before I’d have to stop, but it wasn’t much. We’d walk a couple more minutes so I could get my breath back and do it again. Nicole mentioned that if I got into shape the next time she came down we could possibly run in a 5k race together. I promised her that I’d try to get in shape by running several times a week.