I was never a runner. A bit of a jock maybe, but a young punk kid has to keep that shit under wraps. So you weren’t going to catch me galavanting around town in a sweat band. Fitness was lame, and exercise was for people who gave a shit, and I thought not giving a shit was the best way to go about my formative years. Boy, was I a fucking idiot.
As I got older I continued a mostly sedentary lifestyle and without realizing the correlation, the anxiety and depression that I dealt with as a teenager continued to build inside me. Day after day it got harder and harder to do the things that should have made me happy. I was tired, I was sad, I felt sick. None of it was healthy. Sadly, it took the death of a family member to make me realize that one minute you can be going about your life doing the things you love, and the next minute your heart decides that you’ve pushed it just a little too far on a hot summer day. This was a terrifying thought to me. I started noticing all of the pains in my chest when I was stressed about work. I noticed how short of breath I was when I reached the top of the stairs. I really noticed when my wife looked at me and said “I want you to be happy, and I want you to be here with me for a long time.” I had to do something, but I was never a runner.
We’ve all heard the expression “You’ve got to crawl before you walk.” Luckily (with the exception of a few benders) I haven’t had to crawl anywhere in a while so I had the first step out of the way. But I had to do a hell of a lot of walking before I could run. It took me countless tries using the Couch to 5K app to really develop a routine, but I always came back to it. It started off as a frustrating journey and has become the most difficult thing I’ve even done in my life but I wouldn’t change one day of it if I could. It’s been three years since I laced up my running shoes and there’s been days that I’ve felt like nothing it the world could break my stride and other days when my depression kept me in bed until I forced myself to peel my ass off the mattress and go on a miserable run. Those are the days that make you better. There were also days where I couldn’t push myself to go and that’s okay too. I’ve found it’s important to listen to your body, and trust your gut when it’s all too much to handle. Overdoing it is a sure fire way to injure yourself and then you’re out of the race for a lot longer than one day.
I’m proud to say that with the right combination of fear, determination, encouragement from friends and family, and a willingness to live outside of my comfort zone I’ve gone from not being able to jog around the block, to completing the Detroit Free Press Marathon on my thirtieth birthday in October 2018. To date, that was my loftiest goal and by far the most difficult, but it was the small goals that got me there.
Whether I wanted to start by losing 20 pounds, or run a sub-23 minute 5K, there were a lot of stepping stones between those two versions of myself. I’ve realized that health is not about a before-and-after picture. You’re you the whole time, and if you’re present in every moment and love yourself enough to want to be better you’ll find the energy you need to keep going. And, I don’t think I would have come to that realization if I never got off my ass and started running. My depression is still there. My anxiety is still a crushing weight that sometimes feels like it will be on my chest forever. But, this journey has helped me realize that those things are only parts of my sum.
It’s with that experience that we’ve built Bad Copy Running Club! The BCRC is an inclusive online community with the goal of building a network of like minded punks who will be a part of a wide reaching club that encourages healthy movement in all its forms. You don’t have to be a runner to be a part of the crew. All we care about is that when you sign up, you’re ready to be a part of something that encourages you to push yourself a little farther than you did yesterday. Whether that’s completing a 5K, walking around the block, biking to work, skateboarding, or even just going outside to feel the sun on your face. Whatever you do to stay active, we want to lift each other up, encourage our friends, set our own goals and help others achieve theirs.
Most of us listen to music when we exercise, and with the ability to share our favorite songs and artists with each other so easily it only makes sense to have a club that will thrive on our mutual love of music. We will be offering exclusive playlists on Spotify and encourage club members to share the music that gets them moving. We will be active participants in our local music scenes and encourage those around us to stay active and enjoy everything it has to offer. Let’s be honest, it’s way easier to bounce back after a late night show when your body and mind started the day a little healthier than the day before.
If you’re interested in what we’re trying to build, download the fitness app Strava and join our club here. We chose this platform because of its ease of use and social-based layout when it comes to posting activities and communicating with your club through the app. We are in no way endorsed by Strava, but we think it’s pretty neat and love to use it personally. Again, you don’t have to be a runner to be a part of the club. You can track a simple walk into the gym, a bike ride, paddling a canoe, walking your dog, anything that’s got you off the couch, out of bed, and moving your body to the best of your ability. We would like to plan some raffles and giveaways and will be taking entries based on how many activists you’ve logged over a time period through the app to encourage your active lifestyle.
We’re based in the Metro Detroit area, and plan to host casual runs and events to support organizations dear to us, and we want to encourage you to create your own local chapter the the Bad Copy Running Club. We know that some of the best ways to push yourself to do more is surrounding yourself with friends who will encourage you to go that extra mile, bike that huge hill, or just get out of bed and start your day. If you prefer a little solitude when you’re sweating it out that’s okay too, you’re welcome either way.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this club and the determined people who are willing to be a part of it. I owe it to myself and the people I love to be a little bit better than I was yesterday, and so do you.
A quarterly piece on getting active as a tool for a healthier life and creating safer spaces for everyone to feel better, mind and body.