So … I am one of those people that finds Ben Davis inspirational. I didn’t start because of him – I found him after I was well along – but his story motivated me. I bought his book and sent him the receipt so I could get the signed bookplate. I rooted for him, and root for him still – he’s done impressive things, and is an example of what is possible.
But possible is not the same thing as practical, or even realistic.
See, Ben had a laundry list of built in advantages for starting something like this. He was young, in college, and had a very flexible schedule. His living expenses were covered, and he had the freedom to drop everything and do what he felt like doing. At any time. Pretty much ever.
When I decided it was time to get it together for myself, I had almost none of those things.
I have a wife and a six month old son at home that expect (and deserve) for me to be present. I have a career, with a boss that expects me to show up on time, every time, prepared to earn my pay and not merely survive the day. And I have employees that need to see me model a good schedule, and a good work ethic. I have a mortgage … which comes with a yard that needs mowing, snow that needs shoveling, and a thousand little (and big) things that need fixing. I’ve got a 45 minute commute … an hour and a half, every day, sacrificed to the automobile gods.
In short, I’ve got every built in excuse you can think of to not, ahem, “Do It”.
And the inspiration I need is not about saying “screw it” and going for an impromptu 4-miler at midnight. No, what I need is a real, practical model for how it is possible to go from 327 pounds and not able to run 100 yards to healthy and active. What the hell does “healthy” even mean? How do you get up at 5am, day after day, until you don’t even need the alarm clock anymore, until you get it done?
Ben says “All you have to do it do it” … and I agree. But “I’m going to do it” is the big easy choice. The hard choices are the hundreds and thousands of little choices you have to make every day. Going for this run or skipping it. Eating the cookie or not eating the cookie. Doing it – and I mean by-God-in-the-trenches-grinding-it-out doing it – or not doing it.
Overcoming a constant state of hunger.
And Ben didn’t help me with that.
Go and read Ben’s blog. Buy his book. Be inspired – I’m not a hater. In this space we’re going to try our hand at some of that inspirational stuff, too. But I also want to talk about the grind. The hard little choices. If we get to an Ironman on the way, then it’ll be by way of an epic string of really early mornings.
Next stop, Ragnar Tennessee. And then on to the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA marathon, March 15, 2014.
The ides of March better beware of me…