Getting inspiration from some local running ‘addicts’ | PostIndependent.com
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Getting inspiration from some local running ‘addicts’

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent

“From childhood’s hour, I have not seen as others were; I have not seen as others saw.”

— Edgar Allan Poe, “Alone”

If I had a yellow submarine, or if I owned an old day-glo school bus named Further, I would gladly load up all of my running friends and embark on a modern day version of the magical mystery tour.

The destination would be of little consequence to this group. The experience of the journey, much like the running lives they have led, would be reason enough for the trip, with the finish line being merely an afterthought.

I’ve become acquainted with, and fond of, these running people through my years on the roads and trails. Some I have known much longer than others. To celebrate the reissue of George Sheehan’s classic book, Running and Being, I thought I would ask these distance addicts why they lace up the shoes day after day, year after year. Why do it? What is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

Here are just a few who have brightened my running life, and their responses to my question. I’ve listed their chronological years on earth, but numbers can in no way categorize their youthful spirit and exuberance for life.

Bob Willey, 65, Glenwood: “Running nurtures my soul and body. I believe, to a great extent, it’s turned my life around and made me the athlete I still am today.”

Darrell Stanley, 69, Glenwood: “I started running because the heart surgeon said I needed it to stay off of the operating table. Now it’s just to stay in shape and have fun.”

Charlie Marley, 50, Glenwood: “I started running in high school to get in shape for basketball and to lose some weight. Now I run mostly to keep my sanity.”

Andrea Arnhold, 39, Eagle: “I run because it clears my mind and I always feel better afterwards. It’s me, and a huge part of my life. We’re all addicted to something — I guess running’s one of my addictions.”

Karla Richards, 49, Glenwood: “I run for the pure joy it brings to my life through exercise, enjoying nature, and all of the special friendships I have developed over the years.”

Brad Palmer, 56, Carbondale: “Running is good for the body and mind. It’s freedom.”

Dr. Greg Feinsinger, 72, Glenwood: “Exercise is important for your mental and physical health and longevity. Running is the most efficient way to exercise.”

Jim Conway, 65, Glenwood: “I love being outside. Running gets you in shape for other activities. It’s nice to be on a hike or a bike ride and not get winded.”

Sage O’Neil, 34, Glenwood: “I run because I can. It’s nice to try and push beyond what I thought my physical limits were. It’s a great way to escape and be in my own little world for awhile.”

Nancy Reinisch, 60, Glenwood: “I run for my physical, psychological, and social well-being.”

Candelario DeLuera, 54, Rifle: “Running brings joy to my life. I like it very much. Anyone can do it if they want to.”

Take it from this sprightly collection of characters, get out and go for a run, it may change your life for the better. Click your heels together and say, “There’s no reason I can’t do this.” You will become hooked on endorphins and I’ll reserve a spot for you on the mystery tour.

Mike Vidakovich is a freelance writer from Glenwood Springs. His column appears on the first Monday of each month.


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