Archive for Thursday, June 12, 2008

Motivation finally hits home

Off the Rim column

June 12, 2008

Well, I think it's finally official.

After a couple of years of false hope, I think I might be on the right track. This summer might just be the one that breaks the mold.

It seems like every summer I keep announcing how I am finally going to get back in running shape. Then the hot summer days pass by and I find myself finding excuses to avoid running or simply too tired to go for a quick jog.

Not anymore.

No more will the dog days of summer bring me down. At least not yet, anyway. It's actually the dog days that's got me motivated to run this summer. Well, that's one of the motivating factors.

Yep, the George McCrary special has got me hooked. It's more like the McCrary family workout now as wife Cheryl and daughter Kaylin lead most of the exercise programs. George is still there cheering everyone on and pushes us to push ourselves.

Those 30-minute workouts have me waking up at 6 a.m. on Wednesdays or staying in town until 8 p.m. some weeknights just to exercise. I really do enjoy the program, but I feel the pain and soreness once in a while. Those are both part of trying to get my now 26-year-old body back into shape.

Yeah, I turned 26 on Wednesday and I even showed up at 6 a.m. on my birthday to sweat it out. Surprisingly, after the workout, it's the best I've felt since starting to run again in May. It might be that I ran Tuesday evening also or maybe because I am starting to regain some of my old conditioning. Either way, I'm excited about the direction I'm heading.

It does help that attendance has increased significantly this year. It started to grow last summer at the end with the help of the Baldwin High School football team. Yet, this summer, the highest attendance is nearly 100 already. Not too shabby, when you consider Lawrence's Red Dog Days is bringing in 800 people and that town is way more than eight times larger than little old Baldwin City.

The people that attend Bulldog Days range in all ages and walk of life. I've seen a few BHS alumni, many junior high age students and quite a few parents with their children.

I can't hide it, I'm competitive in anything I do. So when I have a few people to run with at the track, I push myself while trying to push them along also. That competitive edge is my driving force to endure the multiple facets of the Bulldog Days workouts.

Those push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, lunges, etc. have been tough at times, but they are making me stronger and tougher than I've been in about four years. I guess those stairs, laps around the Liston track and sprints on the wonderful turf are also helping. All in all, it's a great little workout.

I would encourage anyone wanting to get some exercise to come out and join us each weeknight at 8 p.m. and at 6 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Everyone works at their own pace and encouragement is all a part of the fun at Bulldog Days.

Now I know I sound like an advertisement for Bulldog Days. However, I have a goal this summer. I am going for the free t-shirt if you attend 20 sessions. I am somewhere near the halfway mark, so I'm well on my way.

Of course, Bulldog Days isn't my only motivation to run this summer. I enjoy the workouts, but I do need to start logging a few more miles. I have another goal - finishing higher than 10th in the second-annual BHS alumni cross country run.

It's coming back in July for all of those who ran cross country for BHS. I believe the date is July 12 right now. I want to place slightly higher this year and if all goes well, I should. If not, I'm sure I will run faster. It won't take much to run faster though, trust me.

I also might have another alumni run this summer. The new Baker University cross country coach is possibly planning an alumni run against the current Wildcat team. That instantly sparked my interest, so we'll see if that happens.

Well, the motivation is there to get in shape. Now I just need to get out and hit the trail, track or road, whatever surface it might be. Hopefully, I'll see everybody at Bulldog Days.

I won't leave you in the dust : just yet.


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