Running the route years later

by Mike
(Tempe, Arizona)

I'm a 67 year old male, 5'9" tall and around 155 lbs... I also lift weights at my neighborhood gym. I've been running for around 40 years now. I started in my mid-20's when I first moved out West and never stopped. I'm not fast but I can go the distance.

I first discovered running back in the 1980's because I didn't have a lot of friends where I moved to and I got real tired trying to convince someone to go to the gym with me to work out, let alone go on a run. I wanted something that I could do for exercise relatively cheaply and by myself. Running is the answer to that. It's very healthy and all I have to do is put on my shorts, t-shirt and running shoes and out the door I go! I don't need special equipment and there's no charge!

I've always run with music. Back in the '80's I ran with a Sony Walkman. I was excited to be able to record specific songs I wanted to run to, rather than whatever a local radio station played. I found it very motivating.
Now I run with music recorded on my I phone and earbuds. It's still very motivating...

I also run in "Pats Run" every year in April in honor of Pat Tillman. I run the event by myself but you're really not alone. It's like running with 30,000 of your closest friends! It's extremely touching and meaningful. Sometimes when I'm running like that I'll think I run too slow to be in this kind of event...until someone passes by me running with an artificial leg because they lost it fighting in the war in Afghanistan. Or firefighters will run Pat's Run in full work uniform WITH a heavy oxygen tank on their backs and in their boots. One year a soldier ran in full military uniform with a rope around his wrist...the other end of the short rope tied to his buddies wrist because his buddy was running the race "blind"! I told myself I need to shut up and just run!

It really serves as a motivator to not be whiny and complain because others are running this race who have a lot more of a challenge than I do!

When I run past certain streets sometimes I get a flashback of running that same route in my 20's compared to today. Yeah, I run a little slower, and sometimes I even walk a half-block now and then. But I'm out there. And what I thought back in the 80's is still very true for my psyche today... "A bad run is better than no run at all"! No matter how my run turns out I always feel 100% better when I get home.

I'm a middle school teacher and sometimes the job can be stressful. But after 6 miles at sunset, nothing is that important by the time I'm through with my run.....

Comments for Running the route years later

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Jun 23, 2021

by: Nicole

Hi Mike, what a great story. I totally agree with you in that running is a great way of clearing your head and how fantastic to be able to run the same routes as when you were younger. I smiled at the memory of your Sony Walkman, as I had one too although I wasn't running at the time. Keep on running :).

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