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St. Peter's Basilica...

7/05/02
Getting in Shape to Take on the World

The world has a lot of stairs. Every place seems to have somewhere up high that offers amazing vistas, lovely photo opportunities…and aching arches.

Add to this the miles you must walk in order to get there in the first place (with the weight of all your earthly possessions strapped to your back) and it doesn’t matter how ultralight your gear is, it’s going to take a toll on your body.

I’ve vowed to myself that I will not let my level of conditioning affect my departure date (I’m going, regardless of the shape I’m in). However,“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” With this proverb in mind, it seems only prudent to improve my physical condition before the trip.

I’m told by those who’ve been there that I don’t need to worry too much; after the first month or two of physical misery my body will adjust. However, I would like to be able to really enjoy those first weeks. I don’t want to pass up priceless experiences because I’m too sore and too tired.

So I’ve been doing all this talking to myself, and really, I sound quite convincing sometimes, yet still my actions are only limited and sporadic. It’s apparent to me that I need something to motivate me, something to focus on. A goal that is challenging, but not out-of-reach, and a purpose outside of myself that will spur me on, even when I can think of a hundred good reasons not to follow through.

Enter my friend Jeff, who tells me about this new program, just starting this summer, to teach total beginners how to run, with the goal of being able to run five miles (and then participate in the Providian Relay). The eight week training, with a master coach, begins this month. And the money I raise in order to participate will go to fund the worthy cause of organ donation awareness through Organs ‘R’ Us.

As I progress, I will write updates describing my progress in the program, as well as keeping a running tally of the funds I have collected. Please send me an email if you wish to make a pledge on my behalf (even $5 would be great!). In return, I’ll take you around the world with me, climb all those stairs for you, and show you the view from the top

...and a pretty amazing view once you get there.

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...hundreds of claustrophobic stairs to the top...

   
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