Food = Energy

Food = Energy

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I think I forgot something...

Writing up the first post of my first blog was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision. I've been wanting to start a blog for some time now, but just like the idea of running my first ultramarathon, that seed needed some time to grow and yesterday that idea bubble just kind of, well...burst!

I was browsing on my laptop and some time later I was clicking "publish" on my first  blog post. While I hope those who took the time to read it are now reading these very words, I realized that I missed something pretty vital to this relationship I am hoping to create with all of you: proper introductions.

My name is Wilfredo Benitez which you probably read in the "about me" section on this page (Actually, my dad would insist that I tell you my name is Wilfredo Benitez, Jr., but despite the fact that he's mistakenly opened almost every single Amazon and ebay package I get sent home I can't seem to remember that little bit of proper identification). I am a 22 year old full time graduate student at Rutgers University in "Hub City" New Brunswick, New Jersey and I am heading full-speed ahead up the path (let's be optimistic here) of education. In fact, today was my last day student teaching in the 1st grade. Middle's on!

Anyway...There are two facts that help tell the story of where I am in life right now. The first is that I eat a vegan diet. My girlfriend, Val, and I decided to "go vegan" the day after my first triathlon last summer (NJ State) and not one day has gone by that we regret that decision. Okay, so we may have been asked "Do you only eat vegetables," or "Where do you get your protein," about a million and one times, but while it was easy to get slightly irritated (read: pretty annoyed) by the constant questioning, I now look at these moments as opportunities to teach others about our decision to change our lifestyle in such a major way.

The second fact that defines me is that I love to run. I've come to see running as my best friend. I have endless stories and memories that involve running; stories from running foot races around my neighborhood to running track back in high school. Just as I have grown and matured--okay, still maturing--the relationship I have with running is growing as well.

We weren't always best friends though. Way back when, running was just a punishment for not performing other skills good enough or quickly enough. During high school, I never properly understood the mechanics of running nor the importance of proper nutrition (both subjects of a future blog posting for sure!) and because I didn't truly understand my friend, Running, sometimes our relationship suffered. Injuries or niggles were as common as runny noses in an elementary school during winter. Eventually, I came to understand the great sport on a whole other level.

Today, running is my pleasure and my therapy that keeps life's stresses at bay. I'd go so far as to say that because of running, I'm rarely stressed and when I am, that stress doesn't last for a while (please don't confuse being stressed with being tired). But running is also a journey that I hope to have the immense pleasure of and blessings to continue for the rest of my life. Speaking of which...I'd like to dedicate some of this post to Joy Johnson.

For those of you who have never heard this name before, you're certainly not alone. Joy Johnson was the oldest finisher of the 2013 ING NYC Marathon this past Sunday and passed away the next day. She once said, "I want to die running," and I don't think there is a better mantra that captures the love this woman must have had for the sport. From reading her story, as told by many reporters and journalists, even after leaving this earth Joy continues to inspire those who have come to learn her name. It is for this reason why I would like to remember Joy Johnson in this post. At 22, I can only dream of being able to run marathons at age 86; Joy gives that dream hope.

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