I’ve never considered myself a runner. I smoked and drank heavily for probably as many years of my life as I didn’t. Exercise? Hah! Forget it. There is too much good food and alcohol to worry about; I wasn’t going to obsess over a few extra pounds.

Until recently, the Nielson Challenge organizers reused bibs from local races. I never got a bib with a guy’s name on it.

I didn’t even set out to become a runner, if I even am one yet. My daughter started running cross country last year. Like her dad, she didn’t take to running immediately. Her cross-country coach had the team compete in a local monthly two-mile run as a practice. My wife observed, “One of us is going to have to do this with her if we expect her to keep doing this.”

The next month, I registered for my first Nielson Challenge. My time for the two miles was 0:22:35.266. I had no idea if this was any good or not. I’m competitive, but I don’t see any reason to compete externally: other people aren’t me.

One month at a time, I ran Nielson Challenges with my daughter. Shortly after the new year, I saw an advertisement for the Run to the Shrine. And an insane obsession with running that event took hold. After that, I started trying to get better at it.

I’m not an expert at running. I probably won’t review gear, though I may talk a little about the gear I use. When I run, I like to leave my phone at home or at the office; so I don’t know how many pictures I’ll take and share. I’m just a fat guy who’s learning to run. A fat guy who never thought of himself as a runner.

A guy who only recently conceded he may be one after all.


I’m Matt. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. I’m recycling my first post as my About page, because who’s actually going to scroll through a bunch of posts where a guy talks about his new-found hobby.

I post more regularly on my other blog Simplify… Thanks for stopping by.