Wednesday, July 28, 2010


“Run!!!” – Jillian.

Do you watch “The Biggest Loser?”

Because you should. Everyone reading this should watch this show. It’s not just about fat people, it’s about health and eating well and mostly willpower. I’m a big fan of willpower. I like to believe I have a lot of it. It depresses me when I don’t have a lot of willpower and feel like I’m a normal human. In fact, I hate that. Like everyone else, I am a special and unique flower.

I like to go running in extremes. I have run at minus forty degrees below zero. (I’m not kidding.) I have run in the middle of a thunderstorm which caused my mom to come out on her porch and shout at me “ARE YOU CRAZY!?!”

Yes. Yes I am.

Which is why I run.

I haven’t been getting enough exercise lately. So, yesterday, I decided to go for a run. The loop Wendy and I make is a little over a 5K. Which, honestly, is not a lot, but it’s enough. But I haven’t run it in weeks. I started out walking and thought “I’ll run, then walk, then run, then walk. It’s been weeks since I ran, we’ll make this the best that I can do.”

So I started running about twenty steps past my house. I felt pretty good. So, I kept going.

A half mile into it, I need to stop and Jillian starts screaming at me. “Don’t tell me you can’t! I hate that! Never tell me you can’t!!!”
If a three hundred pound person can keep going after never exercising in their life, I can keep going.

So I do.

I see people quit on “Losing it with Jillian” (her other show) and I think “You are weak. I would never quit on national TV and not in front of my wife and/or kids. You are weak. That is sad. I would never quit.”

Easy to say, harder to prove. So prove it.

So, I keep going.

The first 3/4 of a mile of this run is all uphill. You complete that, it’s downhill for a mile. I am sucking in deep breaths of air. I am thinking “I just need to make it to the top then it’s downhill and I can rest all the way down.”

The men in my family all have a disorder. It is the belief we can do anything. Anything. I have a hiatal hernia because of this belief. See, I believe that with enough willpower, I can lift anything. Think about that for a second. I can lift anything. Anything. All it takes is more willpower. Big rock? Sure. Huge log. No problem. Couch with a bed? I can do that. Mountain? Give me a minute to gather my will and I’ll carry that wherever you want.

When I was in college, I hated carrying kegs downstairs between my legs because it was awkward. So, I would throw them up to my shoulder, carry them down a flight of steps, and fifty yards to the bar and hook them up. I’m still very proud of that fact. Do you know how heavy a keg of beer is?

Too heavy.

Believing this has caused me to have acid reflux for the rest of my life because I have damaged my stomach with my hernia. And yet, I still cannot stop.
The downhill part is easy. Then I reach the flat part and I think “I really need to rest.”

How will you write this blog entry if you quit?

Well, I could lie, or I could admit that I quit.

“Don’t tell me you can’t! I hate that! NEVER tell me you can’t!!!” - Jillian

It is almost August in Vermont. No lie, it is ninety degrees while I am running and it is so humid it feels like I am breathing water. But, I am a Wakefield, so I can do anything. I keep going.

I get to the top of the hill and I am on route seven. I am pretty sure I am going to throw up.

“I would like to see you legitimately throw up” – Jillian.

Well… I can’t, so I guess I keep going. Twice in my life I have had unique running experiences. Once I achieved a runner’s high where so many endorphins were released I felt like I had touched God and could run forever. The other was when I ran so hard I threw up behind a tree three times. That was not a runner’s high and did not feel like I had touched God. In fact, it felt like I had been violated.

Since I’m not throwing up, I keep going.

The sun is hammering me. The air feels like water. Focus on the fat people. Focus on the fact that you see the show and you think “I would never quit.” Now prove it.
I round the corner and start the uphill climb home. Wendy and I usually walk this part.

I’m almost there, I just need to make it to Mary’s. My breath is coming in deep sucking breaths. My heart is hammering in my chest. I make it to the sidewalk which means there is only a half mile to go.

“Run!!!” – Jillian

Are you insane, woman? I can barely walk. What do you mean “Run!”

Well, the faster you run, the sooner this will be over.

I start to sprint.

“Run!!!” – Jillian

I sprint to the end. I am pretty sure I am going to die, but know that I won’t. I’ve seen how far you can push someone and they won’t die. I walk up to just across from my house and collapse on the church lawn. I lay on my back sucking wind. Then I roll over onto my side since vomit is a lot less disgusting on a lawn then on my shirt and face. Clearly I have not pushed myself hard enough since vomit never happens. I roll over onto my knees and rest for a bit, then make my way into the house.

I collapse on the floor and Wendy comes down to see how I am doing. “Are you okay?”

“I ran the whole way.”

“OMG, you haven’t been running in weeks and it's 90 degrees out!”

“Jillian kept screaming at me.”


  1. "Play Multicolour decks!" - Jillian

    "I don't want to hear that you can't, you don't want to play Multicolour decks, you don't actually want to win" - Jillian

    Seriously though, running in this weather is nuts, though Jillian is a powerful motivator. I like the Biggest Looser as well, however i can only watch it when it is recorded, the stupid cliff hanger commercial breaks and gratuitous product placement make it unwatchable without fast forward. The ridiculous blubbering and crying when really unnecessary is also a little grating.

  2. Hi Jamie
    Willpower is, indeed, an amazing thing and I fully believe in it too.
    Still, it's no substitute for intelligence. Running the whole way when you haven't been running for weeks it's gonna do more harm than good. Do things the proper way.

  3. My God Jamie. I was laughing so hard, by the end of that post, I had tears running down my face. I could almost hear your voice over vent "I am not losing to that (insert big boss name from DAOC) lets go again." You will never change. LOL

  4. I understand where you're coming from, but let's get something straight—The Biggest Loser is basically an exploitation show. I would have a lot more respect for the show if they actually had a respectable health care staff overseeing the competition at all times; a physician, nutritionist, PhD exercise physiologist, etc. But of course, any respectable health care professional would choose not to be associated with the show and its message. Losing or gaining weight very quickly is incredibly unhealthy. I mean, don't get me wrong, so is being a fat fuck, but still. I think it's great that you feel empowered by the efforts of these people yet I can't help but cringe at the glowing endorsement.

    Worth reading:

  5. Also:

    That disclaimer about the show's contestants being "overseen by doctors" is such obvious bullshit. What kind of doctors? MDs? PhDs? Are they board certified? Do they specialize in sports medicine and working with the morbidly obese? I mean Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura go by the professional title of "doctor" and neither have any sort of background in medicine.