by Lewis Carlan in Stories, image by John Steven Fernandez

The Power of Love and The Power of Running

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Hello all. Recently, I wrote about my struggles with being an unemployed runner. Times became very tough and stressful for me. About three weeks ago, after one of my runs, my knee and foot began to hurt. I shrugged it off and thought about my next scheduled run. It was during that run that my foot really started to hurt, my knee felt sore and my calf was strained.

If things weren’t bad enough! Why was this happening? But in reality, I knew exactly why it was happening. My running shoes had well over 500 miles on them and were no longer capable of doing their job for me. I ended that run and walked home a bit dejected.

So I faced a dilemma. Since buying new shoes was out of the question right now due to my unemployment so I had to decide.

Do I keep running and risk injury or do I stop running altogether until I could buy new shoes?

It was a lose/lose situation for me. I thought about it and decided not to risk injury. I was going to stop running until I was able to afford new shoes. I will admit, it made me depressed. Sure I could walk or bike but it wouldn’t be the same. I don’t have a passion for walking or biking. My passion lies in running. Times were bad and getting worse!!!

One week and 4 days had passed when my dad called to see how I was doing. My dad, himself, was an avid runner back in the 1970′s. He completed a number of the early NYC marathons. He met Fred Lebow a number of times during the infancy of the NYC marathon as well. I remember as a kid him getting up early to train. I would stand there and watch as him and his running partner headed out the door to get their miles in. One interesting story he like to tell is during either the 1974 or 1975 NYC marathon he was going along nicely. He felt great and had a good stride going when out of nowhere a man by the name of Bill Rodgers flew right past him. Bill Rodgers!

So my dad and I got to talking and he asked me how my running was coming along. I told him what had happened. He agreed that the shoes were way past their prime and should never be used for running again. I explained to him that I have to stop running until I am able to afford new shoes. It’s not something that I wanted to do but I had no choice at this point. The topic then changed and we spoke about a few other things. Our call ended about 10 minutes later.

The following day I got great news, one of the companies that I interviewed with offered me a job. Even though it was less than I needed to support my family, I took as it was better than nothing. Finally some income! I thought about the running shoes but knew I had a lot of catching up to do with my bills. The running shoes would have to remain on hold.

Two days later, after returning home from the library, my wife told me I had a package on the table. A package? It was a nice sized box, with the name of a very famous company whose shoes I only wear. I opened up the box and there they were. A brand new pair of running shoes. I checked the packing slip and they were sent to me by my dad. I will admit, tears welled up in my eyes. I called him immediately and thanked him. He told me he understood how much running means to me because he once shared my passion. He fully understood the power of running. At that point all I could think off was the power of love. I told him I loved him.

The next day I put on those new shoes and they fit me more perfectly than any shoes ever fit me. They felt better than any shoes I ever put on my feet. I headed out the door and started running. My hiatus from running was over. Thank you Dad.

Lew The Runner




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