• He's been called the Pied Piper of the Second Running Boom. Once an overweight couch potato with a glut of bad habits, including smoking and drinking, at the age of 43 Bingham looked mid-life in the face—and started running.

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What to do now?

Ever notice how the simplest ideas can blow up in your face? You know, sometimes what seems like a quiet idea, something that will attract no attention and create no personal problems develops a life of its own and you find yourself hanging on to the tiger’s tail?

To review; I was injured for nearly the entire year of 2010. It started in January with a slipped sacroiliac joint. A failed injection then a SUPER injection and I was able to run and walk comfortably. Then came the cuboid subluxation syndrome, which I created on a motorcycle trip and then aggravated for months by running on it. By December I was ready to get back at it. I missed being active.

So, I challenged myself and my Facebook friends and fans to join me in committing to 30 minutes of intentional movement every day for 100 days. And, much to my surprise over 10,000 people joined up. Now we’re on to the 100 Days of Summer which is more about play than intentional movement. And here’s my problem.

I did the 100 days. I nailed it. Every day. 30 minutes at LEAST. For 100 days. Then, on day 101 I kept going. And on day 102 and 103 and 104. You get the idea. It’s now day 180 and, you guessed it, I’m still going. I’m just a couple of days short of being half-way through the year and I’m still on it. NOW WHAT?

OK, the WHOLE truth is that I’ve been walking, mostly, cycling every now and then, and mixing in some running when the mood hits me. But mostly I’ve been walking. And I have been enjoying it. More than that, I’ve found that I really look forward to it, the walking that is.

I’ve walked alone. I’ve walked with Jenny. I walked last Friday with fellow announcer Ian Brooks and I walked on  Sunday with my friend Indro. I walked with them. Nearly no one ever wanted to run with me. I was too slow. People said they wanted to. I got invited by clubs to go “run” with them, but it never worked. I always ended up running – in the back – by myself.

Something’s different about walking. It seems, almost by its nature, to be social. And the pace lends itself to conversation. Or, when I’m alone, to contemplation.

I tell myself at the beginning of each new month that I’m going to focus on running. One of these months I will. For now, though, I’m on a roll and I’m not going to do anything to risk getting banged up again.

Yep. You guessed it. I’m going to try to move every day for an entire year.

Waddle on, friends.

John “the Penguin” Bingham, Competitor Magazine columnist
Author, The Courage to Start,No Need for Speed, Marathoning for Mortals and Running for Mortals.

Order your EARLY copy of John’s NEW book An Accidental Athlete today.

Have a question for John? Write him.


One Response

  1. I’d been wondering why you haven’t mentioned running in your 100 Days posts on FB or the blog. You certainly handled the injury in a more productive way than I did. I had Achilles trouble for the last 5 months of 2010; spent a bunch of money on races that I couldn’t do. Of course, I thought sulking and overeating was the answer. I’ll certainly take your approach next time!

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