A Decade of Runner Regression


I think about where I was physically a decade ago and where I am now, and I am saddened by my rate of regression.

On the first day of school, I had a very excited young man on my hands. He was dressed before his alarm and downstairs before I had his eggs in the pan.

It is his freshman year in high school. It has been 10 years since his debut at the North Pocono School District.

As he walked out the door to wait for the van, it dawned on me that those 10 years have come and gone rather quickly.

I think about where I was physically a decade ago and where I am now, and I am saddened by my rate of regression.

Ten years ago, I was a competitive marathon runner with a good weight-loss story. I lived to get alongside runners who were ahead of me, and then crush them into the asphalt with my accelerating pace.

Today, I have no ambition to run that far again, although I do go out for a 4-5 miler on occasion. If my waist were as thin as the hair on my head, I'd be in shape again.

Actually, I am in shape. Round is a shape, after all.

I have always had a love-hate relationship with running, even when I was killing it. While I loved to race, I hated to practice because it took me away from my family and left me with a permanent level of soreness.

I also very rarely ran with a daily partner or group. I would think of how bored I would be out there and how long it was going to take, and then I wouldn’t want to go.

When the door opened, it was an entirely different story. After the 1-mile warm up, the cold and stiffness went away, the landing gear went up, and I began to fly. I would run so fast that I would make a breeze trail my ears.

Over the summer, I ran 4 miles with a cousin who is 25 years my junior to see what I had. She had me gasping and walking in no time.

A decade ago, I would have kept up with her and then broken her in the last mile. Now, I have no chance of doing that whatsoever.

I see people my age stomping runs on Facebook, and envy courses through me. I hate what I have done to myself, and every time I see my reflection with my shirt off, I sigh audibly.

I don't have a muffin top; I have the whole pan.

Other people my age are killing it with Crossfit, running, and everything else, while I am slowly killing myself. They are playing the game, while I watch from the sideline.

It's time to suit up.

Jay Sochoka, RPh, is going to put his helmet back on.

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