Guest Blogger – Rob Ackley returns to RFD

Posted: April 13, 2012 in Motivation
Tags: , ,

Greetings blog fans!  Usual readers of this space will know that Joe is off preparing for the Boston Marathon and might be wondering why he took the time to write a post today.  The fact is that Joe is totally locked into Boston at the moment and thus asked me, his friend Rob, to fill in for him.  I eagerly agreed because who wouldn’t want the opportunity to drive down the readership of a respected, well written and highly followed blog.

As all guest hosts do, allow me to introduce myself.  I am 34 years old, married and am the father of three boys.  I’ve known Joe for almost 13 years and have watched him go from being “Fat Joe” to the waif-like speed machine he is today.  In fact, I’ve known Joe long enough that I remember when he drank real Budweiser as opposed to the Bud Select or Bud 55 junk he drinks today – that was a long time ago indeed.

Unlike many of the people who are mentioned in this blog, I am not a marathoner.   Up until 3 years ago I doubt I had run 26.2 miles in my lifetime.  Total. Including all the bases I ran in little league and the yards in football (I was a third string offensive lineman so “run” might be a stretch).  I was a guy who knew runners existed because I would get mad when they slowed down traffic or closed roads so groups of them could put on numbers and run together.  All my technical shirts were of a Hawaiian nature and buttoned up the front.  Simply put, running wasn’t for me, I wasn’t for it and we were ok with that relationship.

A few years ago, however, I noticed that my sons had more energy than I did.  This will not surprise any parents out there (if we could harness the energy of little boys we would be off fossil fuels by tomorrow), but it was noticeable to me how little energy I had when trying to keep up with them. I initially played it off as being tired, bored, etc. but the truth of the matter was I wasn’t in shape and was getting upstaged by a 4 and 1-year-old.  Something needed to change if I was going to have any shot of not wheezing after every game of tag.

I moved towards running not because of any great desire to join a “movement” or to become one of those people I honked at from my car.  I ended up running simply because it was easy to get started, plenty of beginner plans existed and events were plentiful.  I physically moved my body (I won’t use the word run out of respect) for 45 minutes during my first 5k three years ago.  My current PR is 26:13 set just last weekend.  I now run 3 to 4 days a week, have lost 51 lbs. and am often joined by my now 8 and 4-year-old – with a 15 month old who I’m sure will be out there soon.  I own a couple of pairs of Brooks, multiple technical t-shirts, a few timing and GPS devices and even know what the word pronation means.  Like the golfer who shoots 100 with a $1,500 set of clubs, I doubt I get the full value out of my equipment and knowledge but it is fun to pretend.

I started this post by saying I’m not a marathoner and that is true.  I do run, however, and respect what the rest of you distance freaks do in your spare time.  I have no desire to join you crazies but do wish Joe well as he tracks down his Great White Whale somewhere between Hopkinton and Boston early next week.  I, on the other hand, will spend some time Monday morning running a few miles around my neighborhood wondering why the cars keep honking at me.

 Rob Ackley works with Joe and lives in Ft. Worth Texas.  In addition to ignoring running for most of his life, Rob is happily married with three sons.

Note from Joe – Rob is a long-time friend and co-worker who I have known for over a decade.  I have shared a lot of good times, not so good times, laughs, smiles and beers with Rob.  Running has afforded me many gifts over the last 6 years, but I can honestly say that some of my proudest moments have been watching Rob’s transformation from spectator to runner.  Playing even the smallest part of that is what it is really all about.

5K PR at 26:13.  No denying the fact any longer my friend.  You Sir, are a runner.

We’ll be blogging from the Boston Marathon Expo this weekend!  10:00 a.m. Monday – Boom goes the dynamite.

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