Why Did I Open My Big Mouth?

by Cris Merz:

“I will be running a 6K race in a couple of days and frankly, I’m a little concerned.” 

It all started several months ago when I was visiting one of our dealers in Cancun.  Aquaworld was celebrating their 30th anniversary and decided that they would host a bash that included a 12k and a 6k race in the hotel zone of Cancun on the 8th of May.  Now pay attention to that date because it’s important.

While I was meeting the new managers of Aquaworld, Damian and Luis Javier, they mentioned the race and asked if we’d like to participate.  Obviously, I volunteered Brian Carney – and why not?  He was a cross country runner in high school and college.  Often I had heard his stories about how running had an impact on his never-quit mentality.  He was a perfect candidate, and he’d make us look good.  Heck, I took it one step further and volunteered him for the 12k.  He’s got this.  Aquaworld was pretty excited to have the president of SDI/TDI show his commitment to the event by running with everyone else.


By the time I arrived back at the office it was Friday and we had our morning staff meeting.  I figured this would be a great time to inform Brian, in front of his staff, of his commitment that he had made; his grand contribution to showing one of our bigger dealers our support.

As it became my turn to report to the team I said, “Oh, Brian… you need to get back into training – you’ll be running a race in May.”  His response, “Oh I’m not running it alone, though… you’re doing it with me.”

Ugh. Why did I open my big mouth?

Okay… so, how we operate at International Training is, we accept the challenge – with open arms baby!  I was ready and I had full support from the team.  I was given encouragement and advice.  I was even told what apps to use to help me get there.  Couch-to-5K was one of them.  I immediately downloaded it and bought one of those bands you put around your arm where you can slip your phone in and listen to music.  It was great as I could listen to my tunes while following the instruction of the lady with the nice English accent on the app say, “Start running” and “Start walking” and my favorite, “You have 5 minutes left”.

Ready for the shocker? Remember that date I told you was important? Well… the event was on Mother’s Day, May 8th.  Oh boy, I knew I was going to get the song and dance from the boss.  “It seems I can’t make it… Steph is going to Orlando with some friends and I gotta take care of Jack.”

That was it… I was going solo!  I would now be unable to rely on Brian’s numbers to make SDI/TDI place better.  That meant I had to work extra hard.  SDI/TDI shipping manager, company nutritionist, and my girlfriend suggested getting a medical.  The conversation went a little like this:

“Are you going to see your doctor?”

“Why…?  It’s just a couple miles.”

“When was the last time you actually ran a couple miles?”

“Third grade…”

The thought behind getting a full medical was to see if there was any risk associated with running that distance and in the heat of a nice Mexican morning.

Sure enough, my labs reported health issues that needed to be corrected… triglycerides through the roof.  For those of you who do not know what that means, don’t feel bad – I didn’t know  much about it either. According to Wikipedia: “Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. Triglycerides are the main constituents of body fat in humans. In the human body, high levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream have been linked to atherosclerosis and, by extension, the risk of heart disease and stroke.”


And though I did mean that sarcastically when I typed it above, it really was great because I was able to make changes in my life style at my tender age of 44.  Cut back on the evening dirty vodka martinis with blue cheese olives, no bread, adopt an almost gluten free diet, cut back on sweets and carbohydrates, and eliminate all fruit juices.  I don’t drink soda so that wasn’t an issue.

So, between the training and the dieting I decided to pay my doctor a visit the day before flying out 3 weeks later.  I had lost 12 lbs. according to their scale.

I showed up at Aquaworld’s race location at around 5:55 am.  They had a wonderful set up and the party had already gotten started.  It was very colorful as all the people gathered with their brightly colored jerseys above the deck of the marina as the sun started making its way up.  Reflecting its way on to our shirts you could start to feel it’s warmth.  I had been there the day before to get my race number, jersey, and tracking sensor to attach to my sneaker to get data.  I was able to see them setting up and now, 12 hours later, it looked great – people warming up, music playing, and a couple of emcees from a syndicate radio station based in Cancun were welcoming everyone over the sound system, letting them know about the prizes, and presenting the sponsors.  People were ready to go and you could tell for many this was about finishing first.

I ran the race. I found my pace and ran the first half.  As I caught a hill I could feel my old knee injury remind me that I needed to slow down and take it easy.  It was at that time I decided to walk for a bit.  I was passed by some people that kept on running and I passed some people walking even slower than I was.  As I got close to the finish line, I saw Damian the manager from Aquaworld, coming up from behind.  The finish line was around the next couple turns so it was time to get back to running and cross the finish line.  I didn’t place First, Second, or Third but I did get a participation medal.  I believe my position ended up being 210th place overall out of about 400 participants… not bad.  I had completed the 6K in 46 min and 2 sec.

It was a great event and the party continued afterward for several hours as prizes were given away and awards and trophies handed over to the winners.  I don’t know why I opened my big mouth (I guess as a sales person it is just what I do) but I do know I got a lot out of it.  A sense of commitment and fulfillment personally, a re-evaluation of my state of health, and the opportunity to show support to one of our key dealers are some of the great benefits that I received in return.  I had little to no intention of running but I gotta say, I am so glad I did.

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