The alarm goes off.  It’s 5:30 A.M.  For extra motivation, I have even labeled the alarm on my phone, “Get Up You Lazy Ass.”  I’ve only been at this for the past few weeks.  That is waking up this early in the morning.

I slip on my bright green shirt with my gray shorts on.  I start to lace up my shoes.  Looking down they stand out in the darkness that still encloses the room.

I push my ear buds in.  Turn on my favorite music playlist on my phone.  Looking around the house, no one is up.  It is just me, the faint early morning sunlight showing through the skylights, and our dog who is looking at me with a crooked face as if I am some crazy person.

I open the garage door.  It is the only light that stands between me and the street light at the end of the road.  I look around and to see if any cars are coming, cross the road, and pick up my pace.

It is just me and the open road, well sidewalk.  There is no one else crazy enough to be up this early doing this.  Except for those who are doing what I’m doing.

Running.

I still consider myself fairly new to running.  It started four years ago when I went to get my numbers checked and the doctor tried to figure out how I was still standing up right and walking.  I wasn’t over-weight but my cholesterol was sky-high and my triglycerides were at a level the doctors had never seen before.

I was working in news though.  Gas station food had become part of my diet.  I never had the time to sit down for dinner as I was chasing down news stories all day.

Two years later, I changed jobs to the coveted 9-5 job.  My diet changed and I started to eat better.  My numbers were better but not great.  The doctor said if in a couple more years they weren’t better, I would need to go on medication. Medication that was expensive.

Six months before my last check up, I started to feel sluggish. I didn’t have any energy.  I was laying on the couch and tired constantly.  At which point I decided that I needed to just get out the door and get my act together.

That is exactly what I did.  I laced up my shoes and got out the door.  A month in, I decided that I needed to further my challenge to get in better health.  Run a 5K.  Just like I did in high school as I ran Cross-Country.

Rookie Runner - The Rookie Dad
The Rookie and myself after my first 5K.

I met the challenge and finished in under 30 minutes.

It was check-up day and the doctor looked at me down at the sheet remembering my numbers from four years ago.  He looked up at me.

“You look better and I can tell you feel better!”

“Thanks doc.”

“You have also lost about 15 pounds.  What are you doing?”

“Well I’ve picked up running.”

It was at that point that I started calling myself runner.  I’m still a rookie in the grand scheme of things.  I’ve learned some things though.  In the following weeks, I hope to pass on what I have learned to fellow runners, to future runners.

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