Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why I Run: Bridging the Gap to Fitness

Flipping through my mental rolodex to the afternoon of February 24th 2012 as I stood on a scale in my doctors office watching in horror while the nurse continue to slide the weight on the scale higher and higher. The weight kept climbing like the thermometer on a summer afternoon. Two hundred pounds, two hundred and fifty, finally the mercury stopped at three hundred and eight pounds. I was mortified!

That afternoon while sulking and depressed I made a life altering decision to lose weight. The very next day drastic change came to my diet. I began to walk six miles a day five days a week and slowly things began to change for me. My body started feeling better. The digestive issues I had been having were suddenly gone. I began to have more energy and my walking began to speed up.

Fast forward to an afternoon in late April as I returned from the local Agway where I had purchased some fertilizer for our lawn. After lifting these extremely heavy bags from my car I happened to notice that each bag weighed forty five pounds. Taking a step back, standing there in amazement it had just hit me: I, myself had lost forty five pounds. Lifting those bags of fertilizer really put things into perspective for me.

Joe becomes a runner in his first 5k, 2012
A week later several friends had begun to push me to run a 5K race. Now, I had not run since playing high school lacrosse twenty two years prior. I was resisting all I could but my curiosity would eventually get the best of me. Our family registered for the Binghamton Bridge Run 5K as we had planned to walk it. Race day finally arrived and upon our arrival the half marathoners had just begun to come in. The atmosphere was electrifying. I was so excited to be a part of what was going on but really having no clue what was going on. All I knew is that it felt good.

Now it was our turn and as we stood waiting for the gun my wife looked at me and said “You know you want to run.” I politely replied no I’m going to walk.  BANG, the gun goes off and the tightly packed crowd of runners begins to move. My wife looks at me and says again “You know you want to run” and I looked back with a huge smile and I was off. Mile one, I am feeling great as a gentle pat on my back gets my attention and WOOOSH, my thirteen year old son goes flying on by.

Now with the finish line in sight, my adrenaline pumping I noticed that most of the runners who
ran the half marathon were lined up along the finish line clapping and cheering the 5K runners as
we crossed the finish line. Wow, I thought to myself, what a sense of community.  Runners of all skill levels cheering and supporting one another. I was hooked!

My first ever 5K race was now complete, finishing in 35:19. The Binghamton Bridge Run sparked an entire new lifestyle. Today, September 2nd, 2014, I’m in training for my first ever marathon. On November 2nd 2014 I will be running the New York City Marathon.

About the Author:
Joe Geronimo is a father, husband, runner, photographer & throw in locomotive engineer for good measure.  He is also an active member of Triple Cities Runner's Club and Team Confluence.