Monday, April 20, 2009


This is Troy. Troy was my supervisor when I was in grad school in Vermont in the late 90s. Over the course of two years, he became a fantastic friend, and someone who challenged me to think about my work in more complex and sophisticated ways. He helped to lay the groundwork for what I believe is a wonderful career in student affairs administration.

Today, Troy ran the Boston Marathon. He has had this dream for many many years, and today he ran the Boston Marathon in 3 hours and 50 minutes. Someone today asked me if that was a 'good' time. It's the freakin' Boston Marathon!!! Of course it's good! It's amazing!!!

So not only did Troy inspire me to be the professional I am today, but with him fulfilling this dream, he's inspired me to reach higher, work harder, run farther, and achieve more. Tonight, at the gym, I couldn't help but crank up the speed on the treadmill while I ran. I stopped over-thinking my power-cleans and am starting to feel great about them. I didn't think twice about putting 630 pounds on the leg press (that's 14 big plates), and powered out 3 sets of 15 reps (FYI: 630 pounds is just a little heavier than 2 20-cubic foot Maytag refrigerators). And as one member told me I was looking good, and as a trainer at the gym told me my workouts were looking great, I couldn't help but be happy. Proud. Inspired.

It's having people like Troy in my life that helps to keep me going on this journey. I'm surrounded by wonderful friends and family who are all very supportive of what I'm doing. But I do have to admit, that as of late, this has begun to feel like a very solitary journey. Yes, I've got lots of people cheering me on by the sidelines, but when it comes to actually getting to the gym, and cranking out my workouts, it's just me. And it has to be. But on days like today, I couldn't help but feel that as I was running on the treadmill at 9.0 miles an hour (I normally run at 7.5), that Troy was running with me. I felt the same way as I closely monitored his progress on the internet, and beamed with pride when his time came up on my computer monitor at the office. He fulfilled his dream, and I am well on my way to achieving my own.

So, while running the Boston Marathon isn't at the top of my list of things to do, having that feeling of elation, joy and accomplishment that I am sure comes with crossing the finish line is right up there. I've often fallen asleep at night wondering what it might feel like to run a race. A 5k. A 10k. Maybe even a half marathon.

So, as Sebastien tells me all the time, having goals is important, and saying them out loud is even more important. Because, then they become real. I said this one out loud to my friend Jonathan yesterday, and I'm saying out loud to you all today.

October 2010 -- I'm going to run the Toronto Half-marathon. That's 13 miles. It's more than a year away, but something I've always wanted to experience, and something I know I will. Because it's entirely possible. I didn't think that losing 30 pounds was ever going to happen, and today, I weigh the same as I did in 1993. And I've still got a ways to go. So, by October 2010, I should be ready to take the plunge, and run 13 miles through the streets of Toronto.

I also said this goal out loud to Troy the other day as I sent him words of encouragement for his big day. And in his true style, he was supportive, encouraging, and a true friend. He also offered to join me on the run. It will be the first time I will have seen him since I graduated in 1999. I'm already excited thinking about the possibility.

So, in October 2010, I'll have a Boston Marathon 'finisher' running by my side in realizing one of my own lifelong goals. Troy's going to join me. How about you???

Kia kaha.
Stay strong.


  1. Chris, I know, without a doubt, that you can and will run that half marathon! If I can make my way to Toronto in Oct 2010, I'd be honored if I could run it with you.

  2. Ditto on joining you for the 2010 Toronto half. I ran my first full ever at the Toronto International in 2006. Good times.

    Oh, and you do realize that you're allowed to run the 1/2 at less than 9 mph, eh? That makes it a bit more manageable. ;)

  3. I still don't like to see that time in print. I'm already in training for the rematch, as I know I've got a sub 3:10 in me.

    But ... I AM honored to have made your blog! The journey is often a solitary one ... those are the times we find the true motivation ... the kind that sticks. I'm glad you're still on it.

    Looking forward to Toronto!

  4. Pat and Marion McGrathMay 6, 2009 at 7:21 PM

    This is fantastic..WoW!!What an achievement. Your journey has been so trmendous. It has strengthened your spirit and your body. We always love you and admire all your efforts..but what you are doing now leaves us without word. ( I know quelle surprise!)More kleenex please! I (Mom) won't run the 1/2 marathon with you but I will be at the finishing line to cheer you across. (God, I hope The Bay isn't open that day!) Chris,no listening for the "Dickie Dee Man" and no crying for ice cream. You are not at Afton park now.L.Mom & Dad