Friday, April 1, 2011

Today's fortune: April 1, 2011

Today's fortune: You will participate in a challenging physical endeavor soon.

When I picked up my copy of Esquire Magazine this month, I ran across a story about a guy named Stefaan Engels, who ran a marathon every day for a year. Even if he couldn't find an actual marathon to run in, he just went out and ran 26 miles for the hell of it.

I'm eating a cookie every day for a year, so really, me and Stefaan Engels are exactly the same.

Engels' story inspired me. Not to run a marathon, of course. That would be crazy. I'm not in the physical shape to run 26 miles. I get winded walking out to the truck to drive down the street. When I was in school, I dreaded the day each spring when the PE teacher would make us run a mile. I inevitably came in dead last, even after the girly girls who walked the damn thing.

There's no way I could get in shape to run a marathon within the guidelines of this fortune.

But still... the cookie says I'll be participating in a challenging physical endeavor SOON. I've debated before on this blog that "soon" could mean nearly anything.

But I think this is a tattoo moment. This calls for something drastic. I am going to run in a marathon.

After I read the fortune today, I picked up the phone and called in sick to work. Then I put on a pair of sweat pants and a hoodie and I commenced a rigorous stretching routine before walking outside. Something pulled me forward: the desire to feel the wind against my face and my legs churning underneath me.

I began to run. "Just around the block," I told myself. And I made it. I was winded as hell by the time I was finished and I didn't have the energy left to walk into the house, so I laid down in the bed of my truck. After a half hour or so I stood back up. And I started running again.

This time I only made it a little over halfway before slowing to a walk. My sides hurt. My face was sweating. I was getting cramps in my legs. But I finished that lap, too. And, later in the morning, a third lap, this one walking only. But by the end of that lap I still had the energy left to make it back in the house.

By this time it was 11 a.m. Even though it was against my diet, I ate a ravenous lunch of bread and microwave pasta to carbo-load (I guess I have a new diet now). Then I scoured the Internet and found a personal trainer, a guy named Greg who works at a gym in Overland Park, Kansas. He has trained a couple other people for marathons. I have an appointment with him for next Tuesday, and I'll meet him twice a week thereafter until the big day.

That's right: I've already picked the marathon I'm going to run in. Well, first, I picked the date, and then I picked the 'thon. The date was easy: May 22, a date that will have particular significance for me, according to a previous fortune.

On that day I will be running in the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I've already paid the eighty-dollar entrance fee. I've already submitted my application for a passport. And I have a little less than two months from today to prepare.

That doesn't really sound like much time, but Greg assured me he could whip me into shape. However, I know this will be the hardest thing I've ever done.

It's a good thing, then, that this is April Fools Day.

I'm not going to run a marathon. "You will participate in a challenging physical endeavor soon" wasn't even my real fortune. I made it up. The real fortune was "Do not rush through life. Pause and enjoy it," and the lucky numbers are 3 7 16 19 20 37. To follow the real fortune today, I took an extra-long lunch break. It was nice.

Like I'm gonna run a freakin' marathon.


  1. I don't know, I think if you put your mind to it, you could probably do it. Nothing stopping you really. Getting in shape may take some time, but that's true for anyone.
    The May 22nd date may be pushing things though.
    What really put it over the edge of credulity was the whole Nova Scotia bit.
    Yeah. Like that's a real place.