Thursday, April 14, 2011

Labels

"...let them label you as they may..." - Mark Twain

Smoker. Marathoner.
Jason Phipps
Labels are tricky things... they are easy to assign and once there very difficult to eradicate.  People like to see things simply even when the label speaks so loudly it's hard to hear anything else. 

Jason Phipps was a smoker.

In two weeks, Jason Phipps will be a marathoner

Jason Phipps is more than just a rad running partner... he's a guy who over two days in December of 2010 did two remakable things; quit smoking and began training for a marathon.  Smoking a pack somtimes two a day over 28 years does some damage and commiting to quitting and beginning the journey of training for a marathon in the span of 48 hours may be one of the most ambitious things I've ever heard a person doing.  Had I heard that back in December I would have assumed it would never stick.  A person can't change two things that big long term. 

Fast forward four months.  I met Jason last Saturday in the Walnut Creek parking lot around 7:30 AM for what would be a 22 mile training run with Jim Collison and me.  The farthest distance Jason has ever run was happening that day. He isn't fast, and he isn't trying to be.  He isn't 175 pounds, and it doesnt' deter him. In four months he's made major changes that will extend his life, one that includes his wife Candice and their two kids, and give him the chance to give himself and his family one of the greatest gifts he can - his health.

Jason ran the longst run of his life - a run he recounts wonderfully on his own blog - "In My Minds's Eye" that ended up going 23.6 miles.  Jason is a new member of our running family The Mud Mafia.  And we're proud to have him.  Inspiration.  How is that for a label?

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