I recently read this letter addressed to me on line. I feel that it warrants a response... Please read the letter and I will post my response below.
January 14, 2010
The dregs of 2009, part 1: An open letter to David Goggins
I'm currently mired in grant-writing. To keep a bit of blog momentum going, I'm going to post a couple of entries that I never got around to finishing last year. Here's the first one....
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You say the following on your website:
I’m nobody special. Let’s be perfectly clear… I don’t like to run. I don’t like to swim. I don’t like to bike. I do this to raise money for the children of soldiers killed in combat.... Like I said, I don't like running. I don't like biking. I don’t like swimming. I do it to raise money. But, now that I'm in this sport I want to see how far I can push myself. What makes me tick is that pain you feel when you do these ultramarathons. I can take a lot of pain.
I'll try to be perfectly clear too. You're a really tough guy, and you're raising money for an unimpeachable cause. Good for you. As far as I know, you're telling the truth when you say that you don't like to run but are doing it for the cause. Again, good for you. I just want to point out that you're a hero not only to the families of these fallen soldiers but also to the many millions of people who are battling obesity. You used to carry 290 pounds on your 6'2" body; now you're a muscular 190.
So where am I going with this? Well, you know as well as I that regular exercise is an important part of conquering obesity. Since we want people to exercise more, is there some way you can continue the fundraising without making physical activity sound so miserable?
People occasionally tell me that they "know" they should run more but just don't enjoy it. I always reply that they should find a sport that they like -- something that doesn't feel like a chore -- and do that instead. Perhaps you could offer a similar message -- one noting that healthy activities can also be fun?
I know, I know: you've got your script and I've got mine, and the fact that I like mine better doesn't mean that it's right for you. It was just an idea. I hope you're not upset, because you look like you could kill me with your bare hands without even breaking a sweat. Hey, no hard feelings, right?
First off I would like to say thank you for the kind words you said about me. I understand your questions and I hope that I am able to clear them up.
I do hate, running, biking, swimming, ect. I was 290lbs twice for a reason. I enjoy lifting weights. I can't tell people that all types of physical fitness is fun, because I truly don't believe that it is. I think that people in general enjoy what they are good at. For instance, I enjoy lifting weights. I am also good a lifting weights. I can't tell people that running, biking ect is going to be enjoyable for them because chances are, it's not. If you tell a 250 pound man to go out and run or anything of that nature. He is not going to enjoy it. It is going to be very painful and exhausting.
I believe with all of my soul that I have become a better person because I make myself do the things I don't enjoy. I believe to help obesity in America that it is important to spread the message that it is going to suck to loose weight. But, you also don't have a choice. You have to do it. If you con people who are overweight and out of shape into believing that working out is fun. They will stop after they realize that it isn't fun.
However, if you tell them that it is going to hurt and it is going to be painful, but you have to do it for your health....they won't quit when they experience those things.
You have to get out of your comfort zone to become a healthier, better person. You have to go outside your box. You have to go outside the normal and do the things that you may not want to do.
I believe that fighting obesity in America has to start with getting people in the right mindset that it has to be done regardless of their own personal feelings to it. I was raised by a mother that worked 3 jobs to go through college and a World War II vet that believed in being raised with discipline and a firm hand when needed. Maybe that is why I am how I am. Maybe you like to run because you are good at it. I don't no. But I can't tell people that physical fitness is fun, because for 90% of the population, it won't be.
There are a lot of exercises in the world that people can find enjoyable, like I said I find lifting weights very enjoyable. But like I was saying sometimes you much leave normal behind to grow as a person. What has helped me grow as a person is putting myself at the starting line of some of these horrible races knowing that I don't like to run or to bike. However, when I get through with the race the person that comes out the other side is a person that has grown. The things I say may not be for everyone, nor are they intended to be. I was raised old school and this is just how I live my life.