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Running the Green Mile - When I'm 54


Now I've never been a fast runner, not by any stretch. I remember as a boy and getting timed in gym class, I'd be at the bottom 3rd of the class. As a result I never added running to my fitness routine until I was 45. It was at that time in 2013 that changed everything.


I was searching for a high intensity interval training (HIIT) activity that could be done anywhere, didn't overly strain my joints, and provided all of the benefits of HIIT (primarily being lean and still eating my favorite foods on occasion). I remember trying rowing and stationary biking, neither of which I enjoyed.


In 2013 I read a blog that said something like, have you ever noticed that people begin to lose the ability to run fast somewhere in there 30's and that you can see it whenever there's an unexpected rain storm and people will scatter for cover and truly look like they've never sprinted before.


I decided to put this to the test and I went to a nearby baseball field and just tried running fast. Sure enough, I had this awkward feeling as if I was going to trip over my feet and fall so I just couldn't go full out. Not to mention the neuropathways between my brain and body to pull off sprints needed to be rebuilt.


I remember doing this same activity every day for three weeks when I finally felt that I was approaching my full potential. As I reflected on that I realized I truly enjoyed this. As this matured I made my way to a flat track. I even eventually convinced a friend to try it and they immediately enjoyed it. So much so that they said I should name it the Marshall Smash or something. I thought, what about the Green Mile. Four laps around the track equals one Green Mile (GM). And that's what I call it today.


All I do is stretch for 5 to 10 minutes, then jog the first straightaway, walk the first corner, sprint full out on the back straightaway and walk the final corner - repeat. I have a goal of a minimum of 8 laps (2 GM's) each session but many times do more and I believe the most was 6 GM's (24 laps).


It is here a become one with nature and simultaneously connect with the heavens. It is here I support staying lean, strengthen my heart and improve my gate as I walk about. And who knows when I'll need to move into and out of situations quickly on my own steam.


This is a video my girlfriend shot of me on my 54th birthday (9/6/2021). Still not the fastest guy in the world, but I truly feel like a little boy whenever I run the Green Mile, full out and fully free.


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