Friday, August 16, 2013

Everything I Can DO

While nobody has had a visceral or extremely animated response to me being vegan, most are surprised. Many people say, "I could never do that." They say it with the confidence that even in July I said the same thing. The truth is, we know a lot less about the biosphere and specifically our human bodies, from a scientific view, than we care to admit. With that curiosity in mind and the bit of logic about the sugars and fats in animal products I chose to try being vegan.

I want to see how fast I can run. Specifically I want to run at the Olympic marathon trials. However with each passing year a 2:17 marathon seems more difficult. Regardless of the specificity of any one goal, and the success or failure of that one goal, the process of improvements and the challenge of overcoming plateaus and barriers is a huge part of the thrill. I am partly defined as a 2:30:20 marathoner. Yet I think more about the 1500 miles and 200 hours of training leading up to that race than the race itself. It is the same with my marathon goal. Perhaps I miss the goal, by several minutes, yet it is still likely I run even faster than I have and amongst the top 300 or so marathoners in the country and 2000 in the world. That is hardly a failure for a guy that ran a single 18:26 5k in high school and struggled to an 11:03 3200 meter best. 

Having come so far one might look back and think, 'I have done well, I can sleep in and take it easy.' However, the lure of a more exclusive, more challenging, slightly more rewarding story awaits. If it takes being vegan consistently to lose the extra four pounds to get there the question then becomes, 'how many years would I be a vegan?' 

I know we are barely two weeks into this experiment, but the results seem to be trending towards the best case scenario. I want to leave no stone unturned in this pursuit. When I look back in a decade or two or three or five I want to know that I gave it my best shot. We often say in the US, "No regrets!" That is what I mean to give this effort, although I do have many regrets. Only perfect people do not regret their mistakes. 

At the end of Schindler's List he cries because his car could have saved four more people, his button could have saved one more. Rwanda re-energized me by showing me how luxurious my life is. I have an amazing apartment, with carpet and air conditioning and a garage. I have a great reliable van, and I have a motorcycle and three bicycles. I have enough clothing to wear a different shirt for over a month. I have DVDs, books, shoes, skis, two computers, a cell phone, and a pantry full of food. I have absolutely no excuse for not giving the things I do in life every chance to succeed. I think that excuses might be a first world problem. 

No comments:

Post a Comment