Goal Complete: Shriners Children’s 58-Mile Challenge

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By Michael

I have not been shy about my struggles against the dad bod these past few years. While I have debated sharing a few different things lately regarding my health, including new back issues, and numbness in my foot, this update was not one I had on my 2024 Bingo Card. I just completed a virtual 58-Mile Challenge. All legit, no cheating, and I did it in half the time allotted! Let me repeat that: I, Michael, have just completed my 58th mile in the Shriners Children’s 58-mile Challenge!

About Shriners Children’s 58-Mile Challenge

The Shriners Children’s 58-Mile Challenge is a virtual challenge to support Shriners Children’s. It is to help raise awareness and funds to help provide the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries, and other special health care needs within a compassionate, family-centered, and collaborative care environment.

This whole thing may prove to be one of my most surprising accomplishments all year.

Cardio is Evil!

For as long as I have been an active human being, I have hated doing cardio exercises. That statement in and of itself may seem weird if you know me or know my athletic history.

I ran cross country in middle school. In high school, I played football and was part of the track and field team, including going to the state meet multiple years in multiple categories.

That’s the top layer. To know me truly is to know what’s underneath.

I found shortcuts to take during cross-country practice, and I never placed in the top half during meets. I competed in four events in track, however, two of those were the long jump and triple jump. Before joining the track team, I had never even heard of the triple jump, but I wanted to try it because jumpers got to go to the jumping pits to warm up, while the runners had to do 2 miles.

I even ran the two shortest events I could: the 100 and the 4×100 relays.

Now, it helps that I was good enough to compete in those four events for our team, but no one realized the true motivation I had to improve and to get faster and stronger; to avoid long-distance running.

Yes, this is an example of putting more effort into avoiding something than the effort it would have taken to just do said something. (For the most part anyway.)

So, when the advertisement for Shriners Children’s 58-mile Challenge started popping up on my Facebook feed, I was quick to dismiss it. I hate cardio, and even doing 2 miles daily sounded like torture.

I’m not one to shy away from self-torture

Then, things slowly begin to change. I was seeing that pesky ad anytime I went online. I was feeling a bit guilty that I was so dismissive of the challenge when Shriners Children’s Greenville has been so amazing to us and is why my son is beginning to walk.

I already had an appointment scheduled to see a doctor about some back issues I’ve been having. I decided if I was given the green light to do physical activity and exercise, that I didn’t have an excuse to at least not attempt the challenge. Plus, I was tired of this exhaustion dragging me down. My weight gain has been less than optimal (blame stress!) and I’ve known I needed a change in my habits before my gut managed to get any larger.

I was given that green light.

So, going against my better judgment, I registered for the 58-mile Challenge.

Not only did I register, but created the fundraiser portion and shared it out to the masses. I was committed to seeing it through, rather by failure or success, I was in it now.

I did all this because I knew it would force me to do something. To get back into the swing of things, force me back in the gym, and make myself accountable in a way I haven’t in the past.

So, through a combination of treadmill, elliptical, and exercise bike, I started the process. Day 1, I got those 2 miles in. Same with day 2, and day 3. One of my excuses for the past few months for not going to the gym was I didn’t have enough time to get a workout in. To get in just 2 miles, I couldn’t use that excuse. If I had 30 minutes free, I could get to the gym and get my miles in.

So, that’s what I did.

Let’s just say things started getting easier, quicker than I had anticipated.


Now, I’d admit, I moved away from the treadmill. I’ve never liked it, and it seemed to aggravate a few things I’ve had going on, so I’ve primarily been a bike and elliptical guy these past two weeks. The bike and elliptical still count, though, and after just 15 days, I somehow managed to complete the challenge.

Trust me, I’m extremely shocked myself at this. After the first day or two, I knew I could come close to, if not complete, the 58 miles by February 29th, but I was never expecting to knock this out in just 15 days.

I was especially not expecting to knock it out by doing 11.5 miles on the bike to finish it out, but I saw the finish line within sight, and pushed through to claim my victory!

I have to reiterate this; I have never been a cardio guy, so the thought of WANTING to get on the bike versus lifting weights is a very foreign thing for me. That’s where I find myself, though. I may have already completed the 58-mile challenge, but I’m genuinely excited to see where I end up in total miles once the month is done.

For more information about the Shriners Children’s 58-Mile Challenge, or to donate, you can click the image below.

  This post; Goal Complete: Shriners Children’s 58-Mile Challenge was originally published post titled Tackling Shriners Children’s 58-Mile Challenge, which can be found on my new blog Parsons Media today as well. (More on that new site in the future)

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