Reporter 1: Sir, why are you running?
Reporter 2: WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?
Reporter 3: Are you doing this for world peace?
Reporter 4: Are you doing this for the homeless?
Reporter 3: Are you running for women’s rights?
Reporter 1: Or for the environment?
Reporter 2: Or for animals?
Narrator: They just couldn’t believe that someone would do all that running for no particular reason
Reporter 3: WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
Forrest: I just…felt like running
Friday was my last day at Square (my last day was actually Feb 17th, but blog-procrastination is a real thing!). For the previous 1,992 days (probably should’ve stuck it out for an even 2,000) I was shipping features for Square’s point of sale app (e.g., this, this, that), launching new payments products, and assisting with some memorable bold bets (I don’t expect you to care much about Split Tender or Partial Refunds, but I’m hoping the cross-linking will help with this post’s SEO!).
So why, do you ask, would a man with a well-paying job (I was a member of the Single Commas Club) at an amazing company (with a smoothie bar and a pizza oven…A FREAKIN’ 🍕 OVEN!)? Because he had to see about a girl.
Not the girl of my dreams. Nor the most lovely lady in my life. Nor my bright yellow Kia, Daisy. But my first true love (well, second after Kelly Kapowski) — running. Or is it yogging? Might be a soft ‘j’…
I’ve been running for longer than I can remember, but here’s a quick recap of what I do remember:
- Ages 5–9: It all started with McLean Youth Track where I was so scared of running the 400m that I would lock myself in a port-a-john until the gun went off to avoid the 1–2 mins of suffering. #pottygoals
- Ages 10–13: My formidable middle school years were spent running out of dances after getting rejected by the cutest girl in our grade (not entirely true — I was too timid to ask).
- Ages 14–18: Puberty left me too uncoordinated to continue my soccer or hoop dreams, eventually trading in my soccer cleats for track spikes.
- Ages 19–23: Walked onto the Stanford squad with the promise of finding a cure to my overly-developed Thunder Thighs™. Even the best coaches couldn’t help the Thighs, but they did help me clear some emotional/physical barriers in the 3000m steeplechase and earn the team’s Most Improved Award…twice (guess I had some room for improvement!)
- Ages 24–29: Upgraded my track spikes for marathon flats and dabbled with 26.2 miles. My battle with Thunder Thighs continued to my dismay.
- Age 30–Present: Discovered the most grueling races of all — trail ultramarathons. Fifty-to-100-mile Sufferfests (how about that for product placement) that can take a day(s) to complete and an unexpected bowel movement is just as likely as careening off the side of the trail. Despite the over-distance, still no noticeable improvement on the Thighs.