As I sit in front of my calendar and see some of the distances I’ll have to cover, I am humbled at the size and breadth of this monster. I mean, it started out running 3 miles here, 4 miles there… but when you start keeping track of it, it can be overwhelming. The same is true with the money thing that I was talking about in my first entry “Grandpa Shuffle”. My wife and I are in a budget/money class. Dave Ramsey, the man who developed the system, says the money is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. Like the marathon training schedule, we lay out our money goals and wonder, “How is this ever going to happen.” The answer is the same for both… a step at a time. I’m on track to run 50 miles in January. If someone would’ve told me that in December that this would happen, I don’t know if I would’ve believed them. But I didn’t run the 50 miles in a day or a weekend… it was a plan. Keeping the plan simple with the budget was important as well. Just the very act of breaking down costs of groceries as a monthly charge was helpful. I think the budget and the training also share the reality that it’s not exciting. It’s exciting to say, “I’m running a marathon.” or, “I’m debt free.”, but it’s not exciting to wake up at 4 to sneak in a run before work or eat an economical bowl of oatmeal for breakfast instead of a killer omelet from the cafeteria at work. It is satisfying knowing that I’ll be gaining the freedom to live the life that I and my family want. I will control the money instead of it controlling me. I recognize that I am blessed with good health and the ability to even consider running a marathon. There was a point late last year where work stress was overwhelming. My doctor said I could choose to use the running as my way through this period in my work life. I am self-medicating in a way by running and like taming the budget monster; I am taking responsibility of my health. No matter what happens the rest of this year… these two steps toward an active role in my health and our money will be felt for many years to come.