The Number on the Scale....


By David Roche (Trail Runner Magazine / Triathlete.com)

When I was 11 years old, I did my first few running races. They were the types of local events where a county commissioner would come out to the start, call everyone crazy for running when not being actively chased and fire a gun into the air. Given where I grew up, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was real gun and an unlucky goose was served as the post-race meal.

Even though it was a relaxed atmosphere, each event was my own personal Super Bowl. I would get so nervous the night before that I’d barely sleep. I’d go out way too fast and fade hard. I clearly shared some things in common with Jared Goff.

At the end of one of those races, a man came up to talk to me. After saying I had promise as a runner, he said something that would reverberate throughout my next decade. “Good runners are [a formula to calculate bodyweight from height, which I’m not repeating here because it’s wrong].” I wanted to be successful, so I absorbed every word like water in the desert....

Shortly afterward, I burnt out on my little running experiment and focused on football. I got strong and fast, only stepping on the scale hoping to see a bigger number that might attract college recruiters. Football took me to college, but I wasn’t mentally cut out for the sport at the next level. After I quit, I decided to see if I could get back to running. Thankfully, I had a trusty formula that could help guide me.

To satisfy the bodyweight formula, I knew I’d have to lose 65 pounds. I weighed myself at least two times a day for the next four years.

Getting nachos at The Heights Bar & Grill (my favorite!) became a sin, with the next morning spent begging for forgiveness from the scale. Eventually, even eating foods that would make me retain water felt like it required a confession, with the next day or two spent doing my Hail Marys, which in this case meant restricting food and fluids that might make that number a bit too high.  READ MORE