It's been nearly nine months since my return back into America and the spoiled life that I lived in Thailand for more than two years has caught up with me. While in Thailand, it's sort of the unwritten law that men lose weight if living there for a significant amount of time and women typically gain weight. This was a great surprise my first time living in Thailand for 6 months back in 2006. But when I knew I was going back to Thailand in 2008, I pigged out, knowing full well that I would be able to shed the weight easily in Thailand. I didn't used to be like this, as my old habits of exercise used to be great and I truly enjoyed the daily physical activity. Now I just feel old and slowly gaining back the weight I lost in Thailand. My last days in Thailand were my thinnest in a LONG time simply because I had just finished ordaining as a Buddhist monk for a month and lived by a strict diet which lost me about 12 pounds in just a month.
Finally the time has come where my old exercising habits are needed, so for the first time since training to climb Mt. Kinabalu back in October of 2009, I went for a run. It was not much of a run, but I mapped out a route and hit the road. Baltimore is still a bit cold out, but the weather was sunny (with an extra hour of daylight) and so I gave it a shot. The brisk chill didn't bother my legs or bare arms but more so my expanding lungs. That tight burning in the chest wouldn't go away. At first it felt great to have it again considering that I only got the feeling the past two years from high altitude climbing but by mile one, the fun was over and the pain was glaring. But just as all my coaches in high school used to say, "just run through it".
|Here enjoying my first meal back to Lay life after Buddhist ordination for one month and losing nearly 12 pounds. This is about as skinny as I have been in a long time.|
|The culprit that brought my love for food back on a vicious track, "chao ping" and chicken with peppers; China 2's specialities.|
Once getting to the last leg of my run, I was unhappily surprised by the one road I did not know of named Concordia Drive. Come to find, Concordia Dr. was not too flat, but rather my own "Heartbreak Hill" of my loop. This mile long road was the final part of my run and although not extremely steep my out of shape body was telling me that what I was doing to it was a sick joke and it wanted to go back to fasting for a month on rice and tea instead of running anymore. And as much as I would enjoy that as well, that is (and was) not an option. I finished the run and it beat me up, but beneath the sore knees and fast-appearing blisters, I sense a small taste of excitement to get back in shape and keep running.