Contributor: KC Scannell
May 20th, 2017 will forever be one of the best days of my life. It was on this day that I proposed to my now wife, Ashley. I was a real romantic about it, too.
We had woken up on this lazy Saturday morning around 10AM or so – per our usual – and we had absolutely no plans for the day. With this being one week before our 5 year anniversary, I realized that this would be the best time to pop that fateful question, as she would likely expect a grandiose gesture of this nature to occur on a major celebratory day – like a 5 year anniversary.
With that in mind, I casually suggested that we grab a cup of coffee in the nearby city of Berkeley. We would often spend calm weekend days traversing the ever-popular Telegraph Avenue in this charming Bay Area college town – so for me to suggest such an outing wasn’t accompanied by any sort of suspicion whatsoever.
She concurred that a little walk-about would be nice on such a lovely day, so she proceeded to get dressed to head out. At this time, I sneakily procured the ring from my dresser drawer, stuffed it in my pocket, and we made our way out the door shortly after that.
Once in Berkeley, we started to trek towards the place where we shared our first kiss. We always stop here whenever we are in the area, and this played perfectly into my plan. As this was where I planned to propose to her – in the very same location our love began all those years ago.
I know – adorable, right?
Anyway, without getting into too much detail, I knelt down at an opportune time, revealed the ring and my desire to spend the rest of my life with her. She (obviously) said yes and we were both on cloud nine!
On the joyous walk back to my car, she was excitedly calling her friends and family to inform them of the news. While we were waiting for our turn to cross the street, I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a storefront’s window. Needless to say, I was severely depressed by what I saw.
I was drastically overweight. Being a high school athlete, I always swore that I would never let my weight become an issue. Sadly, over the course of time (and many, many beers) I saw that I had let that priority fall by the wayside. To say it bummed me out, would be a massive understatement.
It was at that moment when I realized something had to be done. I couldn’t keep ignoring this problem. If I wanted to even look remotely decent for my wedding, roughly a year from that day, I knew I had to drop some pounds – but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
After some research, I found that the most effective exercise one could do to slim down is cardio – specifically running. I have never been a big fan of running, to be honest. I always found this form of exercise to be an exhaustive chore that does nothing but agonize and frustrate. But, if I stood any chance of fitting into a nice suit for my big day, I had to lace up my shoes, throw on some shorts, and get to it.
I knew I was going to need some help.
I wanted to make running a part of my regular routine. In doing so, I figured a great way to seamlessly incorporate it into my life, was to surround it with our activities that I enjoy on a regular basis. In this case, it was the addition of podcasts and marijuana that ultimately helped transform me into a regular runner.
Allow me to explain how that came to be.
Many folks prefer to listen to music while they run. I understand that. The inspiring beats and lyrics can help motivate them to proceed onward with their workout. And that is great. To each their own, as they say. But, for me, I prefer to listen to podcasts while I run. I find that the slow tempo of conversation and story-telling nature of these programs allow my mind to wander into various realms of imagination, without concerning itself with the workout that the body is currently enduring.
However, that said, as entertaining as podcasts are – I find them most enjoyable while stoned. I mean, I find everything a lot more enjoyable with marijuana, but that is neither here nor there. Whenever I am high and listening to one of my favorite shows, I am in a great headspace. So, I figured why not try to transfer that over into my running – to make exercising an actually enjoyable experience.
And, without any hyperbole, it only took one stoned run for me to realize just how beneficial this route towards exercise really is.
To be specific, here is how I went about it – and how I continue to exercise to this day:
Before any running takes place, a wealth of stretching must occur. As I am taking my time to stretch my legs, arms, back, etc. – I am taking tiny tokes off a nearby bowl. This pipe is typically packed with sativas or sativa-dominant hybrids. It is not like I need the best weed in San Francisco. I just had some run-of-the-mill sativa – which proved to be more than useful. It should be noted that, while indicas are still useful, I find that their sedative nature is bit cumbersome – especially on those longer runs.
But the uplifting, thought-provoking, motivating nature of a high-quality sativa keeps my mindset in a healthy, euphoric zone. The functionality of these strains help me stay active and inspire me to keep good form and steady breathing during my runs. It is really surprising how much smoking a bowl before running helped me – both mentally and physically.
My body is never bogged down with any heavy sedation. The joints are looser, and more malleable than they would have been had I just gone into these runs with a cup a coffee and a prayer.
My first “high” run was an absolute joy, and with the help of the entertaining podcast that I was able to lose myself in, I was shocked at how quick my hour long run felt. Obviously, with this being my first go at it, I didn’t cover a lot of ground, so to speak. But as I kept up the every-other-day routine of running, I was soon finding myself completing over 6 miles on each of my hour-long sessions. And every week, more and more weight was melting away.
The smoke-stretch routine never changed, either. While many would assume that this route would result in me hacking up a lung shortly into my run, they would be sorely mistaken.
Many strains and topicals are often used to help athletic muscles heal and rejuvenate during times of strenuous exercise. So the fact that I was getting a little THC-boost in relief during my runs only helped me throughout the many months of weight loss. It was sincerely phenomenal – and I can’t believe I never tried this before.
Month after month, I continued to lose weight. Sure, there were a couple plateau moments here and there, but my confidence and determination never wavered in the slightest. It was all because of marijuana and podcasts. Once that wedding week arrived, I knew it was finally time for my last weigh-in.
I knew I had done a good job in becoming a healthier me, via sativas and podcasts, but I had no idea that I had lost 40 pounds. I was thinking 20, maybe. But 40?! That was one of the most rewarding sights that my stoner eyes had ever seen. Not only was I happy about my new look, my fiancé was over-the-moon about her striking new hubby-to-be. I will never forget that smile of pride she had the moment I told her the news. That one moment made it all worthwhile.
I would have never been able to look my best on my wedding day, for my lovely bride, had it not been for marijuana and podcasts. I would have never been able to run – or even continue to run as much as I did for all those months – without those two key elements. The calming effects of this wonderful plant has already given me so much throughout the course of my life, but for it to assist me in achieving the best physical shape I have been able to attain since high school is nothing short of astounding.
I owe every bit of my physical well-being to marijuana. I mean that with the utmost sincerity. It helped my mind escape the agonizing process of enduring an exhausting run, while also allowing my subconscious to focus on whatever podcast I was listening to – as opposed to thinking of different reasons to stop running.
I would strongly suggest smoking a bowl or two during those pre-run stretch sessions. I can’t even begin to describe how much easier exercise becomes with this simple addition to one’s pre-workout routine. While I have had experience with stoned running working wonders for me, I am sure the same results could happen for those gym rats looking for a solid THC motivator before hitting the weights (or the treadmill). Again, just to reiterate, it is not like I needed the best weed in San Francisco to enjoy a soothing mindset throughout these runs – any sort of bud should suffice.
Regardless of what kind of physical exertion one chooses to incorporate into their life, they should sincerely consider cannabis as an exercise aide. The triumvirate of cannabis, podcasts, and cardio are absolutely unreal – and I can’t recommend them highly enough to any stoner in need of a cannabis-infused kickstart towards a more healthier lifestyle.