Apr 27, 2010

How Two Gomers Changed My Life

Episode 1 of Two Gomers Run a Half Marathon
September 2008
The Runner's Corner

[energetic background running music fades in...]

So I started running, and maybe for the first... fifteen steps, I felt okay. Like, 'I think this is possible,' I was thinking. It was great. And then--I hit--
The Wall.

[energetic background running music goes ddjoooouuuee and cuts off]

(laughing) At fifteen steps?

Yeah, and I, I couldn't even... I started walking. I walked just one length of the block, so like a quarter of the block. So, that's 1/16th of a mile. And I was like bent over, almost throwing up. People were like on walks with their kids and their strollers and stuff like walking past me, I'm sure like concerned, like 'what's wrong with this guy, in his khaki shorts and a white t-shirt?' 

(still laughing) That's genius.

This is what I listened to on my very first day of starting this Healthy Lifestyle, back in August of last year. I knew I would need inspiration in my ear, and I found these Two Gomers, who had apparently attempted to run a half marathon. I didn't have any intention of ever taking up running myself (even if I'd wanted to, I felt that my plantar fasciitis would have kept me from it), but when I found this podcast on iTunes I thought it would at least help keep me inspired to keep living healthily. It didn't matter that these guys weren't even talking about losing weight, just that they were trying to do something that "everyone else is telling them they could never do."

When I heard the excerpt above in their first official episode, I knew I would be hooked to listening to these guys complete their journey. As you can imagine after reading it, I wasn't even sure they were going to be able to do it. It was a constant struggle for them, week in and week out, and some weeks were super hard. A few weeks into the training, Anthony got pretty down in the dumps about only being able to run 3.5 miles to Steven's 4.5, and then the following week he miraculously pulled out an amazing and inspired >6 mile run.

One thing that I love about The 2 Gomers is their Songs to Run to section. This part of the podcast always reiterates to me that both of these guys (one being a professional musician) love music, and that they use that love of music to inspire themselves to run. In the first episode, one of their Songs to Run to was Switchfoot's Dare You to Move, which I had never heard before. While I can't say that I've loved every one of their Songs to Run to, Dare You to Move will have a special place in my heart for the rest of my life. Every run I've done in my training so far has included this miraculous song, and half of the time when I hear it while running, it makes me cry with gratitude.

In case you haven't heard it, part of Dare you to Move says:

I dare you to move, I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor ... I dare you to move, Like today never happened, Today never happened before. 

A few months into my healthy lifestyle change, and after fervently catching up on Gomer episodes so that I finally found out that they had completed the race, the idea of me running started to creep into my mind. I'd lost several dozen pounds by then, and I started to think... "What if I tried it, just once, just like while I was walking... nobody would even have to know." I did just that, and man was it tough. A few days later I took Tayan (4 years old) for a walk in our neighborhood, and dared him to race me to signs along the way. He loved it, and I got to try out jogging a little bit more, uninhibited because I was just having fun with my kid.

Time and time again, my mind went back to that Episode 1 of Two Gomers Run a Half Marthon, where Steven admitted that when he started this, he could barely run 15 steps without doubling over and trying not to throw up. I'm telling you now, if it had not been for that story, I don't believe I ever would have attempted running.

So now, 9 months and 45 pounds gone, I am on my way to running a 5k, and I feel great. I would have never considered, and could have never done it without these Two Gomers. Without knowing me at all, these two dudes dared me to move, and now I'm doing it. And like I often say to myself through tears while listening to that song, "today has never happened before."


salou said...

Love "The Two Gomers" inspiration and the way you blogged this, Laura. Plus, how outstanding, the success you are having! Keep up the great work, both in writing and exercising (I love the way you've made it fun!)

The Two Gomers who are Running the Half Marathon said...

Thanks a ton for the kind words, Laura, and HAPPY RUNNING!

Tim said...

Great post! Congrats on how far you've come.
They had a huge impact on me as well. Started running Feb 1st this year and caught up on all the podcast in a couple weeks. I've lost about 20 pounds and run a couple 5ks... It's great to see the impact they have had on you as well. Keep up the great work!!

Molly said...

Congrats to you! I love the Gomers!!! They were my inspiration in just completing a 1/2 marathon a week ago. I too, have lost 45-50 pounds since starting to listen and never thought I'd be a "runner". I'm signed up for my second 1/2 in another 10 weeks. I'm hooked! During the last 1.8 miles of the 1/2 I hit the wall. I had bought "Dare you to move" on iTunes a few days before the race, but hadn't ever listened to the whole song through. When I hit the wall, I quickly shuffled through my playlist until I got that song. It started, and I felt the whole Gomernation behind me rooting, cheering, etc. It's silly, but it worked. GOOOOO GOMERS!! And Happy Running to you as well :)

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