I hate running. I always have, but run is exactly what I need to do.
In school, the thought of running a timed mile filled me with dread. Even now, training for a half marathon is both mentally and physically daunting to me, but I have never felt like I needed to do something more than I need to do this. It is often said that life is a marathon, not a sprint. For much of my life, I’ve sat idle thinking this idiom seemingly to be true. Last year, I discovered that the melancholy and fatigue that characterized my behavior were more than just moodiness. A good friend of mine diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder. It crushed me at first, but later, it became oddly relieving. For the first time in my life, I was able to process an emotion beyond the shallowness of the evergreen “I’m tired” but I still haven’t come to terms with who I am and what I feel. I have begun to seek out therapy and I’m more open to talking to friends, rather than repressing my emotions. All of this taken into account, I know one thing right now: I need to do this marathon. For much of my life, that creeping voice in the back of my head has told me “You can’t do it” or taunted me with “What’s the point?” I need to run these 13 miles so I can finish and tell myself, “Shit, you did it.”
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I played basketball as a kid and actually wasn’t half bad. Of course, that was only in relativity. This was a rec center league where being able to dribble the ball without hitting your shoe meant you were good. Also, my team didn’t win a single game that season. We wore orange jerseys too and they were ugly as hell, but we were all given participation trophies and got pizza at the end of the season to celebrate our collective suck. The silver lining was I got to have the number eight, and this was when Kobe was still number 8, so that was tight. After that, I rarely committed myself to working out. I had periods over high school where I would work out and then feel too lazy to go, but by the time I started college, I dropped it altogether. At that point, my anxiety was getting so bad, the thought of taking time out of my day just to work out seemed like a waste of time and energy. Now, I’m starting to work on my mental health. I think now is a good time to start working on my physical health too.
THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO TRY BEFORE YOU DIE?
- Jamón ibérico, which is supposedly the best ham in the world. It can go anywhere from one bill to a whole stack. Crazy, right? The bright side is if it actually turns out that it sucks or isn’t worth the hype (or dollar) then you’re in Spain or Portugal anyway because that’s the only place where you can find the real thing.
- Driving on a race track. I’m content with my ’03 Corolla that has mad paint chips on the hood and loose plastic under the front bumper, but my dream car, thanks to Need For Speed: Most Wanted, is a BMW E46 M3 GTR. I don’t know jack about cars, I just think that car’s tight. I’ve sped on open freeways on lonely night drives before but that car? And then taking it on a professional race track? Man. I’m not even sure if I’m a good driver, I just wanna drive that M3 once.
- Visit Petra. I’ve spent several hundred hours playing a nifty game called Sid Meier’s Civilization V where you basically take control of historic civilizations and try to rule the world. You get the option to build wonders of the world, and Petra is one of them. Not only is it really helpful in the game, it also happens to look incredible in real life. At the very least, I would rather visit Petra than the Grand Canyon. Sorry, mom.
THREE SONGS THAT GIVE YOU LIFE?
“Back & Forth” by Aaliyah, “I Luv Your Girl” by The-Dream, and “Some Cut” by Trillville and Lil Scrappy.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN TODAY?
One of my good friends who goes to UCLA explained vasectomies to me. It was both fascinating and disgusting. Still not sure how we got there but that’s that.
WHERE DO YOU GO TO GET PEACE OF MIND?
Twitter, my computer, or my girlfriend.
IF YOU HAD AS MUCH MONEY AS RICHARD BRANSON, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH IT?
Start my own business, support my friends’ businesses, and pay Raising Cane’s to open more stores in the entire Los Angeles County.
WHAT GETS YOU UP IN THE MORNING?
The thought that there are actually people out there to expect me to do great things and knowing I can’t let them down.
Photos by Paolo Manlucu.