A long, long time ago I made a promise. It was more of a vow, really, and just to myself, a commitment to do something about this thing called Leukemia that took my father at such a young age. He was only 62 when he died, and at the time I thought I would help keep other people from going to that same dark place. You know — be a force of charitable giving, a powerhouse of righteous valor. Make good from bad. I even went to the local Team in Training office to see what it was all about. But then life happened, and that resolve melted away in the face of children and work, ballgames and houses. It also took a back seat to pizza and burgers, french fries, cigarettes and beer. To comfort. And as time flew by, I grew less able to do anything beyond mow the lawn and tie my shoes.
But that was then — as they say. Today is a different story. For the past 16 months I have dedicated myself to change. I stopped smoking. I no longer suffer from hypertension. I lost 60 pounds of fat and replaced it with muscle, thanks to a regimen of daily Insane workouts and cardio. For the first time in 20 years I am getting ready to play a season of soccer. Coaching is great but playing is better, and I just can’t believe I spent so many years of my life on the sidelines.
In short, I no longer watch — or pretend that I’m really stronger or in better shape than I am. That new point of view is enabling me to take the first step toward the promise I made many years ago. On October 27, I will run in the Marine Corp Marathon 10k. It’s not a triathlon — yet. Or even a half marathon. But it is a starting point, a first 6.2 miles in support of Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I figure that’s about 20,000 steps forward, toward making a commitment to the future, and repaying a debt from the past. I am also promising to raise $1,500 for the LLS — you can help by going to this site and donating. I figure it’s about 8 cents a step.
I know. I buried the call to action under a pile of sappy shit about how fat I used to be and how there’s a new me. And of all people I should know better, right? That’s marketing 101. At this point there are likely three people left reading: my sister who reads everything no matter how bad, a spam bot, and my wife — because I’m making her. But that’s okay: over the next few months, I will be annoying many of you for dollars to go for the cause, so that I can finally take those the next 20,000 steps toward a promise made and a future brightened.