As the doctor had is index finger 3 knuckles deep in my anus, I thought how did I get here?
I guess it started back in 2009 when I was living in Chicago. I had recently hit a "bottom" by simply weighing myself on my girlfriends scale after years of avoiding the scale. 260 something. Whoa! What!? I remember as a kid giving my dad a hard time For being 242lbs. Now I have surpassed that and in shorter time. A bit of brainstorming with my lady love, and we came up with getting sponsorship for me to lose weight. I'd ask friends and family to donate either a flat rate or per pound. I thought even if I get a few hundred bucks out of it it'll be good. Initially 60lbs was my goal and somewhere along the way added another 10 lbs. I started the weight losing at 267lbs. Losing 70 would bring me down to under 200.
It was hard. It was 90% change of diet (I ate salad for possibly the firsttme ever). The weight was dying to get off me. My body was thanking me all along the way. But my lifestyle, socializing took a big hit. I was use to hitting the bars, watching improv shows while having 1, 2 or 10 beers in a night. Then hitting Denny's and eating some of that shit at 3am was not unusual.
I had already quit smoking a few years before so I had that going for me, but I could swear that put weight on me. Not smoking gave me more time to eat and drink.
But I was doing it, I was really actually doing what I viewed as impossible. Literally for me impossible. I would watch the biggest loser on tv and think it looks so fucking intense and crazy!
I was never very active. I played some soccer in elementary school but I thought I sucked and wasn't having fun so bye bye to that.
When I lived home with my patents in my 20s (yeah I was that guy) I would constantly ask the not to get junk food cuz I couldn't help myself. My mother never took any blame and put it on my dad who did all the food shopping. My mom hates food shopping. I don't really get that but my guess is my dads real intense about it. Using his coupons and making fun of my mom whenever she would try to go food shopping. News flash: it's not fucking rocket science!
When I was losing the weight in Chicago I realized food is a genuine problem for me. It's always a struggle day to day, meal to meal. Making right choices. Saying no more than saying yes. It's hard.
Toward the end of my weight loss ( I was averaging 10lbs a month). I lost 60lbs in 6 months. That final 10 was on the horizon. I decided to commit to running a marathon that following October in Chicago. Exercise was hard for me to get into so I made myself commit and told everybody I knew so I would be held accountable. So I joined the gym around the corner from my apartment and off I went.
Took 2 months to lose that final 10 but I did it. I did what I thought was impossible. And was training for something else now I thought was equally if not more so, impossible. Running 26.2 miles?! Are you fucking serious? Why would anybody do that? I don't get it. Everybody just calm down.
I wasn't around exercise growing up, sure there was gym class with a bunch of buddies and girls you had crushes on , but really I just viewed that as a free period. And in high school I got out of gym class altogether due to a skin rash I would get when my body would heat up.
My sister was the most active of us. she was into kick line (a form of dance and cheer leading fusion). And she seemed to not have too many issues with weight or food. My mom always kept her weight at a reasonable number. She seemed to have the capability to not finish a meal and get full early. But us Scott boys: me, my brother and dad, we could finish our plates and fight over who was going to finish theaters of those around us.
I had to ask an employee of the gym how to use a treadmill and what she recommend I start on. And off I went. That first day I did a walk/jog for about10 minutes. I probably did under a mile.
9 months later it was October. I had run 2 half marathons in August and in September to give me a sense of what it was going to be like to run with other people, the noise and being guided by someone. Because I'm doing these blindfolded. Did I forget to mention that part? My eye disease, Choroideremia, is not only taking my sight away but while it's doing that it's making lights uncomfortable and unhealthy for me to be around. Thanks Choroideremia you asshole!
So here I was, blindfolded, going blind, formerly fat (I was probably about 203 for the marathon), ex smoker, no idea what the hell I doing. Can't wait for this to be over and never run again.
I was able to get local publicity for my run. I was on CBS news, got a write up in the free Red Eye and front page of theChicago tribune. Not bad. I raised $14,000 from that weight loss, also not bad and was still raising more with these marathons.
I finished that marathon. It was hard, I didn't enjoy most of it. I started crying at mile 22 or so. I finished at around 5:37 (hours, minutes).
I don't know the exact day or the exact time or what was the one thing that made me think of 12 marathons in 12 states in 2012. Maybe because the Chicago one I ran was on 10/10/10, maybe cuz my brother in law bicycled across the country in 35 days for Choroideremia, maybe because Jeff Benelux also a chmer ran marathons, maybe cuz of the publicity I thought I could get, maybe because I just couldn't shake the idea. I already did a bunch of stuff I thought were Impossible and that I'd never do. Maybe this would just be added to that list. Maybe I'm foolish enough to think I could make a difference. Maybe also this is a way for me to deal with going blind. Rather than sit around and wait for it to take over.
So it I am again. Chicago, two years later. 10/07/12 (not quite as catchy as the first time I ran) but ok.
I live in LA now but still have some good friends in Chicago. Luckily a couple of them were going out of town for a few days and I was going to have a place to crash. Perfect! My own space for me to focus on the task at hand. My 10th marathon of the year.
I was nervous about my back as usual. I was able to visit dr tickle, my chiropractor in Chicago I use to go to regularly when I lived there. She gave me the full treatment and I needed it. My back has been a looming force this year. I have a bad back that goes back to my early 20s, luckily its never been an issue during a marathon run. And I'd like to keep it that way.
I flew in on Wednesday, my flight left crazy late so I arrived crazy late I met up with Dave whose place I was staying at who also gave me Johns keys I was staying at his place too. I dropped my bags off at johns which was pretty close to iO Chicago! My improv theater out there. I was meeting my friends there for a drink and a show. First I met Don at Salt and Pepper diner for a quick bite, then we went over to watch a few improv groups leading up to Carl and the Passions, one of my favorite teams there. Noah said hi to me on his way in (he's on that team) and during one of the other teams he asked if I wanted to play in Carl and the passions! I was psyched! I got never got to play with the before! I had a great time playing. I was a little rusty but I think it went ok.
After that we waited around to watch TJ and Dave arguably one of the best improv shows and duos of all time. My friends lee and Rebecca joined don and I. It was a great show. It was cool to see those guys play again.
The next day I had planned a fundraiser at the Playground theater. My parents were in town (they had been driving around the country the few weeks leading up to Chicago). It was raining a lot that night and was def going to be an issue. Not many people attended but it was a fun show. 3033 a great improv group at iO played and I did Shootin the shit with Sarah Gee, Lisa Linke and Brendan Jennings. All great improvisors who I haven't seen in a long time. I hadn't been back to Chicago since I moved a year and a half before.
Only made $200 for the foundation but what a fun way to make it.
I was moving to Dave's place now. I needed to do as little as possible so I could
Get to bed early and start getting use to that. Sunday I was going to need to get up very early. I had bench with my folks and grabbed so throw away clothes at salvation army. It was going to be cold for the race.
I ordered take out and watched some episodes of Fringe I brought with me.
Was expo day and an opportunity for me to meet my guide Whitney. Whitney was assigned to help me, even thought I had nick who lives in Chicago and ran one of those half marathons with me 2 years prior. Nick had an injury a couple weeks ago and having a back up seemed like a good idea.
I gave Whitney the rundown. She seemed with it and seasoned. She was training for an 50 mile ultra run so in the morning she was going to ur. To the start line. Wow! Really?! Ok cool.
I met up with Paul a reporter for CBS I think. And he ended up doing a really good story on me for the news! Sweet!
I even got some running in at a local gym.
I made some pasta for myself and got to bed pretty early. Got about 7 hours I think. Really good. That's a good start. I took a couple ibuprofens before I left. My hip flexors have been bothering me a lot lately especially that week.
Nick picked me up, drive us downtown to the start of the race. We parked and got wheelchair special treatment. Even though I'm not in a wheelchair I got to hang out in that rent right next to the start. And I get a 9 minute head start. Good news. That usually helps with my time and Stress.
The start was a bit rocky. Right off the bat I tripped over some guy that cut in front of me. I ran with the shirt I bought at salvation army for maybe a mile. Bad idea though. I over heated and ended up sweaty. And it was cold out so I was freezing. It didn't get any better either. My time was pretty good the first 10k or so. I took a couple Advils at mile 6 but at mile 7 I started getting the weird pee sensation I got in Seattle. Oh no! It's painful, uncomfortable and causes me to not want to run. I told my team what was up and to expect me to stop at every porta potty. But even when I pee almost nothing comes out. I thought for sure it's because of all the ibuprofens I've been taking. Whitney even mentioned. Maybe I have kidney damage. Shit! I hope not. I still had 19 miles to run for this race. And man did it just suck!
I tried to listen to music but my iPod when wonky and I stopped using it at mile 10 or so. I did a whole lot of walking. At one point in the porta potty I grabbed my butt cheeks and they were wet and freezing cold. That was probably half way through. But that's how it was the whole time. painful, wet, cold, miserable. I felt bad for my guides. I was not great company.
We stopped at a burger king just so I could use their bathroom. At least BK is good for something.
Eventually I finished. With a time of 6:53. My worst time by far. I knew it would be once that bladder thing happened. But I was worried about my kidneys now. And what if I did something to them. This was maybe the 3 rd time it's happened to me during my marathons.
I met up with my parents and friends and apologized for keeping everybody waiting. They understood. But 10 down! 2 to go!
That night I stayed in Evanston in hotel. Watched bad tv pilots I downloaded on iTunes and ate pizza. I was feeling better. More normal.
Went to dr tickle again, this time my dad went too, to get a tune up. And later that day had a dinner with folks and friends at Calo restaurant in Andersonville where I use to live. Was able to drop by iO and see some armando show and say hi to a few people. But I was wiped and I had an early flight the next morning.
I flew out of midway but not before losing my very expensive back cushion that fell out of my bag. Man that pissed me off. And the employees there seemed to not give a shit. Whatevs I was excited to get home to see my lady.
I made an appointment to see a urologist that took my insurance. He interviewed my, checked my stats, had a guy ultra sound my bladder and kidneys and as a hey how ya doin, it's time for the prostate exam. Yikes! I had the bladder thing a couple years ago when stil living in Chicago and had a prostate exam then too. All good! Now just waiting for blood and urine tests. But the doctor thanks I wasn't hydrated enough. Could be. But I was I thought it was the pills. He said nope. Not with the amount. Was taking.
So here I am now on a plane to NYC after Frankenstorm Sandy! I'm going to try his advice of hydrating and just drink a ton the day beforehand take a drink at each water stop. And see how it goes. Hopefully the bladder will be Finland my hip flexors will be ok. I've been stretching them a lot lately. They are feeling better.
Wish me luck. Here I go! #11!!
Please give to my goal. I'm only at about $85,000 of my $144,000 goal. Thanks!
I'm running 12 marathons in 12 states in 2012 blindfolded!
10 down 2 to go!!
Next up..... New York City!!! November 4th!