Steve Carlson – iCan Athlete Spotlight – 9/11/12
I hate running.
I’ve uttered that sentence countless times in my lifetime. Some people run a marathon because it’s on their bucket list. Prior to three months ago, the only thing related to running I would have ever put on my bucket list would have been: never run another mile the rest of my life.
Seriously, when I completed my first 10-week session of Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping back in 2005, I ran my final testing mile in a respectable 6:28. I distinctly remember thinking afterwards “Thank God I’ll never have to do that again.”
God has a great sense of humor. I don’t know how else to explain why I’m doing this.
When a friend told me earlier this year she wished she could pursue some of her passions in life, I told her she should talk to my friend Loran. He made a courageous decision to leave a good job in corporate America to pursue his passion of serving people through fitness training and ministry.
Within 30 minutes of that discussion, my friend sent me an email saying “is this him?” It was with a notice from our company’s wellness intranet page about the iCan marathon team and the free training being provided by Loran Storts.
I read the notice, and the strangest thought I’ve ever had immediately came to my mind: I should do this.
As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t shake the notion. Instead of fading away, the idea tightened its grip on me. It was a step way outside my comfort zone, but one I felt God was pretty clearly calling me to take.
What appealed to me was that it was about so much more than just preparing people to run a race. By incorporating the principles of the book the Go-Giver — which is about investing your time, talents and treasures into the lives of others — it was about preparing people to live a life of service and giving to others. That resonated with me.
So I applied and was accepted. It’s been kind of hilarious from the beginning, starting with when I told my youngest daughter, who is 16 and splits time between my house and her mom’s. Upon hearing I was going to run a marathon, she slumped her shoulders, smirked and made a sweeping motion around my house as she said “Great, you’re going to die and leave all this for me to deal with.”
Although I’m a fitness enthusiasts and have taught classes for seven years at Farrell’s, there have been times in the past three months where I thought my daughter’s comment may have been prophetic.
At 50, I’m pretty sure I’m easily the oldest of the iCan participants, and on occasion my body has reminded me of that. But I’ve also found running to often be exhilarating as we’ve reached distances that would have never seemed possible before. I also never imagined I’d be telling people how great it is to hop in a tub with 20 pounds of ice, which I’ve found myself looking forward to in the midst of long runs.
Had I set out to do this on my own, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea how to go about it and wouldn’t have gotten far. The chance to work with someone as knowledgeable as Loran coaching and inspiring a group of people who are in it for more than just a sense of personal accomplishment has really appealed to me.
My perspective on running has shifted from “Thank God I’ll never have to do that again” to thank God I get to do this. And oh by the way, I don’t hate running anymore. Sometimes… I may even like it.
But usually not until after I’m done.