On Monday, I reached a personal goal to run eight miles in one outing. For me it was a milestone.
After reaching 37 years old this month, staying in shape like an 18-year-old ain’t easy. Lemme tell you.
I’m no gym rat. And I’ve never been much of a weight lifter.
As I age, I find it’s incredibly important to do some of the things I never did (like lift weights) and keep up the things I’ve done off and on since high school, i.e. running and playing sports.
I think of it as an investment into my future.
I use an iPhone app called RunKeeper that is an amazing tool for tracking progress as well as encouraging me while running. As you run, a voice comes into my headphones updates me as to my speed, distance, and how big of a douche I am.
It’s incredibly satisfying. Especially when the voice says, “You’ve reached six miles of assholery. Great job.”
When that happens, I leap into the air, throwing my knee up and bringing down an elbow with clenched fist.
Running the lakefront is gratifying as it is inspiring. At one moment, an 4′ 11″ tall man will pass me running beside his bike. The next minute, a guy in a wheelchair will pass me pushing with his gloved hands. The next second, a women 30 lbs heavier than I am will scoot past.
The second I feel good about myself, some jackwagon will pass me and remind me how out of shape I am.
It’s also cool, because you can find a “rabbit” or pace setter who might run with you for a while. It’s usually a non-verbal agreement you have with some other runner to go the same pace until one of you bails.
Ahh, Chicago, don’t you love the diversity!
The verity of people exercising on the lakefront reminds me of the diversity in our neighborhoods.
One subject Tina and I talk about a lot is how we’re so grateful for the infrastructure in our city that we pay significantly higher taxes for that allow us to live so well with so many different kinds of people.
We’re reminded constantly that the people around us range from the super rich — driving Ferraris and Lamborghinis — to the super poor, sitting on their asses in front of store fronts begging for change.
The contrast that we see with our suburban friends and family — and I’m talking Chicago Suburbs, not just my NC friends and family in rural NC — is that we’re reminded constantly that the world is full of so many kinds of people.
And maybe our suburban friends see somebody begging at the on or off ramp at the highway, but they aren’t getting passed while running by a guy in a wheelchair.
They aren’t approached three times in a 5 minute walk to the store by homeless people asking for change. They aren’t admiring a Ferrari one second and covering their noses from the stink of a guy hunched over at the waist sleeping (passed-out) at a busstop.
I’m not saying we’re better than they are.
I’m saying we have more reasons — besides what Jesus taught — to contribute to a government infrastructure that supports those in need. We take pride in having higher taxes so that more people can find warm places to sleep at night after having a warm meal.
We think that’s why Chicago is Blue and the rest of this fucking state is bleeding red.
One of my problems is: I think people deserve a place to live with a safety net. I think they deserve a place where they can be fucked up drug addicts. Why? At one time, it was because I was a Christian and I believed that everyone should be saved.
But now, I believe it’s because everyone fucking deserves to be saved.
No matter what the station or place in life.
I’d rather live in a place like Chicago that has a glut of corruption while giving homeless people and drug addicts the possibility of redemption than living in a place where people hide behind their Christianity so they don’t have to help the needy, the poor, and the destitute.
Redundant? I know.
At least we’re corrupt while helping the needy.
Instead of just being corrupt.