Saturday, July 2, 2011

Nike+ Challenges: Running, Walking, and Bionic Idiots

If you follow this blog, you know that I signed up to reach 150 miles in a 6 week Nike+ cardio challenge at work. This was a pretty big deal, considering that I had major surgery in January. Regardless, I wanted to give it the old college try. I was able to log a few miles (11, to be exact), and then BAM!... skin cancer diagnosis. Surgery on my shoulder right away. Rough recovery. On June 17th, I remembered my pledge to reach 150 miles by July 5th and made a commitment to at least TRY to finish the remaining 139 miles in 19 days. I have less than 50 miles to go and sometimes it hurts like hell, but I'm trying my very best to finish what I set out to finish.

Something has been happening on the message board of this challenge that pisses me off. When you log into the website (which is terrible, by the way), you can see your progress in the various challenges that you're participating in. Most people are doing what they can with what they have, and they're really happy to be progressing in any way possible. On the right hand side of the page, you can "trash talk" to the other people in the challenge. In this trash talk, there are idiots. I guess if you're going to call it "trash talk" then you're just asking for the trash to come over and talk. There are @ssholes who insist on raining on everyone's parade. These macho, obnoxious people are LIVID that people are DARING to WALK some of their miles... as if this impacts these @ssholes AT ALL. They go on and on about how a walker cannot POSSIBLY know what it's like to deal with small tears in their muscle tissue and that a walker has no idea what a runner's high feels like. My favorite comment so far is that "if you're walking, you're cheating." To those @ssholes, I say a big fat FU(K you. I started this challenge walking. I am now able to jog AND sprint. But I'm still walking. I'm SO happy for you that you have a perfectly toned and conditioned body and you are able to run at ridiculous paces and leave everyone in the dust. I'm just so, so happy about that.

Can you sense the sarcasm? Because it's there.

Here's what I'm happy about: BEING ALIVE. I had 9 tumors removed from my abdomen in January -- less than six months ago. I was diagnosed with skin cancer four months after that and went through a horrendous recovery with my zombie scar. I had another major abdominal surgery 3 years ago. I also have an Achilles tendon that's been on the verge of a rupture for 2 years. The scars are multiplying, but I have been pressing on. I have been fighting the good fight -- all in the name of health and in proving to myself that it can be done. And I've been doing it in 80+ degree heat on pavement.

So, to my highfalutin colleague (wherever he may be), and to anyone else who has something to say, I survived all of this crap, so you know what... when you have come through what I've come through, then you can stand up and judge me. Until then, sit your @ss down and shut the fu(k up. If I want to crawl across the finish line, I will. And it will mean more than your bionic marathon miles, because I'm doing this for ME... and not for anyone else. If you want to be judged against your peers, join an ACTUAL real-life marathon and clock your damn time and miles. I've come through stuff. I've made it to where I am today. I'm going to celebrate that. You can go ahead and celebrate your chiseled body and your sprints and your laps. I'm going to celebrate being here... LIVING... WALKING... RUNNING... BREATHING.

As a side note, if I'm doing this for anyone other than myself, this is who I'm doing it for. I have known Molly since the day she was born. She is my cousin (not by blood - but in heart.) She is incredible and inspiring and bionic in her own mighty way. There was a quote on season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance that I can't get out of my head. There were two brothers (Ryan and Evan), and Ryan was being cut while Evan was advancing in the competition. When asked about what it would be like to leave both the competition and his brother, Ryan replied, "I am with him every step that he dances." Molly is with me every step that I take, and I know that I'm with her every step that she takes. We don't care if we're walking, running, crawling, sprinting, wobbling or sliding. It's all the same to us.

THIS IS WHAT MATTERS. Not miles, not times, not distances, not sweat. What matters is being able to look yourself and your friend in the eyes and say, "I did it."

Chew on that one for awhile, Mr. Bionic Man.


Anonymous said...

i don't like all the salty language, but otherwise really great article!

Jennifer said...

Hahaha! This has to be Neil!!

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