Monday, August 28, 2006

Leave Me Alone!

Why is it that when you people see a bigger guy running you feel the need to stop him to ask questions?

Do you think I need a break?

Do I look tired to you? Do I look like I want to talk?

Well I'm not and I don't, I just want to be left alone. Having you stop me to ask if I know where an address is, have I seen your dog, how are you today or can you introduce yourself to me is not a good thing.

I don't care, I'm busy.

I'm waiting for the day some woman stops me to ask "Do I look fat in this". I swear I'm just going to say yes.

Don't bother me while I'm running, you see running is important to me. I don't just run so I can eat 3 or 4 Snickers bars a day. I run for my emotional health.

It all started in 1994. I was about 9 months into what would end up being an 18 month process that would end up in my wife and I splitting up. I was working in Albuquerque New Mexico (my first week getting paid as a comic) with a comic named Stephen Kruiser. I remember him telling me what a stress reliever running was and thinking "I have stress!". Well that idea stuck in my head and in May of 1995 I worked with Don McMillan (most famous for being Gus the Budweiser driver) in Tucson Arizona. He had just finished filming the commercials and was running to improve his stamina. I thought, "OK, I can use that too". So those 2 events got me started. I began running in May of 1995 and have run ever since.

Running is what made the difference for me. During the divorce I was in a pretty deep depression. The bad news for me is that depression = eating. I was eating for 2 and not even pregnant! Plus eating really didn't turn out to be a great stress reliever.

I would run after I got home from court hearings and meetings with the attorney. If you'd have been close enough to hear me while I was running you'd have thought I had turrets. It was basically 5 steps and a swear word. I made the runs my time to vent. It beat being negative at other times and I figured it saved me $20 a day by NOT going to Subway to feed my face in a effort to calm down.

By the time I made it through the divorce, I was hooked. On the Snickers and the running. I run 3 days on and 1 day off. I have to tell you that when I skip a day I actually feel guilty. I feel like I've let myself down. It doesn't stop me from having the Snickers bars, but I do feel bad.

By the year 2000 I decided to run my first marathon. For those that don't know a marathon is 26.2 miles. They have training programs to prepare you and they run 16 weeks. So I picked a training schedule, stuck with it (as best I could) and on September 2, 2000 I ran the American Discover Marathon Trail in Colorado Springs Colorado from start to finish. Beyond being a father it was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.

Of course I celebrated by eating an entire 16" pizza by myself while washing it down with a large Chocolate Malt and (2) 32 ounce Mountain Dews.

After running 26.2 miles I was stiff! I was walking like I was 80 years old. And did I mention I am lactose intolerant? That made for a pretty interesting night. Here I was barely able to walk and my colon was screaming in agony from the Malt and all the cheese. I then understood the need for "Depends" in our society.

Since then I have run 4 more Marathons. The last one in Phoenix in January. I've learned, instead of pizza and Malts it's Mexican food and Margaritas. My colon still screams but the Margaritas help with my attitude about it.

So if you happen to see me out there running (which I doubt) don't stop and say hi.

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