A couple of weight-related stories caught my eye this weekend, in between staring at the NCAA Tournament for 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday (ah, heaven).
First, my buddy Clay alerted me to the inspiring story of Kelly Gnieting, a 400-pound man whose dream was to become the heaviest man ever to run in, and finish, the Los Angeles Marathon.
Kneiting’s story, told here by the fantastic L.A. Times writer Kurt Streeter, is that of a man who knows he had let himself go, but still believed he was an athlete. He began training, and for the last two years has thought of little else.
Sunday, a 400-pound man finished the L.A. Marathon in 9 hours, 48 minutes, and 42 seconds.
Me, someone who desperately wants to run and complete a marathon one day, who right now can only run 2.5 miles or so at a time, is inspired by Kelly Gneiting. We are all capable of SO much if we try hard enough.
Bravo, Kelly. I’m proud of you.
**And then there was this story from last week, which isn’t quite as uplifting. A 17-year-old woman named Domonique Rodriguez is suing to get her crown as Miss San Antonio back, a title stripped from her because she was allegedly too heavy and didn’t look good enough in photographs.
If this really was why Rodriguez was stripped of the title, it’s remarkably disgusting behavior by the pageant. And it feeds into every stereotype about why beauty pageants in general are so wrong and unhealthy.
I hope she wins, and that the pageant people have to apologize to her in open court.
**Very, very scary game for me and the other Duke fans Sunday. The Blue Devils built a nice comfy lead in the second half of their NCAA Tournament game against Michigan, and then decided to just… stop… attacking. Duke’s offense was slower than Kelly Gneiting’s running (am I allowed to reference something in my own blog post?), and slowly Michigan caught up, until with three seconds left the Wolverines had a terrifyingly straightforward chance to tie the game and send it into overtime. Fortunately for my heart and for Duke, the shot missed, and the Blue Devils survived.
It was a bizarre last 10 minutes for Duke; the newly-healthy Kyrie Irving and best player Nolan Smith both seemed tentative, like each was waiting for the other to take over. Hope they get their act together by Thursday, because this Arizona team Duke plays next is seriously good.
Also, if you didn’t see this the other night, watch it now. A fantastic locker room celebration video from Butler coach Brad Stevens and his team after beating Pittsburgh in one of the best NCAA Tournament games you’ll see: