I started running about this time last year. I hadn't exercised regularly since college, where they gave you gym access along with your tuition. I spent the rest of my 20s gaining about 2 or 3 pounds a year, and not really doing much in the way of taking care of myself. It had occurred to me that the only exercise I was really ever going to be able to afford was running, but I hate running. I kept up this hope that some day I was going to be able to at least join a YMCA with a pool or something, as that was much more my speed.

I had a big winter last year, with the birth of my baby boy right in the middle of it. I had the same realization that I had had in college 11 years earlier - that one simple little thing that I could that would make me feel better was to start getting some regular exercise again. So I dug my running shoes out of the closet, as I had tried this before, and got started. The first mile isn't as hard as the second mile. And it must've taken me six months of plugging away at just running those two miles without stopping, but once I got over the hump, I really got over the hump.

My short run around where I live is right at 4 miles long, and I try to do that every other day when the weather allows. I start getting really antsy if I go more than a week. Without a shadow of a doubt, I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. I lost the pounds and then some, and haven't really relapsed at all as far as bad eating habits. My wife Michelle is a veg, so it's easy when I'm home, but I've managed to keep at it on the road with greater and greater success. I got up yesterday at 7:30 and went for about 3.5 with my buddy Matt, and then did another 3 or so here in Charleston. As you can tell, this is about nothing in particular, but if you hate running as bad as I did, there's a very good chance that you could love it as much as I do now...