from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

here we go...

How will I run the marathon if I cannot walk one mile? With this question on my mind I went almost three months ago to the exercise room of my apartment complex. The day was February 22nd. I had never touched a treadmill before, and although I poked around at the buttons I could not get any of the machines to start. Perhaps they were out of order.

Next evening an Asian girl was using the treadmill, and green numbers flashed on the screen in front of her. Apparently the machine was functioning after all. After she left I walked one mile. It took me almost a half an hour. I was surprised I consumed only 110 calories - I expected more. Nevertheless I went back home elated. Walking one mile was a doable, trackable business, and perhaps the marathon would be too.

I am 41 years old. That is stretching the truth just a tiny bit - or shrinking it, if you want. I will be 42 this summer. I never exercised in my life, aside from the occasional bike ride and a few splashing laps in the pool. I am not a runner. I don't like running. I smoke. I drink. When I went on the treadmill that first day I had not made up my mind to run the marathon. I was simply aware I won't be able to run the marathon if I could not walk one mile. That one mile nearly killed me. You were lucky you weren't there. It wasn't a pretty sight. But at least I finished it.


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