A couple of weeks ago I got a Facebook message from a friend, who also happens to be a marathoner:
"Wanna run a marathon with me next year?"
The particular race is in early May, so while it was very tempting, I told him I wanted to do a half first. I don't know if 26.2 is ever in my future, feel free to Told-Ya-So! me if next year you read: "I going to train for a marathon," I know Flo will, LOL.
But right now I know a marathon isn't right for me. Turns out my friend may "just" - as he put it - run the half, so we may do it together. Seriously, that's pretty cool. I love running with friends.
I've been thinking about it off and on since: How insane is it that I got that email in the first place? How did I get here, to a place in which running a half-marathon is a possibility, actually, a probability?
It was almost a year ago that I thought about returning to running.
I thought back to where I was this time last year. I was two months into Weight Watchers. I had just started exercising again the previous month (Leslie Sansone's excellent Walk Away The Pounds series), having waited to get the eating-within-my-Points thing back down before I added the burden of regular exercise.
This week last year, I weighed in at 249.8 lbs, having lost 32 lbs since early September. I was on my way.
If you asked me a year ago, the words, "half-marathon" would not have entered the conversation. 5K? Maybe. A half? Wow. I wonder if I even thought I would be at Goal at this point.
It's amazing how much everything can change in a short period of time.
Later the same day I got the marathon email from my friend, I was conversing with another friend online. She's just finished a round of chemo and will soon be entering another experimental treatment. She ran down the litany of things she'll have to endure during her next treatment: appointments, EKGs, biopsies, you name it. And that's in addition to all the shit the actual chemo brings. She termed them all "more of a nuisance than anything else."
Seriously, "a nuisance."
And here I am, regularly bitching about a few pounds.
Then, if that wasn't all enough, later that week a close friend of another friend passed away of cancer at 41. 41? I am 41. Well, hell.
When you're tied up in losing or maintaining your weight (or any personal endeavor, actually), it's really easy to become myopic. Lord knows it happens to me all the time. Most, if not everything, can get tied up or connected to how it affects whatever you're trying to do.
Little problems can seem like big problems. Little aggravations or difficulties mushroom into a big deal when, in the long run, they're nothing.
It's good and healthy to regularly step back and get some perspective on what you're dealing with and gauge it against others. God knows I need it.