My dad was one of the original running boomers; my earliest runs, at around age five, were accompanying him on three-mile loops around Rockland Lake, or two-mile runs on a cinder path in a park near our house, where I would make him stop at all the "exercise stations" to do pull-ups, sit-ups, and log lifts. He would pay me twenty-five cents a mile. I kept my running quarters in a jar on my desk that had a big smiley face on it. (Of course, in my day, for a quarter, you could take a bus to the movie and watch two shows and get a pop too! Kids today.)
Running has been a constant for me for most of the last thirty years of my life. It's given my life definition at times when I've been lacking, it's given me motivation when I haven't had any, and it's forged much of my identity, both personally and at times professionally. I'm an emergency physician by trade, but I've also been a running camp counselor, founder, and director; a medical director and volunteer at trail races; a running magazine writer; an assistant coach for HS and collegiate XC; and part-owner of a running specialty store. I've raced track, cross-country, roads, mountains, trail, ultras, and OCRs. If you have a stupid idea that involves running, I'm probably interested.