Resuscitated Runner

157 lbs at Science Park High School (2012):

“Alright guys, for today, we’ll be doing the mile run. Nothing crazy. 8 laps around the field constitute a full mile. That’s a full 5280 feet, or 1609 meters. Give it your all, and I better not see anyone walking. Also, remember, 8 laps ON THE BORDERS. Don’t cheat yourself.”

Mr. Goxhaj had always been a bender for the rules, and this day was no different. Fridays at Science Park High School for me meant health class turned to gym class, and since it was sunny out, that also meant we would go outside on the field for physical fitness.

“Get ready.”

The limbs were mighty relaxed, and I felt great.

“Get set.”

The thing was, I never ran a mile before. It couldn’t be that bad now, could it?

“GO!”

145 lbs in Fort Benning (2014):

Oh hail, oh hail, the Infantry!

God damnit, I love this cadence.

Queen of battle, follow me

I’ve always wondered why it’s queen of battle, instead of king. They don’t have women in the infantry, so my astute confusion about it can be justified.

Oh hail, oh hail, the Infantry!

How the fuck does Drill Sergeant Echavez have all this energy to sing cadence so loudly? On mile 3??

Combat soldier life for me

Shit, we’re only on mile 3… fuck this Eagle Run.

They put me on that Army van

I remember the van, actually. It was one of those generic white Ford E350’s you get kidnapped with. Don’t ask me how I know that.

Told me they would make me a man

I got weighed last week, and I lost a considerable amount of weight. Go figure.

I used to wear my favorite jeans

PacSun had the best 2-for-1 deals for pants before I left to basic. Those coupons I had expired last week. Go figure.

Now I’m wearin Army greens

These army uniforms were a bit too big for me. And they were size small, too.

Oh hail, oh hail, the Infantry!

We’ll be getting our blue cords next week. At long last, I’m getting out of this hellhole.

Queen of battle, follow me

I’ll Google that “queen of battle” line once I get my phone back. Hope it’s soon.

Oh hail, oh hail, the Infantry!

Roster #117 next to me is breathing hard as shit. He looks like he’s about to throw up.

Combat soldier life for me

And THERE it is. Jesus, fuck, that’s nasty.

I used to drive a Cadillac

I need to get my license when I get back home. However, I think my permit expired. GO FUCKING FIGURE.

Now I hump it on my back

Ruck marching, you will not be missed.

I used to date a beauty queen

I miss her.

Now I date my M16

It’s been too long since I fucked.

Oh hail, oh hail, the Infantry!

Not gonna lie, I’m gonna miss basic training.

Queen of battle, follow me

They should definitely make a reality TV show out of a basic training site. I mean, have they?

Oh hail, oh hail, the Infantry!

Time really flies dude. Only 1 more week until graduation.

Combat soldier life for me

My legs were starting to get tired, and my nipples were burning up for some reason. Go figure.

180 lbs in Newark (2015):

It felt good to be back home. Deployment kicked my ass. The nefarious time spent overseas had taken a toll on my mental, and the arrest I suffered months prior while in theater didn’t do me any favors either. But it was all behind me now.

It was time for a workout.

The liberation I felt from the military, along with my newfound appreciation for fitness, had me feeling unstoppable. However, I was having trouble with maintaining a consistent exercise routine because of all the events I’ve been attending lately.

As I planned my running route through the park, I got a text from one of my degenerate friends.

“Cookout and house party tonight w/ thotties, pop out slim. Wave Monster needs to make an appearance.”

I gained the moniker “Wave Monster” after being the center of a notorious summer plagued with heavy partying.

Being short on time, I had a decision to make: be late to the party and run, or forego exercise altogether, and start getting ready for the cookout.

.

.

.

Being a modest man, I couldn’t deny the invitation. It was summertime, and I could always run tomorrow.

“I’m with the shits. I’ll bring the JD.”

210 lbs at Planet Fitness (2018):

“Brian, I got a little something for you.”

The night before, I got wasted at The Bar in Bloomfield with my friend Anthony for his 21st birthday. Yes, that is the literal name of the establishment.

We had copious amounts of “fruity” shots (the specialty for the night), as well as Long Island Iced Teas and Coronas. A round of tequila shots on the house, in honor of the birthday boy, put us over the top. Even though I fucking hated tequila, I stomached it for the sake of blacking out. A second round followed shortly because the bartender was a friend of ours.

The Bar was closing early, so we relocated to Anthony’s house to play beer pong and finish up the Hennessy bottles we had in store. I ended up Ubering home at 4am after kicking everyone’s ass in pong, and I topped the night off with a stashed bottle of Maker’s Mark, mixed with a traditional binge of How I Met Your Mother.

I woke up the next morning with the illest hangover known to man. Unfortunately, I had promised my friend Jeovany that we would hit the gym today at 3pm. It was 3:10pm when I got the call from him asking where I was at, so I got dressed quickly, and went to pick him up.

“Fuck you talking bout, Jojo? Hop in the whip already.”

Jeovany smirks as he hands me a bottle of Blue Moon Pacific Apricot Wheat.

“I peeped you was lit last night brodie. How was it?”

“The night was clean, we were big saucy at the spot, you should’ve popped out man.”

“You know I’m always busy, but next time for sure. This gym session is about to bring you back from oblivion though bro.”

“Yeah, don’t remind me.”

Pulling into the Planet Fitness parking lot, I could still taste the liquor. I wasn’t ready for this workout, and somehow, Jeovany knew.

“The best way to beat a hangover is to drink more. Go ahead, chug that bitch.”

“Fuck that, I’ll throw up all over the treadmill!”

“Ill give you $10.”

“What about this: I’ll chug it after the workout. Let’s get it.”

Jeovany started laughing and he got out of the car and walked off to the gym. I looked at the bottle, got a case of the shivers, and followed suit.

1 minute on the treadmill, and I already felt my stomach tightening up. Whoever told me that mixing different brands of alcohol was a bad idea… was right.

5 minutes in, and I stepped off, running full speed to the bathroom. I started throwing up uncontrollably; the consequence of inconsequential drinking. It must’ve been a lifetime when I heard a knock on the door.

“You good in there bruh? We wasn’t even running that fast.” I could hear Jeovany giggling.

“Yeah man… there has to be a better way to lose weight. Fuck it, no more alcohol and UberEats.”

“I’m willing to put up big bills that you won’t lose weight by not running, with your fat ass.”

Those words sparked the fire that would topple the tyranny of laziness that has plagued my spiritual being for years now. Feeling determined, I was ready to bounce back from the unrelenting depths of overweight status. But first, a proper response to Jeovany’s derogatory comment:

“You’re right. Let’s call it a day. There’s always tomorrow. I might as well have that beer now.”

232 lbs in Fort Bliss (2019):

“You weigh HOW much?”

“Man listen, you know I’ve been doing squat when it comes to working out. I mean, you know I don’t give a fuck about pushing weights. When you got my alcohol tolerance and sincere finesse, you wouldn’t give a fuck either. The jawns love a dad body.”

“I promise you bro, you get absolutely NO bitches. Like, zero. Besides, you need to pass your PT test so you can get your rank back. Let’s run later today, and see where you’re at. Start drinking water, because we’re gonna run for awhile, and I don’t want you dying on the track now. Listen to music while we’re out there to distract yourself from the pain. The air is thin as fuck here in Texas, so don’t overdo it. The focus is on running a consistent pace with good breathing. We’ll work on that, along with your stride, so we’ll do some quick stretching beforehand. You down with that?”

” …You really think I get no bitches?”

198 lbs in Africa (2019):

The scorching star had finally disappeared from sight, and all that was left from the remnants of an exhaustive afternoon was a brutal humidity and a high temperature. The sun had not been kind today.

Regardless, it was almost 1900 hours. The Independence Day 5K was to begin at any moment.

A preemptive visit to the latrine proved fruitful, and as I approached the starting line to meet up with my military peers, I felt different.

The journey throughout this second deployment had been tethered with hardship, but after years of insolent habits, I finally found myself again. This second newfound appreciation for fitness will not be forgotten this time around.

We were reminded that the first 95 individuals to finish the 5K will receive a T-shirt, and over 200 people had shown up for the run today. Whether it was a tact inspiration, or a materialistic motive, the shirts were effective in bringing out the champion in everyone.

In the middle of pairing my headphones to my iPhone, the horn went off, and the masses took off like lightning. As I frantically fumbled to set up the playlist, my army buddies started gaining a lead on me. Being athletically superior to me, the 4 of them ended up besting me by the mile marker. No matter.

Finally establishing the sonic connection, I was able to focus on the run with high-octane rap filtering through my ears. I followed the mechanisms of breathing while running properly with a “1-2” synch/melody. My stride had improved greatly, as the flub from my legs had disappeared alongside my excessive body weight. It was a swell time.

Then the humidity started kicking in.

My body began to anguish as the heat attacked me on all fronts. The dryness in my throat, as well as the soreness from my legs working overtime, made for a morbid combination. It was evident in the others too, as some slowed their rate down, and others came to a flat-out walking pace. I pushed on.

Upon reaching the turnaround point, the worst thing possible happened: my headphones died. Moderators of the event were handing out cups of water at the stop sign, and many stopped to drink. I grabbed and go’ed, unwilling to stop for fear of not being able to start up again.

With a mile and some change to go, it was just me and my thoughts. Every several hundred feet, the ill desire to catch a break was vanquished by the taste of symbolic glory at the finish line.

I had finally passed my Army Physical Fitness Test a few weeks prior. It took me so long to do so, but putting aside the pathetic excuse of neo-athleticism that I had racked up, it was a sense of triumph that was lacking from my life for so long. This 5K was just a victory lap, but I still needed to finish strong.

My cranium felt like it was being pumped with hot air. My eyes were red from sweat dripping inside them. My thighs might as well had been on a grill, because they were being cooked well done and beyond. Nevertheless, I was almost there.

The last quarter mile was probably the most challenging I’ve seen all year round. Countless people were walking at this point: they had embraced defeat. But not me. I will not relinquish this triumph.

Not today. Not anymore.

I boosted up alongside a peerless runner, and sprinted the last 200 meters of the 5K. My lungs were ready to explode, but the deed was done.

Catching my breath, the ceremonious Instagram photos were taken, and I claimed my T-shirt (I had ranked somewhere in the 70s). Then I went back to my room and prepped for work.

Arriving at the compound, I seeked the medic, as I had a weird issue.

“Hey Doc, do you have any bandaids?”

“Yeah man, what’s up?”

“My nipples are fucking BURNING.”

Location Coming To You Live From East Bubbafuck, Africa Phone 1-800-IMSADAF Hours Expect a post every week or two, depending on how lazy I am at the time. If I'm drunk, expect a post the same day.
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