A for Effort

As you may know already, I have very athletic and fit friends.  In their own right, they are a pantheon of fine specimens.

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You might think I would be right there with them in terms of skill, agility and strength, but the reality is.. I’m not.

But I’m a different type of strong.

What I lack in up front brawn and speed, I make up for in endurance and persistence.  I can try really hard, but my friends are always better.  It’s to the point where I sometimes give my 110% just to keep up with them.  I’m not mad or sad about it; it’s just really interesting how each human body can vary.

Let’s look at some examples:

Turkey Bowl


Once a year, on Thanksgiving day, FCBC LA gathers together to play some tackle football.  For some, it’s their only exercise and activity for the year.  For others, it’s an excuse to keep their body fit passed the Summer season.  Matt, Stu and I are regular participants.  One year, as early as August, we began training together.  Nothing intense, just passing the football around and running.  What has happened in the past though, is that around October, those two call it quits on the exercise for various reasons.

But I’ll keep going, so that I can at least look competent on game day.  I’ll be sprinting copious amounts of 40 yard dashes and running through the agility training I recall from my high school football days.  I went as far as doing some two-a-days.

Game day comes around, and it’s as if I accomplished nothing.  An out of shape Stu can outrun and outmuscle a very much in shape Josh.

SD Century Ride


One year, we collectively wanted to bike the Solvang and/or San Diego Century rides together.  It would eventually trickle down to only Caleb and me going.  After a few intense rides together, I had to begin training on my own, cause the rest of them had to back out.  Every weekend, I would wake up early to ride 30+ miles.  In addition, on weeknights, I was doing a ridiculous amounts of squats and some cardio.  I invented a squat set called “Squashes”.  One repetition would be 50 squats, 50 lunges, 50 backward lunges, 50 pulse lunges; and I would do 8-10 squashes every other night.

Caleb biked ~60 miles the weekend before the San Diego ride and he was good to go.  Nothing else.  On game day, it only took him a couple hours more to complete the century ride (100+ miles, I only did ~67 miles).  Also, he has no gears.

LA Marathon


We were advised to ramp up and be able to run 20 miles before the actual marathon.  Though we started training late, we had enthusiasm and determination on our side.  Diligently, I ramped up to 18 miles before game day (though I wish I could have run more).  Due to time constraint and other obligations, Matt and Stu were only able to due ~13 miles as their longest run before marathon day.

They still beat me by a long shot.

Perhaps the most humbling thing was the couple times Spencer ran with us during our training process.  This guy has asthma and he was lapping all of us!


It’s fascinating, isn’t it?

The only thing I hate is that I always feel like I let them down.  Whether biking, hiking or anything active we do together, I feel REALLY bad when they have to wait for me to catch up.  Or worse yet when they basically carry me or push me cause I’m really lagging it.

I guess it’s a good thing we’re friends!


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