An Accidental Athlete
Friday, October 14, 2011
I am reading this book right now by John Bingham. For those of you who don't know who John "The Penguin" Bingham is, he is/ was a columnist with "Runner's World" and is an author that has wrote a few books. "The Courage to Start" and "No Need for Speed" are the other two on the top of my head. The full name of this book is "An Accidental Athlete: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Middle Age."
John Bingham started running in middle age. I don't think he give the exact age he started running. He was an overweight smoker when he started. He was the "fat kid that was always chosen last" growing up. I've met him (at expos) and send him an e-mail once (which he responded to) and he seems like a really nice guy. But enough about the author.
This book is challenging me. I have grandiose dreams of being a runner. Of running a half marathon or a full marathon. Of completing an Ironman. I have tried running and then get out of breath and quit. I enjoy it the short amount of time I am able to run and still breath, but then I get out of breath. I quit. I mentally throw my hands up, and say "See. Fat girls don't run." (I don't know where I got that, but it has stuck in my head something fierce.) I have tried to do Couch to 5k, but it is difficult and I stop.
But in reading this book, I found out that it took John Bingham six months to be able to run a mile. A very slow mile. That is very encouraging to me.
Still not the reason for this blog.
The reason for this blog is a quote that was entered into this book.
"To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." -Steve Prefontaine. (I don't know who he is, but Mr. Bingham says "widely considered to have been one of the greatest runners of all time".)
Okay, read it again. "To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
To give less
than your best
is to sacrifice
Okay, you can say "But I don't have a gift."
Maybe that is true. But just ask that person in the wheelchair if he/she would like your legs for the day. Or that person with MS if they wouldn't like to have a body like yours that would respond to simple commands like standing up and walking on a consistent basis. Or ask that person with cancer if they don't long for a healthy body.
I'm beginning to see...that is the gift. This body. My body. Bumps, blemishes, nearsighted eyes, freckles...all of it...my God given gift.
"To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
Puts things into perspective, doesn't it?