June 25th, 2010
09:33 AM ET

Letter to the President #522: “Eureka! I have a run down idea!"

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/25/obama.running.jpg]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama and I have our ages, and a certain love of athletics, in common. Plus we both work in Washington, and we love these letters. At least, fifty percent of us do...

Dear Mr. President,

Huzzah! I have figured out why most of my letters have been so weak lately. Barring, of course, the distinct possibility that I am a man of sorely limited ideas and my meter has expired. The slump is because I am exercising in earnest once again!

Don’t misread me here. I would not have it any other way. Truthfully if a man my age (which is also your age, btw) gets so caught up in writing an avalanche of letters which may not have been even noticed (ahem!) or pointedly ignored (double ahem!) that he lets his health slide down a fast chute of doughnuts and hotdogs, then that man needs to have his head examined. Possibly his aortic valves too.

This notion came to me while I was out on a five mile trot up and down the beautiful hills of Tallahassee in the soothing 90 degree evening heat. And yes, they do too have hills here. Sometime between my first painful attempts to suck in air that you could use to fill a bathtub, and the weird part where I started hallucinating that I was wind-surfing with Gwen Stefani and a pack of howler monkeys, it came to me like a vision. I’m pretty sure I even heard music, although it is possible that the shirtless guy in the rusty El Camino just blew his horn at me for weaving into traffic.

In any event, like a vision I realized that too often I’ve been trying to simply jam in this writing at the end of a long day without really giving it serious thought. Please accept my apologies, because frankly there is no excuse for that. What is the point of doing something, unless you try to do it well?

But there is a double good part to this epiphany: I found that if I run long enough, I can actually figure out what is really on my mind and worth writing about. There is a lesson in here, of course, about making sure that you take enough time to protect your health and peace of mind that you are capable of making wise decisions, not merely decisions.

But frankly, I’m too hot, sweaty and tired to write about it now. Ha! Give me a call if you have a spare moment. I am thinking about coming down here to Pensacola for a marathon with my brother this fall. Do you want to come along?



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Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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