Well, I turn forty this year.
Ha, I wish!
Actually, as we begin 2016, I enter my fortieth year of competitive running.
It all begin in May 1976, in the small town of Jim Thorpe, a quaint hamlet, nestled in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. The town is named after the deceased Native American Olympic champion, who, peculiarly, resides there now. If you want to read that bizarre tale, read about it in my book, Running Shorts. www.runningshorts.net It has been a long, strange trip for the Indian from Oklahoma.
Although I ran competitively in both high school and college, turning in some unremarkable performances, there was something about the freedom and the dedication it took to train independently to run all distances that captivated me then, and still does, some forty years later.
Accumulating more th 123,000 miles over those forty years, enough to circle the globe more than four times, the thousands of races, a personal best marathon time of 2:22:54, sixteen appearances at the venerable Boston Marathon, all pale in comparison to the friendships I've made, the relationships I've forged, and the experiences I've enjoyed.
A torn hamstring, suffered three weeks after the 2013 Boston Marathon, and arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus in November have forced me to reevaluate my training regimen, but have not diminished my love for the sport.
Through coaching, writing, and mentoring, I enjoy assisting others in reaching their running goals. My mantra remains that, while my best running days are behind me; yours, indeed, lie ahead.
I'm happy to be turning forty. Forty years doing something you love. Because, there is no retirement age in this sport. Just ask Ed Whitlock.
So, if you're beginning your first year of running, or if you're pushing forty, I'm with you. We are a brother/sisterhood of addicts to the most positive addiction.
Here's to another forty.