B.J.’s 1-Step Guide to Starting Over

Starting over is hard to do. Believe me, I know. I am starting over right now.

When I was training for a half-marathon, I had worked up to ten miles as my long run. Then, I was diagnosed with trochanteric bursitis, and now, I am lucky if I can complete a single mile without walking. Most of the time, I can’t even manage that.

But that’s okay. Because at least I’m running again.

See, when the doctor told me I couldn’t run, I started to go through a pretty deep depression. Running was where I worked through my problems. Running was where I went when I needed to relax. And suddenly, my primary avenue for mental (and physical) health was blocked.

Even my secondary exercises–squatting, deadlifts, and kettlebells–all relied primarily on hip movement. Since the doctor told me nothing could stress my hip, those were out, too.

So I retreated into myself, fell out of the habits I had worked so hard for, and pretty much sulked for the last 6 to 8 months. Then I realized there was only one thing that would fix everything.

One thing that would help ease me back into feeling good about myself, being able to work through my problems, and get rid of the newest ten pounds of winter pudge. It was simple once I realized what was going on.

All You Have To Do Is Get Off Your Lazy Butt

That’s it. For so long, I played the Woe Is Me card. I couldn’t run for so long, that even when I could, I was scared that I’d hurt myself. And when that stage passed, I played the card again because I had lost so much of the fitness I had worked for. If I couldn’t run 10 miles, then I wouldn’t run at all.

That’d show em.

And it did. It showed em that I wasn’t a runner. That I was a quitter. That I didn’t care nearly as much about fitness and health as I claimed.

So I made myself a promise. I said that as soon as the semester was over, I’d start running again, even if it was just a minute at a time. Even if it was only a fraction of what I could have run at the peak of my training.

The very first day my wife and I moved into our new apartment, I got up off my lazy butt, and I went for a run through my new neighborhood. It was hard, and there was a lot of walking, but I went outside and I did it. Since then, I’ve been going out 3-4 times a week, steadily building my endurance once again.

I’m starting over, but that’s okay. Because this isn’t about PRs and distance. It’s not about competition and being able to run further or faster than anyone else–even yourself. It’s about being healthy and active and living life the way I want to live it.

And if that means I have to start over at square one, so be it. Square one it is.

B.J. Keeton

B.J. Keeton

B.J. is a geek, gamer, podcaster, and livestreamer. He has been the co-host of the Geek to Geek podcast since 2016, and he helped start the Geek to Geek Media Network. His biggest pet peeve is when someone spells Wookiee with only one E. One time, he told his friends he liked vegetables maybe more than he did Star Wars, and they made him put a dollar in the jar. That should tell you everything you need to know about him. Find him on Twitter as @professorbeej or on Discord as @professorbeej#1337.

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8 Comments

  1. Darlene

    So glad to see you bouncing back, B.J.! You’ve been one of my inspirations for nearly a year, now, having contacted you regarding your asthma/running.

    A year ago this past April, I started a quest to become fit, which involved losing 46 lbs. At only 4’11, I had hit the scales at 152.4. I later took on the lifelong pursuit of becoming a runner, learning to take my asthma. 11 months later, I have run in a couple 5k’s and was 9 miles into training for my first half this February when I injured my knee. A lot of PT later, I’m now prepping for a 10k this month.

    I went through the same depression and withdrawal into myself. I feared everything you mentioned, and I’ve overcome it the same way. Thank you for letting me know it wasn’t just me 🙂 Best wishes for your continued push.

    Reply
    • B.J. Keeton

      That’s fantastic, Darlene! 46 lbs is an amazing feat! I can’t say I’m not jealous of you and your 10k this month, either, hehe. 😉

      And no, it’s not just you. Everyone around me mentioned how my mood going sour, and it really did take me 6-8 months to dig my way out of it, and I’m still not feeling 100% like myself. But I will. And so will you! Keep me posted on your journey!

      Reply
  2. Zahra

    Hey BJ,

    Sorry to hear you weren’t able to run but happy to hear you’re back on track!

    I know you’ve spoken about shoes before and I wanted your take on “zero-drop” shoes. The concept seems interesting to me, more so than barefoot running. What’s your take on it?

    Reply
    • B.J. Keeton

      I haven’t actually run in those shoes, Zahra. I have stuck with my Asics or my Brooks, and they’re like running with clouds padding my feet. My wife, however, runs in the Saucony Kinvara 4s, which are low-drop (4mm, I think), and she loooooves them. She claims that running in anything more than that feels like she has cinder blocks strapped to her feet, and when she needs new shoes, she’ll be grabbing some more of those and never going back to Asics. They tend to work a lot better for her, and she even started getting better times on her runs when she swapped. The only issue was that she had to get used to them over time instead of all at once–they’re such a change from traditional running shoes that you need to ease your body into using them. Like do one run a week in them at first, then two, until you’re comfortable they won’t cause any undue aches and pains.

      Reply
      • Jennifer

        B.J.’s wife here. He describes my experience in the Kinvara 4s really well. For me, they make me feel like I’m gliding across the ground. I love them, and I did increase my speed almost immediately. Lightweight shoes just made me fly (compared to my previous times, that is).

        I’ve never run in zero-drop shoes. I think I tried some on once, and I didn’t feel like they were for me. Best thing to do would be to go to an actual running store where they’ll let you throw on a pair and go run up and down the sidewalk.

        Reply
  3. Des @ Finding the Skinny Geek Within

    Ouch, sorry about the setbacks but kudos for getting back at it. I had a pretty bad bout of Plantar Faciitis (and still have flare ups..) and I’ve been dealing with the plateau from hell now for going on 9 months. I’m slowly working my way back into running also so hopefully soon the scale will start behaving again!

    Good luck to you!

    Reply
    • B.J. Keeton

      Those extended plateaus are terrible. But I can deal with them when I’m able to stay active and try to work through them. With your Plantar Faciitis, you know exactly what it’s like to just sit and be frustrated. Glad that’s over (mostly) for ya!

      And reading your blog has made me really want to start playing tennis again. We moved into a new apartment complex where there’s a court right outside our door, so I think that may be part of the weekend’s activities… 😀

      Reply

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