My Infrequently Updated Blog. The web-based journal of M. Forde, computer nerd, endurance athlete, and DeLorean owner
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Eat. Run. Sleep.
With the Goofy Challenge just 3 days away, I should be carb-loading. And
I am. And with each bite of my lunch I hate myself more. Every time I
eat, I feel fat. And every time I ingest anything that isn't ultra-lean
protein or high-fiber, I disgust myself. But I sit here, shoving food
down my gullet.
Acceptance, or lack thereof...
A few days ago I picked up some dumbbells that had been left out, they
were 40lbs each and I lifted them with one hand each. Three years ago
the most I could lift, with both arms combined and "lifting with the
legs," was 43lbs (the weight of my computer).
Last month, I ran a 5K in 19:08. Yesterday during a speed workout I ran
my two fastest 100m ever, 17.9 seconds and 17.87 seconds. Today I ran a
10K at a 6:24 pace, finishing in under 40 minutes. I've set a new PR in
every distance I've raced this year except the half marathon, and that
race I set a new record for myself on that particular course.
I've put lost 126 pounds of fat and gained 36 pounds of bone and muscle.
My body keeps getting stronger and faster.
And I still can't accept my body for what it is....
I wasn't born this way; I made myself.
I heard that Lady Gaga song on the radio the other day, you know the
one that sounds like the Madonna song, and it got me thinking. On the
surface it seems to contain a very positive message about accepting
yourself because you were "Born This Way." You were born like this, you
were made this way, there's nothing you can do about it so be happy with
I disagree. Sure, when we're born we're stuck with the genetic
material passed on to us by our lineage. But we're more than that, what
we are, what we become, is so much more than how we were born. And this
made me think about the Incubus song, "Make Yourself." I find the
message of that song to be much more positive. While the song has an
overt "them vs. you" context, the general theme is one of taking
responsibility for yourself and what you become.
Was I born the way I am today? Judging from the direction my life took
in the first twenty-six years, and comparing it to the last three years,
the answer is no. I was born heavy, weighing in over nine pounds. I grew
into a heavy kid. I was always sad and lonely as a kid. I had few
friends. I rarely went outside. I never played sports. I watched a lot
of TV. I ate a lot. I got heavier. I got sadder. I got lonelier. But I
was born this way, right? I should have just accepted it, right?
While I was born heavy, I didn't have to stay that way. It was my own
choices that made me into the depressed, obese misanthrope I was.
Despite my claims that I was born that way, genetically predisposed to
those conditions, I really made myself that way.
And then I decided to change that. I took responsibility for my life. I
started exercising. I ran. I ate healthier. I lost weight. I had better
relationships with my friends. I started making new friends. I became
Just as I had made myself into what I was, I made myself into what I am
today. The key to this change was taking personal responsibility for
myself. No longer did I use the excuse of being born that way. I knew I
was like that because of my decisions and my actions. I knew through my
decisions and my actions I could change. And I did. I made myself.
"If you really want to live, why not try and make yourself?"
Given the infinitesimally small reader base of this weblog, and the fact
that most, if not all, of those readers know me personally, there's a
good chance that you know I've fairly recently gotten a pair of tattoos.
The first tattoo, on my right arm, is a "26.2" in a giraffe print. That
number, of course, is the distance of a Marathon in miles. Approximately
one tenth of one percent of the population has ever completed a
Marathon. I am one of those individuals and it is because of the
Giraffes, the running team my friends started and pulled me into, that I
was able to accomplish this feat.
The second tattoo, on my left arm, is a 6x8 grid of binary digits which
spell out my first initial and last name in ASCII. Beneath the binary
grid is a "v3.1" in a more stylized font. I was named after my father
who had been named after his father, making me the third, version 3.0 if
you will. In the last few years I've "upgraded." I'm smaller, faster,
stronger, kinder, more extroverted and more optimistic than I was, but I
am not an entirely new person. Hence v3.1.
There's more to the meaning of these tattoos than the explanations
above. They represent the duality of myself. One represents the
decidedly geeky nature that has been a part of me for almost my entire
life. The other represents a newer aspect of myself, the endurance
It has been difficult for me to resolve these aspects. You were a nerd
or a jock. There was a perceived inherent conflict between the two. You
could be one or the other, not both. I was a nerd. I was never a jock.
Now I'm both.
And I can be both. There is no reason can't, because this is what I've
become; this is what I am.