I Ran This Year (15)

R. James Miller
3 min readJan 1

Why I Got Back Out There

It’s tough for me to pinpoint exactly what the final motivation was for me to start running again. There was the night I broke a tooth in half biting a pretzel. I laid on the couch thinking “Is this the person I am? The kind of guy who can’t get a tooth fixed because he is too poor and embarrassed by his weight to interview for a job for the dental insurance?” That was a fucking low point, for sure.

It might have been when I was too embarrassed to meet up with one of my high school friends because of my weight so I had to make up an excuse about getting the COVID booster the day before he came to town.

It might have been when I started realizing the chest pains I’ve been having are probably a heart issue (this is another thing I’m too poor to have examined). Honestly, I think I’m past the point where anything I do is going reverse the damage being heavy most of my life has done. Fluctuating between 300 lbs and 200 lbs at least four times in the past 15 years probably doesn’t help either.

That last one is probably the most influential. I have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. I’m nearing 40 years old and I’ve never had any of those checked. I know some people will consider this complete negligence on my part and I kind of accept that they’re right. I can’t afford to have them checked. Even if I did, I couldn’t afford to have any of these things treated.

So yeah, that’s probably the biggest reason I’m running again. I’m trying to prolong the moment when my heart gives out. I know that’s a fucked up way to look at things but I do have a reasoning behind it. There are two visions of early death I think could be similar to my own. One is very much like the writer Jack London. He was a man who wrote amazing adventure stories like Call of the Wild, but died young, most likely because of health issues caused by his weight.

The other young death I think of is a man named Michael Hickman, aka Micah True, aka Caballo Blanco. Anyone who has read the book Born to Run, most likely recognizes Caballo Blanco. His story was amazing. He was a mysterious figure who went down to Mexico and learned the ways of a tribe of amazing endurance runners known as the Tarahumara. His story in Born to Run is amazing so I encourage everyone to read it. However, what is less known is what happened to him after the book. The protagonist of Born to Run unfortunately passed away a few years…

R. James Miller

Mental health, emotional wellness, opinion, & travel-focused writer. Writing about my weight struggles, personal growth, and wanderlust.