I love eating. I love lounging around. It’s the god’s honest truth. Now, I also love playing sports, but in everyday life, those opportunities come few and far between.
When I graduated high school, I weighed in a 165 lbs. I played sports everyday after school, and while I wasn’t cut by any means, I was in good shape. The freshman 15 didn’t catch up to me until senior year of college, when I hit 180 on the scale. At first, I kept making excuses for why I ballooned. Oh, I’m just filling into my body, or my metabolism is slowing down, or just I’m not a teenager any more. I bought into that and believed it as a way to rationalize what was essentially an unhealthy weight. And by the way, this was not a muscular 180, it wasn’t great. The next few years I essentially yo-yoed +/- 3 lbs. This past March, I stepped onto the scale and it hit 185 lbs.
At that point, I had to take a step back. I’ve lifted a 20lb weight before. I simply could not believed that I had gained 20 lbs. When you feel that weight in your hands, it’s kind of sobering. At the point, I kept wanting to make the excuses that I had believed in for years, but 20 lbs is 20 lbs is 20 lbs. At first, I just tried eating healthier, and for the next 3 months I dropped to my end college weight of 180. I was absolutely ready to quit right there, but at the end of the day, once you start calling bullshit on yourself, it’s hard to believe it again.
So starting in June, I started running and sticking to a strict diet. It was absolutely awful when it began, and I remember distinctly how awful it was. My apartment is at the end of a hill, and on the corner there’s this small red fire hydrant. On my first run, as I rounded the bend to go up the hill, fucking miserable, all I thought about in my head was.
“Just make it to the fire hydrant, then you’re home free.”
And I did. I don’t know what possessed me, but I did it again. I must’ve have looked like one silly ass bastard sucking wind going up that hill, but, it was all about that damned fire hydrant. If I made it there I could go home. I hated that damn thing, because it meant I was so close, but so fucking far. And day by day, I chugged up that hill at the end of my run, because I had to make it to the hydrant to go home. About a month in I felt a lot better, so I started sprinting up that last stretch of hill. When my legs and lungs were burning, and I thought about was passing that red fire hydrant at the top of the hill and not stopping till I was past it. And it was hard again, till it got a bit easier.
Nowadays, it’s still not easy to force myself out into the heat and book it two miles, but the hydrant is a friendly reminder that I’m home now. This post might seem like it’s self-aggrandizing, but I just wanted to remember for myself, that an inanimate object got me a hell of a lot healthier.
Thanks, to the Fire Hydrant at the Top of the Hill.