Is there any future in this?

So does the 90in9 challenge concept continue, given that we failed slightly last year (missing our 90-mile cycling deadline by 9 minutes) and MASSIVELY this year, missing our 90-mile run/walk goal by a “mere” 40 miles?

Good question. My sister and I started this concept in October 2011, the one-year anniversary of my losing 90 pounds to make my goal weight. That year my sister and I ran 90 miles in nine days, and though we didn’t get involved in fundraising for the project, I donated $90 to the American Cancer Society afterward. (My dad is a cancer survivor, and many relatives in his family have been afflicted.)

Day 4 of the original 90in9 challenge.

Day 4 of the original 90in9 challenge.

Traci got in on the project because A) She was a huge factor in my weight loss, serving as my unofficial fitness trainer, and B) She loves a good challenge. Even though (as I recall, perhaps inaccurately) she rolled her eyes when I initially proposed the idea, she couldn’t stand being left out.

In 2012 we biked 90 miles in (almost) nine hours, and again I donated $90 to the American Cancer Society.

This year I’d hoped to make some sort of headway in setting up a fundraiser in conjunction with our 90-mile run/walk, but it didn’t come together. (Fundraising isn’t exactly my forte; heck, I could hardly bring myself to sell Girl Scout cookies back when Rowan belonged to a troop.)

So, once again I’m just going to make a personal donation, only this time I’m dividing my $90 three ways — to a national organization (ACS), a state organization (the Hoosier Rails to Trails Council) and a local organization (Friends of Ouabache State Park, where we’ve done so many of our runs over the years, including several miles of this one.)

I could see calling it quits after this, given our failure (both in the event itself as well as in establishing a charitable element) and the fact that all along I’ve viewed three years as the proper time frame for weight-loss maintenance to “take,” so to speak. According to Anne M. Fletcher, dietitian and author of Eating Thin For Life, I’m now a “weight loss master.” (Her criteria is maintaining at least a 20-pound loss for at least three years.) Since October 2010, I’ve successfully weighed in at my goal weight every single month to maintain my status as a lifetime member of Weight Watchers.

On the other hand, I‘m still highly prone to overeating — sometimes ridiculously so. I‘m clearly not “cured.” I simply have many more tools to work with now, LOTS of practice (and mistakes) to draw from, and an incredible support system.

Because I think that support system only endures so long as I continue to put as much into it as I take out — a concept I was reminded of in this excellent post by Fit Recovery, a recovering alcoholic turned incredible cyclist — I’m going to keep this blog going past my original three-year goal. (Though I may not be writing quite as often in the future.)

In that same spirit, I’d like to see where the 90in9 project could go from here. In the future, it will likely be less about our personal exploits and more of a team concept, like the relay triathlons we experimented with this year. As we rehashed our “90 fail,” Traci wondered if maybe we shouldn’t have alternated 10-mile segments — which led me to wonder about a nine-person relay (with accompanying cyclists). Maybe we’ll try that next year.

Given my fundraising inadequacies, I’ll likely seek some help there as well. (Heck, maybe I’ll deputize Colleen as our chief fundraiser; just yesterday I saw her setting up an online donation page for some jump rope thingie she’s got going on at school.)

Anyway, as always, thanks for listening, whether you’re one of the people who comments online or the many more people who comment when I run into you at school events or in the grocery store. For every person who’s told me I’ve inspired them, there are that many more people out there who inspire me. Let’s all inspire each other. Pass it on!

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2 Responses to Is there any future in this?

  1. bgddyjim says:

    I’m glad you could get something out of my post. Your 50 mile run/walk all out gut-fest was absolutely inspiring to read. I may have you in terms of speed, but in terms of sheer determination to stick it out until you just can’t go any farther you’ve got me beat… But this is how it works – you give me a little, I give you a little and we both get better today. Keep it up, you’re obviously getting it right.

  2. As always, thanks for the inspiration, dude!

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