So, I enjoy running. A lot. People who knew me in high school would be somewhat shocked by that. I was a little overweight and I smoked cigarettes. Yeah. Gross.
I did that for a long time. I smoked until my first child became curious as to why I was going outside. I decided to stop because, in my mind, I don’t think it is effective to tell your kid to never smoke while ashing the cigarette you’re holding onto the ground. The problem was and still is, is that I have an addictive personality. It was really, really hard for me to quit.
My wife, when I met her, also smoked. But when she became pregnant, she stopped. For her, it had been simple. For me? Nope.
What helped me to stop smoking had been participating in Triathlons. I became training focused and smoking was not a helpful activity for this sport. So I stopped.
I was strong in the swimming and running portions of the Triathlon. My cycling wasn’t terrible. I had good technique and endurance only to be competitive, I needed a much better bike than the one I was using. Also, I was training six days a week and with four kids at home, this was becoming a problem. I stopped doing Triathlons but remained active. I did realize I had replaced one addiction with another but I thought, hey, I stopped smoking for years so I was safe right?
Not so much. Mini-cigars became a thing. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
But I stopped all that because I found my newest obsessive addiction. Running. I always liked running and as a sport, it is fairly cheap. Shoes, water bottle, maybe a watch and you’re good to go.
I believe I am safe now. Thinking of smoking, even a cigar, makes my nose wrinkle. Before, I thought of smoking with nostalgia. Not anymore. Is it possible people do get wiser as they get older? I’m still waiting to find out. But this is a small indicator there could be truth to that old saying.
Some people have asked me what it is that I like about running. When I tell people that I’m doing a Triathlon or running a Marathon, I get two responses: good for you or why would you do that?
This is hard to explain but I will try. When I first start on a run, the beginning five minutes are horrendous. My rhythm is off, my breathing is off, everything feels, well, off. But after that, I feel great. Better than that, I feel present. I am in the moment. I am concentrating on my technique, my breathing and how my body feels. I am not worried about work or things I have to do or even the future. I only care about the ‘now’. And it is so, so relaxing. It is a recharge of my body and brain. It is so much better than cigars.
On October 14th, 2018 I will be running the Niagara Falls Full Marathon. I’ve done the Muskoka Triathlon and the Mississauga Half-Marathon. This is a full Marathon and rather than feeling intimidated, I can’t wait for race day. I’m looking forward to it. Actually, I’m pretty damn excited. I’ll probably blog about it now and again. Who knows? Maybe I’ll see you there.
If you’re interested, please click on the links below for information on my two novels published by Black Rose Writing.