Accomplishments always meant more to me than impressing the unknown. I know I can’t beat some of my enemies in a foot race, but I know there are things I’ve done in my life that no one can ever take away, and will never experience. My success with my weight loss has taken me on some amazing journeys, and no matter how much I’m made fun of for my weight, or insulted for my speed, or spoken down to by anyone in my life, I know they can’t take away the best moments of my life.
I’m from Toronto, and I’ll never forget the summer I decided to run the length of the city. I looked out the apartment window one day and saw the CN Tower off in the distance highlighting the Toronto skyline. For absolutely no reason I thought it would make a good story if I ran all the way down and touched the tower which was about 23 kilometres from home. But to me, it didn’t make much sense to run all that way without saying I ran the entire length of one of the larger cities in the world. So I took a bus all the way up to the 407 and Yonge Street after grabbing nothing but a token for the subway, and a five dollar bill to buy a Gatorade after I surely met my demise down the longest street in world.
I stumbled, I walked, I cried, I grunted and I passed by strangers who stared at some 250-pound red blur in torn up shoes and a Team Canada jersey. My legs weren’t working, it was raining slightly at times, and all I thought about was the scene from Forrest Gump when he runs across the country. The hills were gruesome, and my feet were tearing through the remainder of my first pair of running shoes.
Every step the tower was getting closer and closer. So many people have seen the tower or gone inside it, but I’m not sure how many people ran the entire length of Toronto to pass out on the steps between the tower and Rogers Centre.
The last block I was dying. I ran a little less than 30 kilometres and made it to the tower about four hours after viewing the tower and deciding to run there. I sat in the subway for the half hour trip knowing I ran every step and more while going back up Yonge.
I woke up that day, and decided to do something incredible that no one could ever take from me, and no one ever will. It’s amazing the places you can go when you decide to go there. Some things in life I’ve worked unbelievably hard for, and some I’ve accomplished for one sole reason – “I can do this.”
Don’t ever take for granted the small victories, they mean so much more in the long run. Comparing this run to my marathon, I still don’t know how I lived through either of them. But I do know when people pass me in the streets and outrun me, they haven’t run a mile in my shoes, and my shoes will take me as far as my heart will.
“When a goal matters enough to a person, that person will find a way to accomplish what at first seemed impossible” —Nido Qubein