I have been reluctant to start this because a)who really has time to write a blog, b)who really cares to read a blog and c)do I really want to be a guy who has a blog? Well while sitting on a plane from DC to Dallas I figured out I a)won’t commit to constant updates and will write whenever I can, b)if someone wants to read it fine, if not that’s ok too and c)why not?
This blog will focus on a combination of topics. Primarily it will focus on running and health. I am a disciple in the church of running and hope to spread the message as much as possible. In addition to the general topic of running I will also chronicle my training and preparation for the 2011 Goofy Challenge (hence the web address). For those that are unaware, the Goofy Challenge is attempted every year during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend when runners run the half marathon on Saturday and then the full marathon the following day. 39.3 miles in a 30 hour period.
In addition to sharing info on running I will also share links and touch on topics that interest me as well. If you know me, you know my political opinions lean center-left. In all the chatter and junk floating on the web, news channels and certain op-ed pages, good ideas and the truth sometimes gets drowned out. I hope that I can, on occasion, share and promote some of those ideas.
To round things out, I will promote great music and movies and talk about my sports teams as well. I’ll probably share some Disney news and info too.
Basically if you were ever looking for a single blog that will discuss everything from Vibrams to the stimulus to Abbey Road this is YOUR blog.
So lets start at the beginning. How did I get into running?
I hated running growing up. It made no sense to me. Why run unless you were running to/from something? I mean running from 1st to 3rd made sense, running after breaking through the line of scrimmage made sense but just to say “I am gonna run for 5 miles, I’ll see you a little while” was silly. Maybe my asthma as a kid had something to do with it. Maybe Super Mario Bros. 3 contributed a little as well. Who knows?
In college what time I had that could have been focused on running or the gym was focused on other things of a less healthy nature (my kids may read this one day so I will stop there). Sure I played flag football and mushball/softball once a year but that was it. Those habits (both bad and good) died out as I moved into my adult routine after college. As I entered 2005 I was hovering around 200 lbs on a 5’11” frame.
Then my wife got pregnant with our first son Patrick. I was also working for the American Cancer Society for a time during 2005 as well. Constantly heading from daytime meetings across the Eastern Panhandle my lunch consisted of two McChickens, a small fry and a 32 oz Coke at least 3 days a week. Add that to no exercise, a pregnant wife, stress, etc. when Patrick was born I clocked in at 230 lbs. That’s not just fat, that’s obese.
Seeing a picture of me assembling Patrick’s changing station made me decide to get my ass in gear. January 1st, 2006 was day one of the new Jamison. I hit the gym, I watched my diet and I took care of myself. Within 5 months I lost about 35 pounds. I loved lifting weights but hated the cardio. I thought it was boring. But as the weight came off I started to think of a way to prove to myself that I was finally in good shape. I saw an ad for the Disney Half Marathon and thought that was it! If I could overcome my hate of running and do a half AND do it in Disney at the same time… how awesome is that!
What I didn’t know was the half usually fills up months in advance and by the time I had my epiphany it was closed. So no half in 2007. 2008 brought a big family Disney trip but we missed marathon weekend by a week. Benjamin our 2nd son was due in January 2009 so no half marathon then. It was an idea that had slipped away.
Luckily with Benjamin my weight did not balloon, but remembering what happened with Patrick I got to thinking, “what if this is the year I don’t just get healthy but thin?” I decided 2010 was the year of the half and right before I left for Florida for a family vacation in March 2009 I registered. What happened next was documented on a blog entry I did for Allears.com…
“Within 24 hours of returning from Walt Disney World we were at Ruby Memorial Children's Hospital in Morgantown, WV awaiting a bone marrow biopsy on our little boy because the blood work from the day before showed what looked like acute leukemia.
After the scariest day of our lives, we learned he did not have cancer, but a rare autoimmune disease called "Evan's Syndrome"; a condition where his body could attack his platelets and/or his white cells and/or his hemoglobin at any time. This is a condition that he will have for the rest of his life, can trigger at any moment and can be fatal.
He spent two weeks in the hospital with blood work twice a day and heavy steroid treatment once a day. After he was released he received weekly chemotherapy for a month. Although it was not cancer, the theory was that the chemo would wipe out ALL of his antibodies and when they began to regenerate after treatment was concluded that his antibodies would "course correct". My little boy spent his first Easter in the hospital, IV sticking out of his head, wiped out from chemo and steroids. He was three months old.”
Benjamin is now a very healthy 18 month old and has not had any relapses of Evans to date (knock on wood). He has one of the best laughs you will ever hear and if you think that he has to take it easy because of his health, then you obviously have never seen him tackle his brother.
After completing the Disney Half in January (race report to follow) I have since run an 8k in DC and another half marathon at Lehigh Valley. I am running a 10k in August in Anchorage, AK, two half marathons (Freedom’s Run and Hershey) and my first full marathon (Marine Corp) in October. The Goofy Challenge is in January. I am now a runner and I love it.
That’s it for today folks. Stay tuned…