Friday, 20 July 2012


Here’s the deal – a couple of months ago I thought that I should write a blog about how I decided to start running. I thought it may be a cool idea, where I could get a few fellow runners to legitimately contribute some gems about how the guy who turned up to the weekly Park Run in Melbourne was keeping them from their breakfasts as they had to stay back ages to make sure I’d crossed the line. In all reality some people would wait longer for me to finish the 5 kilometres than they had taken to run the distance themselves. Think about it, if the winner took 16 mins and I took 34 he was waiting for me to finish for 18 mins!!!

After thinking about a blog for a few weeks I thought better of it, who would be interested in my blabs about my experiences – “It’s not all about you Tony” – I could hear it ringing in my ears, and I hadn’t even spoken!!! So the idea quickly became nothing more than an idea.

Although I must admit, that in the back of my mind I did have the nagging concept….if I could motivate just one person to head towards a healthier and mentally tougher lifestyle then that would be a great contribution. I did also think that amusing anecdotes may keep people coming back for at least a laugh, and that in itself spreads a little happiness, which is not a bad thing either. Other thoughts were that, as a non-runner, I could write about all the subjects people are too afraid to ask because they might appear stupid, and I could maybe demystify something which is quite simple really, you get a pair of shoes (not compulsory but handy for beginners – more on that later) a pair of shorts (again not compulsory but etiquette says pants are not optional) and put one foot in front of the other one quickly.

Then an amazing thing happened, I wrote a couple of begging emails to work colleagues and friends asking for charitable donations for an event I was running in, and was told by quite a few people that I should put those emails into a more formal publication, whether it be a book or blog, as they found them very funny, motivational and a great relief to see a real person writing about real things.

My begging emails for charity donations weren’t just for running events I was participating in, they were also for “Dry July” (an event where I go alcohol free for the month of July to raise funds for cancer wards at the Royal Melbourne Hospital). And over the years I’ve grown moustaches, worn silly clothes to work (my collegues may say I do that every day) and other ridiculous things all to raise funds and awareness of charitable organisations or groups who do it a lot tougher than me. Again, if I could change or motivate just one other person to be a little more altruistic then that wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

So here is the beginning of my blog journey – and I haven’t been amusing yet, so could have well lost you – a journey where I pledge to tell it as it is. A 90 kilogram 49 year old (I turn 50 in December) who smoked for 30 years, one who has been known to drink more beer in a single day than most would consume in a year, decided that he would take on one of the strangest concepts thrown at man – run for 42.2 kilometres (give or take a few metres). Of course I’ll have stories of painful training, embarrassing clothing, horrible weather and I’ll throw in something about food along the way as nearly every self-help book on running has a section on nutrition – you’ll have to wait to see what I throw your way on that one, it may surprise you!!!

At the same time I’ll also put up a few thoughts about the charity events I’m currently involved in, how I’m battling the challenge ahead – is stopping alcohol for a month in a Country where drinking is more than a National pastime; harder than running 30 kilometres a week?

PS – I haven’t run a marathon yet, this is sort of a diary where the protagonist (me) takes you on a journey and we get all gooey eyed when I get there in the end. Problem is I am yet to run further than 10kms (excluding a run/walk 14.5km event I did earlier this year) and have absolutely no idea if I’m going to finish this journey at all. You may go all misty eyed when I throw in the towel in a few weeks’ time after I blown out a hamstring, or decided cigarettes are really my strong suit so I’m back to 25 a day. We’ll all just have to wait and see what is in store. Gives this blog a bit of cred I reckon.

PPS – ‘Cause it took me a while to get my act together and start this blog I have a few retrospectives to put together. I ran a 10km event on the weekend just gone, but over the coming week or so I’ll put it all down – the journey I took before the journey I’m about to take. Sort of the road movie in a rear vision mirror type thing.

So stick with me – email me, become a follower, comment (rude or offensive (and I’m the sole judge here) etc. ones will be removed not always with justification – anonymous comments will be removed, no questions asked) and ask me questions, if I don’t know the answer I’m mad enough to try and find out, and if I still don’t know the answer I’ll say so or make something credible up so it sounds like I know what I’m talking about. This is intended to be an interactive blog, one where I can help or amuse anyone who is interested. And of course if you have a charitable cause that a professional 50 year old can participate in please let me know, I’ll see what I can do. I have only put the “professional” disclaimer in there because I don’t want people asking me to sit in a tree for three months with no bathroom facilities to highlight the plight of some obscure cult.

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