Don’t Call It A Comeback (Seriously, Don’t)

By Ammar Moussa

January 26, 2018

If you’ve talked to me in the last year then you’ve probably heard me mention that I’ve wanted to get back into running. It’s always the same thing, “Yeah I want to start running again but it’s just SO hard.”

A full-time and incredibly demanding job combined with a new city and lack of stability are all incredibly convenient excuses. But at the end of the day that’s all they are. Excuses. The real reason it’s been hard to start running is this: I actually enjoy living a “normal” life. A civilian lifestyle if you will.

Nine years of running around in progressively shorter shorts and tighter tights, I desperately needed to find myself and define myself outside of running. I’ve talked about it repeatedly, here and here.

I’ve thrown myself into my career, a new social life and exploring a new city. And it has paid off. I’m working in my dream city (for now). I have amazing friends with dope relationships and an identity not rooted at all in athletics.

Now I can do all the things I never got to do while I was trying to compete at a high level. I like being able to eat fried chicken at lunch instead of a cup of fruit so I don’t shit my pants during a workout. I like going out with friends knowing that I don’t have to meet Pierce for a morning run. I like ruining my Sundays by watching Liverpool play instead of ruining it by running 18 miles.

I’ve settled in to this adulting thing a bit more. I have a little more stability, a routine. I’m a regular at my local farmer’s market. I have a “regular order” at my coffee shop. I’m in a book club (ugh who am I?). I have some more space to be healthy and reintroduce myself to running again. Maybe I can fall in love with it again.

So….why do I want to start running again? What do I even want to get out of running? What’s the plan? What is it like for a washed-up, has been, to try to get fit again? Some of these questions I’m going to answer over the course of the next few months as I feel things out and take you along for the ride.

Why now?

Frankly, in the last two months I’ve had the crotch of my pants rip on four (!) different pairs. Had the button pop off two more. I’ve gained weight and I’ve realized it’s probably not healthy to keep eating like I run 100 miles a week without actually running more than 15 miles a week.

What’s the plan?

Well it’s too soon for me to gear up for a spring marathon. So I’m going to spend the next few months getting fit, hopping in a race here and there and getting my legs back. The first will be the Rock ‘N’ Roll D.C. Half, which may serve as a solid long run to get the legs used to that distance again. I have my eye on a couple of fall marathons, depending on timing and professional responsibilities, I’ll choose one and let you all know. But I plan on keeping you updated on who’s training me, how much I’m struggling and ultimately, what it’s like to transition from an aspiring elite athlete, to a young professional, to just a normal person trying to be healthy.

Ultimately, I’m making this declaration because I need help being held accountable. I don’t have teammates and coaches that created the structure that I am so used to. So if you live in the DC area hit me up on twitter or email me at ammarmoussa121@gmail.com and lets link up for a run. If you don’t live in the DC area, hit me up anyway and heckle me. Anyways for those of you that care, thanks. For those of you that don’t care, thanks anyway for at least reading this far. Talk to you all soon.