Exactly a year ago today, I publicly accepted the challenge of running a 5K, pushed–to the edge of reason, a fatter Brian would claim–by a drunken email from Steve asking me to run one. Then, I could not confidently say I was a runner, unless what I was running towards was a couch, a meal or a bus bringing me closer to a couch and a meal. At the time, I had already lost 30 lbs., mainly by walking and Wii Fit-ing my ass off, but I wasn’t really fit, wasn’t someone who ran and had little muscle beyond what was required to shuffle around my almost 250-pound frame.
A year later, running no longer requires a flag checkered with pepperoni pizza and a finish line conveniently located beside a couch. What once inspired shame now feels like a necessity. When I put on those muddy sneakers and slap band-aids over my bloody nipples, I know I have accomplished something a new hole in a belt and a number on a scale can’t quite capture.
Since I began training for the 5K a year ago, I have lost almost another 50 lbs. and have gained an understanding of myself and an acceptance of my body that some people spend a lifetime of therapy, fad diets and yoga trying to reach. There’s still more ahead of me–I’m running more than 4 miles now and want to run another 5K, then a 10K in the next year, and ultimately, I want to get below 200 lbs. for the first time since I was in middle school.
But today, I want to enjoy what I’ve accomplished by looking back at the last year of posts, my greatest hits, and sharing them with you, a blog version of a mixtape, with short “liner notes” for each post because I always love reading those:
Brian with an I: Greatest Hits Volume 1.
Side A.– The “I Can’t Believe I’m Going to Run for Something Other Than the Bus”/ “Holy Shit! I’m Going to Be a Dad” Side
“That Vest Makes You Look So…Fat.” Steve is half-naked and alone in his apartment with me, but he will regret more that he agreed to run a 5K wearing a 50 lb. weight vest.
“A Post Wherein I Tell You More About My Nipples Than You May Want to Know” Training for the 5K has begun, and I have the bloody nipples to show for it. No pasties are used.
“The Day I Found Out Santa Claus is Real” This one’s about the first ultrasound, also my first post about the pregnancy. Vaginas deserve a Supporting Actress nomination for their role in this post’s performance.
“When Girl-on-Girl Goes Wrong” The slow realization that I am going to be a father crashes head-on into the growing understanding that I never had a father. Also, more vaginas.
“The Toilet Hates Me” Training for the 5K–shit is getting real. Graphic descriptions of my pained body included.
“Because ‘I Don’t Give a Shit What You Think’ Would Be Too Easy” My ridiculousness goes from unrecorded legend to blog post.
“Getting Over My Fears, One Step at a Time” Let the emotional evisceration begin!
“RWF: A Recap of the 5K” I ran and lived to tell about it. This is that.
Side B.–The “Holy Shit! I Ran a 5K!”/ “Holy Shit! I’m Still Becoming a Dad” Side
“I Really Hope My Baby’s Mama Doesn’t Beat Me Up for Posting This” Fear the pregnant for they do not care what you think!
“A Dick Thing to Do” My most-read post, one about circumcision. Also, the comments from all the foreskin-lovers are hilarious!
“How Running Gave Me Happiness” More emotional evisceration!
“#grownfolksproblems” About to turn 30, I continue the emotional gutting.
“99 Problems But a Baby Ain’t One” A reflection on the day of Sonny’s birth.
“On Being Content with Failure” I didn’t reach my weight loss goal but in failing I gained so much more.
“The Reveal-ations of Brian McGuigan” Because I hadn’t gutted myself in awhile and I was on a roll with these three prior posts. Also, some guy leaves a comment about my mother, I reply, and this becomes my third most-read post. People are still telling me that guy was an asshole.
“On Realizing People Believe in Me” My last post and one of my personal favorites. Of the emotional evisceration variety but with less bowel.
And now shouts-out, my other favorite part of the liner notes:
Album shout-outs almost always start with thanking God, but since I spend my Sundays between September and early February on the couch and not at church, I’ll start by thanking football, especially the New York Giants. Jaime, of course, my dick-punching queen. Sonny–keep smiling, little man. And Steve, whose drunk emails, most of which I don’t share on this blog, are inspiring. And, thank you, everyone, for following me on this journey over the last year. Volume 2 will be even better.