I am not anything other than a regular guy who started running and then kept going. There was a break in the late 70’s when I lived in Guatemala and played a lot of soccer, but I still ran occasionally, too. When I returned to the United States, I found out that I had a broken wrist from playing soccer and had to have an operation on it to repair it. I was blessed at that time to be able to have the hand specialist for the Jets perform that operation.
After I got the cast off and was given the green light, I began running every day. Back then, Runner’s World was known as The Runner and there weren’t road races every weekend. But that was soon to change. Coinciding with the running boom was my awareness that I could run fast and do really well in races. I began to train harder and race in earnest with a lot of success. Then, in a split second, all of that changed on a Friday afternoon with a bad car accident on May 19th, 1985. Two days later, I ran my fastest 15K at the Midland Run and my 53:03 was the pinnacle of my success as a runner. After that, my health began to decline and I never felt right again when I ran or raced.
Over the next three years, I went to 13 different doctors. After that fateful day in May, I started with a toothache and then sinus infections in my left nostril and I went back and forth between dentists and ear, nose and throat specialists. In the end, they realized that I had a hairline fracture in my tooth and bacteria had gone through my tooth, a cyst had formed in my left sinus and I had an infection in my jawbone.
That was bad enough, but then the surgery that I had to have the cyst removed was a disaster and I was left with a permanently altered sinus that meant that I was to have 100’s upon 100’s of sinus infections in my left sinus over the months and years ahead (even to this day).
Fast forward to late 2015 and a part of me wanted to have running goals again. I had apparently recovered from the torn meniscus that happened on January 1st, 2013 and I wanted a way to celebrate my 50th year of running. I decided, for whatever reason, to run from our house to the top of the mountain and back, in part inspired by Scott Jurek’s Appalachian Trail run last summer.
Fast forward again to January 2016 and I have even more incentive to accomplish things in running again. Being a Polar Ambassador means a lot to me and I want to represent Polar to the best of my ability. I have used a Polar heart rate monitor to monitor virtually every run since July 1986, so coinciding with my 50th year of running will be my 30th year using a Polar heart rate monitor. Thanks to being on Team Polar, I now use a Polar M400 to monitor my runs and workouts as well as my daily activity and sleep. All I need now is the time to focus on my lofty goal and to make it happen on September 1st, 2016.