Thoughts on fitness, health, good nutrition ... and running.

Welcome to Bald Man Running, a blog launched by Frank Murphy on January 1, 2015.

In March, 2013 I was selected as a contestant for the sixth season of Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner. Through this amazing program, I learned about good nutrition, sound exercise and accountability. By October, I would lose over 88 pounds (almost 37% of my original weight)! One of the many things I acquired through FWSW was a love for running. You can retrace my weight loss journey and discover how I became a runner by reading those entries labeled "fwsw" ...

Note: Many of the blog entries on this website predate 1/1/2015. Prior to launching BMR, I had written articles for various projects, and I have imported many of them into this blog (labeled "retro").

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Chaplain Plan

Two big milestones ...

1) Rick had everyone run a mile on our first day, and I clocked a 14:33. Rick told us then that we were going to run another timed mile at the end of the program so we'd have something for the sake of comparison. Today Rick had me run that follow-up lap ... in 7:35. I really can't believe that my body moved that quickly under my own power. Three months ago I might not have been able to do that on a bike!

2) I passed the 185 pound barrier. This number has personal significance and I want to dedicate this milestone to my dad. Here's why ...

About 4.5 years ago, I lost my job as a school teacher. The private school where I taught was struggling financially in the "economic downturn of 2008" and had to "involuntarily furlough" several staff members, including me. If you've ever lost a job you loved, you know how much it can hurt.

While I've never been kicked in the stomach by a mule, I assume it would feel pretty much like I felt for about three months straight. I was so depressed.

Looking for another job made it even worse ... I was looking for another ministry position, which is unlike other professions (there are search committees, twenty page applications, church votes, etc.). I applied for jobs all over the country and received enough rejection letters to wallpaper my study. It was rough for several months.

I decided to look into entering the military as a chaplain. I talked to the appropriate personnel and went through the requirements checklist. I was pretty close to having everything I needed except for the weight restriction. At the time, I was thirty-five pounds over the limit and they couldn't take me unless I got down to 185. With no other prospects on the horizon and a lot of free time on my hands, I decided that I'd try losing some weight. If I got down to 185 before I found another job, then it would be time to salute Lt. Murphy.

I had no clue what to do about fitness, so I called my dad. He's an advanced black belt and an Zumba instructor ... and he's in his seventies. He's the most fit old man you'll ever see. We talked about it, and he came up here from Texas to put me through a two week boot camp to get me started. It was tough, and he worked me hard. I made some nice progress in those two weeks and as he returned home, I got an interview with Brotherhood Mutual.

I wound up getting that job at Brotherhood, and I'm still amazed that I work there. It's a great company and I have awesome coworkers, but once I no longer *had* to lose weight, I fell of the fitness bandwagon pretty fast and hard. I wound up gaining another twenty pounds in my first four years at Brotherhood (all those ice cream sandwiches, cheese danishes, and fast food for every lunch probably didn't help).

FWSW was the big turn around. My dad planted the seed that I could succeed, so I suspected that I could do the exercise. Rick, Tina and the rest of the FWSW staff took the baton from dad and helped me finally hit that 185 milestone ... 4.5 years too late.

I'm now slim enough to join the chaplain corps, but I'm too old. It's a good milestone and I'm proud of it, but I'm also disappointed in myself because of the wasted opportunity. I'm ashamed that I let my dad down back then. I wish I had got fit years ago and could have been enjoying the benefits of health that are now mine. If I can maintain this healthy lifestyle, I'll be the spitting image of my fit dad at 75.

There's no one else I'd rather be like.

This 185 milestone is for you, papa. Thank you for believing in me and showing your blue-eyed son the way.

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