Healthy living: making a change before it’s too late

Op/Ed editor Brian Sheridan makes a plan for a healthier lifestyle

More stories from Brian Sheridan



I’ve never been what some people may call “athletic.”

All my life I’ve been the tiny, asthmatic nerdy kid. I haven’t really worked out a day in my life, besides what I was required to do in a class for 20 minutes.

However, my girlfriend went on a trip to Disney this past month to watch her brother run in the Disney marathon. Inspired by this event, and with a day or two of persistence, she’s convinced me to run this marathon with her next year.

Last time I ran a mile was around freshman year of high school for gym and it took me about 11 minutes to complete it. I remember being the second to last person to finish and my lungs burned with the intensity of a thousand suns.

To train for this would mean I’d be starting at absolute zero; no fitness background, no knowledge of how to be athletic, nothing.

A first-time marathon training program written by the Furman Institute of Running suggests an 18-week training plan to get up to marathon levels. However, it also suggests running eight miles on day one so I think I’ll plan for this to take an extra 18 weeks, for a total of around nine months.

The amount of effort I’m going to have to put into this one event currently seems astronomical and it’s hard to wrap my mind around it. This isn’t something I can train for lightly and I feel like it will ultimately change my life.

Right now, I don’t do any sort of physical fitness or special diet. Today, I ate a couple waffles and then sat at my computer chair in my pajamas for 12 hours. I have been doing a similar regimen for the last few weeks.

Some may say that sounds really awful but that’s pretty much my life. I actually have always been totally fine with being super weak. I only need as much muscle as it takes to get by on a day-to-day basis and I’ve never had any body image concerns so being fit wasn’t a big deal to me.

So why train for this? Well, I think it’s time for a change. I currently have the metabolism of a gerbil but I know it won’t last forever. I feel as though my current lifestyle may eventually lead me to turning into a frail, globular mass.

So, going forward, I begin my journey of attempting to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

With this new change I plan on not only doing my marathon training, but also starting some physical strength training and finding a diet that won’t leave me stuck rolling around in my computer chair.

As someone who has never attempted working out or running without it being for class credit, I’ll be documenting my thoughts and experiences throughout the semester. Luckily, I won’t be doing it alone and will have someone there to help keep me honest.

To quote a fitness enthusiast I overheard in a weight room once, “let’s get swole, bro.”