Perry joined the Whippets last year and currently hosts the Uptown Thursday night speed runs. He’s certainly not a new runner, in fact he actually has a pretty exceptional background in running which you’ll read about:
To its Illogical End
I struggled a bit with how much of my backstory I should share with the team. If framed wrong I feared that people might see me in the wrong light. However, runners (especially marathoners and ultra-marathoners) are pretty extreme folks so I have concluded that perhaps this group would have an appreciation for it. So what the hell! Here goes!
The simple version of my running story is that I ran track back in high school (I specialized in the jumping events, sprints and the pentathlon) and as an adult after many years of family members running marathons I gave in and decided to give running a marathon a shot. That’s the simple story but that certainly doesn’t tell tale properly because, you see, I hate running long distance. I really hated it. Like I really really hated it!
The track team would do a 3 mile run every Friday and I loathed every bit of it. I would always be one of the last ones to finish, if not always the very last one to finish. People would always comment that I looked like I would be good at long distance as I have always been tall and thin. But my body could not handle it, I would cramp up very quickly and perhaps more importantly I would check out mentally. I just wanted to go fast and be done with it quickly! So when my family started doing marathons year after year my excuse was “I am just not a long distance runner, I can’t guys! I can’t!”
So to properly explain where I am today with running I am going to turn to my life outside of running because I feel that might explain things… Okay here goes!
If I was ever curious about something I would not just want to try it out, I would want to seek it out and take it to its logical (or illogical?) end. Pre-college I would regularly declare that I was going be an “insert profession here” and the more I changed my mind the more my family grew tired of it. As I would learn later they would takes bets as to whether or not whatever I was pursuing at the time would work out, most betting against me. For college I decided to get a degree in Visual Art. For 4 years I studied and practiced multiple disciplines and after 4 years of that I decided that I wanted nothing more to do with it!
And so I did what was logical.
I packed up my things and moved to California to become a rock singer. I can see you rolling your eyes already, let me explain! I loved music, I grew up playing music and I was a radio DJ in college so I had a passion for it (and still do to a certain extent). I never wanted to be one of those people that would lament about “what could have been”. I was going to see what it could be even if it meant falling flat on my face… which is exactly what happened. Within a few months I ran out of money, I learned I was not a lead singer and never was going to be. I mean, I could sing, but I am not one you would want to… hear?
So I moved back to Colorado and did the next logical thing- I spent 3 years building houses in woods. Of course right? All 6 foot, 130 pounds of me performed hard labor for 8-14 hours a day pouring concrete and hauling plywood sheets. I pinched pennies where I could, went hiking and rock climbing on the weekends and after 3 years I learned that I wanted nothing more to do with it. So I did the next logical thing.
I sold my car, packed 2 bags and got on plane to New York City.
I took the first sublet I could get (because I did not know a soul who lived there) and started my pursuit of becoming a comedian. Of course right? Logical! I took classes in acting, writing, improv, I performed at open mics and bringer shows, I played all the major clubs in the city (Gotham, Stand Up NY, Caroline’s), I went to auditions and after about a year and half to 2 years I learned that I wanted nothing more to do with it (as a career pursuit at least).
So how does that all add up to running long distance?
The answer is after a number of years of settling into an office job there was a missing piece in my life, a missing piece that could only be filled with a ridiculous and illogical pursuit. And because my family was doing these marathons year after year the thought crept in that even though I hated running long distance, that maybe with enough time and dedication (which I now had) that I maybe I could get good at it.
So in 2014 I signed up to run the Marine Corps Marathon. It started out simple, barely being to run 2 miles at 9-10 minute pace. And after each new level was achieved more and more possibilities opened up to me. Being able to go farther, run faster, what seemed impossible to me became possible. Running long distance became something I loathed into something I loved. I was hooked. And once I became hooked with my personality being what it is, there was no way I was going to do this half way! I am in going to seek this out until its logical or illogical end. Even if it means falling flat on face, which has already happened, I cannot make it make it past mile 16 in a marathon without dying guys! It’s a problem, but I am working at it! And even though my best marathon result at the time of this writing is 3:47 (NYCM in 2015) I still have dreams of one day qualifying for Boston. This means I have a long way to go because that is 37 minutes of time that I need to carve off somehow. But I am going to find out. I am going to see whether my body that looks like it is capable of being great at long distance even though I hated long distance is actually truly capable of being great at long distance! And I feel I could not be in a better place to make the attempt. I cannot imagine a better or more supportive group than the Dashing Whippets. I mean in all sincerity that you guys inspire me. You are there to pick up teammates when they are down and are beacons of what a person can do once they set their minds to doing it. Plus you guys know how to throw down and party! Respect!
At the very least I hope you found my tale entertaining and for those who are concerned about my career stability? I have worked in the buying office of Ross Stores for the last 10 years. I have been promoted 4 times during that period; I am currently work as Business Analyst and am well respected in the company. It’s worked out guys! Relax!