"Don't Die" Day 1-2: Run for Africa


June 19-20

Take an out of shape, flabby, and sluggish body; and turn it into a runner… pipe dream? 

My goal for Day 1 of training for a half marathon was: don’t die. Simple, straightforward, and attainable if I don’t wake up in heaven. No, seriously. 

Had no desire to kiss my wife and kids in the morning and keel over on a treadmill in the afternoon. I know we don’t control when our time’s up… but pushing myself too hard on the first day could end me.

You see, last year, when life got in the way. Okay, the part of life when you say: we can buy a hundred-year-old house in the inner city that needs work and move in a month. Ha, ha, silly me.

I had aspirations to run the race of my life and raise thousands of dollars for clean water in Africa. Even trained the first week. Ran five miles three days in a row. Not a good idea when your last serious running career happened in 8th grade cross country. Twenty years ago. My knees, shins, and pride were not happy laying in a pool of sweat and failure on the streets of Kansas City.

The problem is, I like to push. I never believe I can’t do something. Despite not being in prime shape since the 90’s when Nirvana was my favorite band, or maybe mid 2000’s… depending who you ask. 

But there’s a deeper thread running through the insanity of training for a half marathon. I don’t like running and it’s not my default mode. My mode is books, coffee, conversation, writing, and comfortable chairs designed to house more books and more writing and more conversation. I don’t choose Nike’s… I choose Lay’s.

I will make myself run for a different reason. The same reason I ran last year and fell on my face. No seriously, I was walking on a beam in the old fixer-upper, and tripped and fell on my face. I digress.

I will pray and ask a holy God to get my flabby, sluggish, and sore body out of bed every morning to run. Why? 

There are people, like you and me- some estimate a billion. A billion people, 1/7 people on the planet that don’t have clean and drinkable water. Many of these children and families live in Africa. That’s why I run. 

I’m running with an organization called World Vision and they're passionate about changing the world and futures of children/families/communities. Clean water is something I drink every day and never think much about. The advantages of living in privileged America. I didn’t choose my wellbeing and my opportunity they are gifts from God. But when I know children living in Africa can’t have a glass of water without fear of death… something needs to be done, now!

By God’s grace, I will slog this flabby body around Kansas City on trails, treadmills, and up and down hills… for the children. For clean water. When I run, I’ll thank God for the blessings of water my kid’s can enjoy when they drink it and splash one another in pools. 

Kid’s, just like mine, not less worthy than mine, will be in my mind when I tie up the laces, pop in an Advil, and pray I don’t die. Seriously, I pray this way…

Africa will keep me going when I cramp up, want to give up, or eating chips on the couch sounds like a better option… I run for Africa and I run for clean water. 

If you’d like to support my efforts click here. 

Training Summary

I won’t bore you with training stuff, but rather, use this as accountability for myself, and those who are supporting me. 

Day 1 good, better than expected. Ran and walked for 20 minutes on the treadmill. Ran for two minutes, and walked one, rinse and repeat. A good start despite feeling a shooting pain in my groin. What you going to do? Then I lifted weights for another thirty minutes. 

Thought: well, I’m in a gym with heavy things, might as well pick some of them up. Heard it’s good for you. Did bicep and tricep exercises. I know why they call them “weights.” They are stinking heavy!

Day 2 I walked for thirty minutes. Uneventful, but felt the soreness in my legs and upper body from the weights the day before. No six pack abs… yet:)

Talk to you soon!

Ryan (AKA- not a runner. Run for Africa!)

PS: Support the kid's here!