“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” ~ Winston Churchill

The other day I was pondering . . . “I should write a blog post – and I WOULD – if I could think of something to write about.  Anything.  Doesn’t even have to be interesting . . .”

My pondering caused my mind to wander, as so often happens.

“What is this blog even about?  Why am I writing a blog in the first place?  This really interferes with time that I could use to play on my PS3.  I wonder if Far Cry 4 is any good?  I don’t think there’s any zombies in it, though.  I like games with zombies.  What if zombies really existed?  I should probably be stockpiling food and other essential supplies.  Except no sardines.  Sardines are gross.  Who ever thought about putting whole fish in a can?  That person should be shot!  I don’t own a gun.  Maybe I should get a gun so I won’t have to steal one after the zombie apocalypse that is SO coming.  A machine gun, I think.  Or maybe one of those guns that Shepard has in Mass Effect.  I wonder why MY Mass is constantly increasing  . . .”

Video Gamer

Obligatory Visually Interesting Insertion

Then.  BAM!  An idea!  A really easy way to create a blog entry would be to to provide my reader with a history lesson.  That might be useful to that hypothetical person since, if that reader exists, he or she is no doubt pondering some of the same things – like – “What is this blog even about and why am I wasting my time reading it?”

So – let’s start at the beginning.   Once Upon a Time . . .

I started writing about my “running” experiences in email form in my last job.  I would send out emails to those with whom I worked with the idea that I might encourage them to join me on some of my runs and, if not, maybe I would entertain them a little bit.  For those who ran with me, I bestowed upon them “running monikers.”  Over time, my email evolved and became a little bit of a thing because people were bored and had nothing else to look forward to.  Two things became abundantly clear in the process of writing the emails.  First, I am a PATHETIC runner (see the first reference to this fact in the first email, below).  And, second, I’m a very silly person.

I switched jobs and a clamor arose because I wasn’t writing about my exploits any more.  But, to be more accurate, one person who felt obligated to appreciate my meanderings (my son, aka “Walter”, so-named after Walter Sobchak from ‘The Big Lebowski’) created this blog and encouraged me to continue writing. Thus, a blog was born.

Birth

Symbolic representation of birth – sort of.

Several of my prior posts in the “Best Of” series are examples of some of those emails that I sent.  If I knew how to link to those posts, I’d insert them here.

Anyway . . . the following “Best Of” is the very first email that I sent that ultimately resulted in the hot mess that is this blog (at least it’s the first email that I retained, so that’s pretty much the same thing).

If you have any ideas about what this thing should be about (including your suggestions that I should just leave it alone), let me know.  In the meantime, “THE FIRST EMAIL.”

PR

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

—–Original Message—–

From: [Pathetic Runner] Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 14:05

To:

Subject: IF YOU MUST FAIL, AT LEAST “FAIL WHILE DARING GREATLY”

Wardroom (and prospective members):

“Will you join in our crusade?/Who will be strong and stand with me?”

That’s my question.  Will you take a stand here and now; or, will you will and join the countless other well-meaning but long forgotten wallflowers who are too fearful to attempt anything great.  Yes, that’s right; I have registered for the Fort to Base 10 nautical mile run on 11 September 2011. (http://www.fort2base.com/)

For those of you content to merely attempt something good – there is also a 3 NM run the same day. But remember: “Good is the enemy of great.”

In the interests of full disclosure, especially to those of you have never seen your way clear to go to sea, I suppose I should explain to you the concept of a nautical mile.  A nautical mile is based on the circumference of the earth at the equator (don’t worry, I’m not challenging you run the circumference of the earth!).  Long story short is this: a nautical mile is 6,076 feet.  That is a mere 796 feet longer than a statutory mile (the unit of measure employed by the odometer in your car).  So, it turns out that this run will be a bit longer than what you might have originally thought.  In point of fact, it’s really more like a half marathon.  That can be a scary word, but it needn’t be.  I ran my first full marathon at the age of 47 and I suck at running.

If you can run a mile and a half (and you can), then you can run 3 miles today.  If you can run 3 miles, you can run 6 miles.  Starting to see a pattern here?  Plus, you have 16 weeks between now and then to prepare and any of the stouthearted who sign up are welcome to train with me anytime they want.  You will have the pride and satisfaction of knowing you are a distance runner.  Plus you’ll get a cool T-shirt and finisher’s medal – that’s kinda neat.

Challenge extended: “. . . But we in it shall be remembered – we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile this day shall gentle his condition; and gentlemen in England now-a-bed shall think themselves a’cursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks that [ran with us upon 9/11].”

With respect and best wishes,

P.S. For any who can correctly identify the source of all of my inspirational quotes you will receive a reduced measure of my scorn and derision if you choose to stay home.  So, here’s a bonus quote: “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.”

Advertisements

“Even if you can be the world’s best at one thing, you’ll be the world’s worst at something else. Supermodels make pathetic sumo wrestlers.” ~ Martha Beck

I think the nature of being pathetic is to be irredeemable.  There’s no reason to pity someone if the thing about which you pity them is capable of being changed.  If it was, you’d probably think, Just change that thing. If you don’t then that’s your deal, but don’t expect me to feel sorry for you.

In contrast, if you knew a supermodel whose heart’s desire was to become a sumo wrestler, you’d likely think, Now that’s just sad because it’s never going to happen. If you try, you will suck. I’m not sure you’ll even win one match.

                Supermodel size comparison

So, don’t misunderstand me when I tell you that I THINK I’ve made some progress.  Still, I DO have SOME objective evidence in support of my conclusion.

First, there is a little LESS of me than what previously existed. I’m still the size of a walrus – but maybe a juvenile walrus instead of full-fledged adult walrus.

No wait – I’m still an adult walrus.  I’ve lost something like 15 pounds and at my size that is a miniscule change not discernible to the naked eye.

Human Walrus Swimming

        I’m a decent swimmer. Fat people are buoyant.

Second, I have SLIGHTLY increased my distance. I’m now up to about a 4 mile run. That’s about a 400% increase over where I was at the turn of the year.

Yay Me

           I’ve been working hard, you guys.  Really hard.

I am still pathetic. I will always be pathetic.  But, I’ve improved a little.  I’m no longer abysmal and I’m slogging my way back towards pathetic.

Still, I have a LONG WAY to go.  I’ve thought about it and I think I have narrowed down the reasons why it’s so hard for me to return to my previously merely pathetic form and have reduced them to THIS TOP TEN LIST:

10.  It’s been cold. Seriously.  There were snowflakes yesterday – at least 10 of them.  Way too cold to run outside regularly.

Case of Being a Little Bitch

                     Harsh. I don’t like it when it’s cold.

9.  I was sick for about a week.  I rarely get sick, but this year I had a doozy of a cold.  It was BAD, my friends.  I don’t want to overstate it, but I’m lucky to be alive.

I've Been Sick

Would you believe that she’s a nurse? It’s true.

8.  I’m consumed by a torrid love affair that has distracted me.

I love tacos

            Not with this dude. . .

Pizza Queen

                                              Or with this woman

With food.  I LOVE food.  I mean it’s really INTENSE!

7.  I don’t have anyone to encourage me.

Good Job!

What’s the weirdest thing about this: the “encouragement” or the caption about Suzy.

6.  I’m not very good – at anything.

I Am Below Average!5.  In fact, I pretty much suck.

You suck

                                         I know! I already said that! Geez

4.  I don’t have an accountability partner.

Can't Skip the Gym - Batman

   A cursory review of this blog would indicate I have a “thing” for Batman.

3.  I’m not truly apathetic. But, I don’t care that much – about anything, really.

Whatever (1)2.  Healthy food sucks.

Angry Dieter

Amen, Brother! Bring out the COOKIES!

1.   I can’t remain on task.  Whenever I go out for a run I have a feeling that I’m being followed.  Maybe even stalked.  There’s no joy in running when your head is on a swivel due to your paranoia.

Polar Bear Stalking Seal

[Insert ‘Jaws’ music here] I LOVE polar bears! Just not that one . . .

Still, progress is progress. I’ll take it.  My quest towards mediocrity continues!

Patron Saint Mediocrities

                        I can accept this.  Mediocre is an improvement for me!

PR

“And I grow and change and I shift and I switch. And it turns out I’m actually kind of a bitch.” ~ Sara Bareilles (Sweet As Whole)

I work at the only place on the planet where conditions are such that I’m able to feel superior to other people.

I don’t like this about myself and I try to fight it.  I have no business feeling superior to anyone.

I KNOW it’s “WRONG.”  It’s UNJUSTIFIED and UNSUPPORTED by the facts.  It’s JUDGMENTAL, MEAN-SPIRITED, and CONDESCENDING. It’s ARROGANT. It’s EVERYTHING that I despise in other people when I see it.

These people are smarter than me – vastly smarter. They’re post-graduate educated scientists and engineers.

Science Gif

They’re also WAY COOLER than me. Obviously.

Our hope for a brighter future is pinned to their adorable, little pocket protectors.

Pocket Protector

Who knew SETI had their own pocket protectors? Really? What are the odds?

Still, when I go to the gym at work and see things like this, I can’t help it.  It make me feel . . . better.

Fitness Center 1 How fast do I have to run to escape a zombie attack?

Batman running

Must. Run. Faster. (Faster than Robin. That’s all. Just faster than Robin).

I simply have to outrun that guy and I’m zombie-free.  I think I’ve got this.

See?  Arrogant! – I’m just a bitch.

I'm Kind of a Bitch

I KNOW! I don’t like me much either!

I’ve run a couple times since my last post.

April 1 Run Map March 30 Run Map

I still suck. But . . . I MIGHT be getting a little better. I’m doing 5Ks. I still can’t do one completely without walking, but I THINK they’re getting a little better . . . they don’t hurt as much.

But, I’m probably wrong about that.  It might be that my brain is changing my perception of reality in the same way that my brain allows me to feel superior to people who are, objectively speaking, far better than me. Shallowly, I’ll claim my perceived superiority and improved performance as a WIN regardless of reality. Gotta take my wins where I can – even if I have to manufacture them in my distorted reality.

PR