I’m simply and forever grateful

Thirty-one years ago today I put on a pair of new running shoes and went out to see what jogging was all about. Getting some exercise transformed my life and has served me well though all sorts of trials. The old expression about not adding years to your life, but adding life to your years, is certainly true.

My mileage is modest and only for fitness. But I have had the privilege of  running in Muscatine, Iowa, … Cincinnati, Ohio, … Eldorado, Arkansas … St. Louis, Missouri … Washington, D.C. … Mystic, Connecticut … Springfield, Massachusetts … Dayton, Ohio … Palm Beach, Florida … Houston, Texas … Memphis, Tennessee … Minneapolis, Minnesota … Tokyo, Japan … Seoul, Korea … Kenting, Taiwan … Scotland … England … and a host of other places on odd trips here and there. In Tokyo, my daily run was around the Imperial Palace grounds. And believe me I wasn’t the only one out on the roads in either Tokyo or Seoul. Sunrise exercises were the norm.

Any road races were purely social but included 3 half-marathons, several 15k, 10k, and 5k events. I have shared the road with Paul Cummings, Mary Decker Slaney, Bill Rodgers, Julie Isphording. My favorite race with a 10 miler north of Alton, Illinois along the Mississippi River. It was flat, foggy, misty, about 39 degrees, and I was in a singlet and shorts. Perfect for a run of such length.

I seldom run if it is over 80. The coldest temp was -12. There has been one fall — on snow-covered ice in Cincinnati. Seven years were spent running 3.5 miles several days per week with a blind man tethered to me by a small coiled cord. He also was able to water ski and downhill ski, so his physical sense was well developed due to being sighted until his early 20s.

But all in all, and after 31 years, I’m simply and forever grateful for the capability and opportunity to get out on the road, get the pulse up, breathe deeply, and listen to the birds.

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