My Running Story

I ran cross country in high school. After high school, it would be 20 years before I would run again.

In 2003, I was diagnosed with cancer and had open-heart surgery to remove the tumor. After the surgery, I told my wife I was going to run a marathon. She asked me if I had ever run a marathon before. The answer was no. She took a deep breath and said go for it.

Less than 5 months after my diagnosis and major surgery, I went for a 2-mile run. I was hooked. A year after my diagnosis, I completed my first marathon. I loved it! My running journey was filled with many challenges. In 2007, prior to completing that marathon, I was diagnosed with Young-Onset Parkinson’s. My first question to my doctor I asked, “Can I keep running?” He shared I could. Parkinson’s caused me to be much slower, but I was still running.

In 2008, I ran over a 1,000 miles. After completing a marathon in January, 2009, my health issues took a turn for the worse.  I had to give up running and working. Since 2009, God has me running a new race, a race to love and encourage others. I still miss running. I now spend my time coaching and encouraging other runners. Once a runner, always a runner. Have a fantastic run today. ~OC

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