I ran my first marathon when I was 24. I'm not really sure why. I hadn't properly trained and I had nothing but bad memories from when I was on the cross-country team back in high school. I certainly didn't think of myself as a runner.
I finished and proclaimed that I would never do that again.
11 years later I ran another one, a few years went by and I must have forgotten how insufferable these 26.2 jaunts were and did it again.
A few years later, the bad memories of pain and suffering fade but I remember how good it felt finishing and I set out again.
2009 was a banner year for me, in regards to marathons; I did three that year.
It was an odd and transitional time in my life when I was very much not going to get a tattoo. Jonny Depp's "Winona Forever" sealed the deal.
At the time he was a TV star doing 21 Jump Street not the wonderful weirdo we know him to be today.
So I decided that a brand would be much cooler than a tattoo.
And I also figured I would be more than capable handling myself.
So I fashioned a yin-yang symbol out of a coat hanger but it over the stove and applied to my forearm.
I flinched a bit and after a little research found out that a coat hanger was a little crude and a bit wider than the wire I probably should have used.
I also found out that most people don't self brand.
It was only a matter of time that I decided that as bad-ass as I might have thought my brand to be, it did lack a bit of sublty and artistry.
So I got a tattoo and then another and another.
But like marathons, there would be years between them.
I had never even considered doing an Ultra-marathon before hearing about one at Burning Man. For some reason, and Ultra at Burning Man made sense to me. Go figure.
And the next year, I did it. And it was awesome. And so was the swag.
I had the Burning Man Ultra Sticker on the back of the Rav and I kept imagining it as a tattoo.
And somewhere along the line the whole Tortoise and the Hare fable started coming up in my tattoo imagination, except I had no intention of winning. To me the slow and steady mantra was to simply finish the race, that would be more than enough of an accomplishment for me.
Out of that was born the beginning of an concept of a race history on my leg.
After realizing that I could do a marathon, I found myself interested in other kinds of events, and obstacle courses kind of topped the list, as it were.
In 2008 I jumped into the Obstacle Course Events a couple of years before the Tough Mudders or Spartan Races would get popularized.
It was only a 10K, but I smashed the competition, mostly Marines, because I was acclimated to the altitude.
I did the second or maybe third Tough Mudder, and ironically they were offering free tattoos for finishers. I called Cndy to see if she were OK with me getting a TM tattoo. she wasn't.
How many years later and I'm paying for that tattoo...
I am not good with dates. In fact, the various college courses that I have attempted to complete have seen their downfall with my lack of being able to remember simple dates.
Which is why all of these races have a date inscribed.
In addition to the marathons and obstacle courses, I added a couple of Jolly Rogers because I am a pirate of sorts; oh more on that later......