|50 years later, with a lot of miles down the road. January 31, 2024
This post takes me back to the spring semester of 1974 with my buddy and long-time part-time running mate, Paul Hobbs. Actually, I'll let Paul kick this thing off with several thoughts I asked him to jot down.
Doug and I first crossed paths at the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department Junior Olympics. We were pitted against one another in the standing broad jump event. Though I was a 4th grader and Doug was a year behind, he kicked my ass and I’ve never forgiven him, end of story.
No, just kidding. Doug’s family, as mine had done, moved from the west side of town to the east side, and wound up living next door to my friend Ron Zieman. We became dear friends and spent a lot of time together.
We ended up, eventually, attending Hancock College and signing up for a jogging class. It was very loose. We met in the morning and ran for an hour or so, showered up and moved on to our next class. Our only responsibility was to map out a course, measure the distance, and submit it for a book of courses to be provided to future classes, as ours was the maiden voyage of Jogging 101. Great idea.
The class instilled a running discipline in Doug and I that we’ve somehow maintained for about 50 years. We were running buddies for that brief time but over the years rarely ran together. We have remained friends and running enthusiasts and have shared information regarding treatment of injuries, running shoes, events, and love of the sport. Now, we get together a few times a year for a glorious run on the beach, lunch, and a couple of beers. What a grand way for a pair of old friends to spend some time. –Paul Hobbs
“Most of us have enough areas of our lives where we have to meet others’ expectations. Let your running be about your own hopes and dreams.”
– Meb Keflezighi
My first running partner was my early childhood friend, Bill DeVoe. In high school, Bill would put his German Shepherd, Leroy on a leash, and we would all run together from his house to the very same Allan Hancock Jr. College. We'd would run around the exterior of the school and then head back to his house without Leroy missing a beat.
|Beach walk on Vashon Island, 2021
50 Years later, Bill is still running, and runs with a small group of guys on Vashon Island in Washington. Recently, Bill told me that the group of 60+ year old guys had to insert a new rule into their run routine overlooking the beautiful Puget Sound. New Rule - If anyone brings up their current aches and pains, they have to 1), quickly explain their ailment, and then 2), cannot talk about it the rest of the run. Sounds like a plan. Like Paul, Bill has been a long-time part-time running and walking partner based on our distance from one another.
“I always loved running… it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” – Jesse Owens
For most runners who are consistent with it over the years, it's a solitary event, where your mind goes inward while your body gets expressive.
“Running is alone time that lets my brain unspool the tangles
that build up over days.” – Rob Hanisen
|A tired Mark and Doug after leading campers with disabilities
on a two day hike and camp @ Camp-A-Lot, Palomar Mountain 1977
(a shout out to my trusty Wolverine boots)
Nothing unattainable.” – Kara Goucher
|Pictured left to right -
Susan's husband Rick, Susan, Stephanie and me.
just never give up.” – Dean Karnazes
|Solving the world's problems
on a walk in Santa Monica with
Ken Forman, Paul Hobbs, & Ron Zieman
a walk around the neighborhood, while her soon to be dead husband was home on the couch. Today, millions of people have reserved that walk as that "me time" to stay healthy. Doesn't matter if you're solo or with a friend, or dog or two, walking will save your life. Taking a walk is the most accessible aerobic activity that is going to keep a person young in spirit, because if you give up on your body, that spirit will follow.
– Arthur Blank
|Hey my editor did find one of me running!
Crystal Pier Pacific Beach, California