Running Sucks

12 Feb

he art of T-shirt selection is a delicate science.  Just putting Batman or Star Wars on the front does *NOT* make it cool. The right T-shirt needs to say something about its wearer, while at the same time conforming to certain aesthetic sensibilities. If you’re ever standing in the aisle at Target contemplating buying a T-shirt for the dork in your life, you would do well to remember that.


Neutral color. Says something about who I am and *when* I come from. THIS is a good T-shirt

For my part I like to wear superhero shirts (provided the tacky-factor is relatively minimal). The potential is there to be mocked by the “cool kids”, but I’ve learned that what makes “cool” cool is confidence. Your attitude has to say “This is what’s cool because this is what I’m wearing”. It takes a certain amount of swagger to pull off a Green Lantern symbol T-shirt as an adult.

This is Comic Book Guy... but the caption could just as easily be "Dork Daddy"

It’s easy to have that swagger when you’re a 20-something with a 32” waist at the peak of your game. It’s quite a bit more difficult when the reality is you look more like Comic Book Guy than anything else.

I recently joked with my very pregnant wife that it took her 8 months to grow her belly bigger than mine. Just for fun we whipped out the measuring tape to see the actual numbers. Guess what. She was 8 months pregnant and I was *STILL* thicker around the middle. /epicfail

Two years ago I ran the L.A. Marathon (and haven’t run a single step since). 20 years ago I was the most feared ½ miler (800m, 2 laps around the track) and mile relay anchor (400m, 1 lap around the track) in the Monterey Bay League, consistently running the 800 in less than 2 minutes, and the 400 in less than 50 seconds. You’d never know it to look at me today. We’ve all seen that picture going around Facebook: “This is what I feel like when I run. This is what I’m pretty sure I look like”. In my case, this is what I *KNOW* I looked like.


 It’s no mystery why. It isn’t my diet – I eat pretty well. With 2.9 kids and 11-hour work days the reality is simple: I don’t sleep and I don’t exercise. Simple. As far as work goes let’s get real, dentistry is a sport of sitting on your butt all day.

This is what a 36 year old man looks like after he finishes his first marathon... just before he has his first heart attack.


Looking on my calendar I’ve got a few things coming up. Next week I have my first real grown-up appointment with a physician. My family is scheduled to take portraits in about a month once the dust from the new baby has settled. On top of that, in 6 months or so I’ve got my 20th high-school reunion.  These three events alone are enough to make me look in the mirror and loath myself. Then the other night my wife tells me she couldn’t sleep the entire night, not because she’s 40 months pregnant, but because my snoring was so bad. That, combined with the fact that I can’t physiologically take a photograph anymore without showing two or three chins presents an inescapable reality. I’ve got to get this house in order.


So today I did it. For the first time in 2 years I went out running – a piddly little 2.2 miles. I hated every step of it. But I did it. Today begins my transformation from Comic Book Guy to Duffman (minus Duffman’s nebulous sexual orientation).

-Dork Dad

PS: To my boy Andrew who was the Ring Bearer at my wedding and is now an 18-year-old stud at the peak of his game – Enjoy it while you’ve got it, ‘cause it doesn’t last.



This kid's abs have no idea what's in store for them.

9 Responses to “Running Sucks”

  1. FourJedis February 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Hilarious. Running isn’t so bad, is it? It’s painful, yes. But when it’s done, it’s done and you can just relax and enjoy the accomplishment.

    • dorkdad February 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

      If you like itching all over your body, burning lungs and aching *everything else* while the club-footed granny passes you by then no, it isn’t that bad.

  2. Melissa F February 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Hey good for you Sam! The first step is reality right? Running does suck, but it’s free, effective, and you can even do it dead tired with a young baby (use a jogger, no excuses!)). You can do it. In the meantime I promise not to make you do any of thosr shirtless dad newborn photos 😉

    • dorkdad February 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

      If I took my short off the way I look now, the kid might get the wrong idea and move in for a feed.

  3. Emily February 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Congrats on getting out there and running, but if you hate it so much you’d better find something you enjoy doing so that your exercise and fitness goals can continue. With the new baby, maybe you initially take up walking (vs. running) for a while. Find some good hills around the neighborhood. Just get out there because getting out there and doing something (even a “piddly 2.2 miles”) is better than doing nothing. Good luck…go get ’em.

  4. Kjysten February 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    There’s something to be said for being built for comfort – not for speed. Those of us who have “settled intro” ourselves may well live longer. Remember the famous runner (and Mensa member) Jim Fixx. He was thirty-five, weighed 240, and smoked when he started running. He died at age 52, 60 pounds lighter and a non-smoker – while he was out running. Tell ya anything?

    Take it easy, luv. :>

  5. Brandy Christensen February 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    The only way I can get motivated to jog (note, I don’t run) is to save up something good to listen to on the run. I like This American Life and most other things NPR and I find saving an episode at least gives me the motivation to get out the door. I also tell myself that I can jog for 15 minutes and then stop if I really want to. Most of the time I make it to whatever my goal for the day happens to be, but occassionally after 15 minutes, I quit.

    Good luck!

  6. hollow tree ventures February 14, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    You will never – never – catch me running. If something large and ferocious was chasing me I might briefly consider it, but then quickly decide to employ the Play Dead defense. I bet I’d excel at that. So, good for you!

    Started following by email!


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