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  • Mike

Out the In Door....


For 35+ years I have been running in some way or another. It seemed to me the easiest way to get from point A to point B. Well, until I got my first bike and then car. But bikes and cars can’t always climb technical single-track trails at 12,000 feet or run across deserts. So let’s just say I run within reason.

I was born with two club feet, making it doubtful that I would ever run. After multiple corrective surgeries that required breaking both legs, I was able to walk then run. Despite what could be described as a slow start, a couple oddly shaped feet couldn’t hold me back. In 2010, I ran 4,424 miles from the coast of Oregon to the coast of Maine, completely alone, planting a flag each mile for a fallen service member who died in Iraq. In 2012, starting on the Canada/Minnesota border, I ran 2,146 miles down to Southern Texas, planting flags every mile for those that dedicated their lives to service in Afghanistan. Over the course of these 6,870 miles, I tallied approximately two million steps, with no two steps being the same.

Throughout these two trans-continental trips, I have had the fortune of inspiring people. But more than anything else, running and those that have helped along my journey have inspired me. My goal is to continue inspiring others. From something as small as words of encouragement to one of my athletes, to a soldier in the Army learning my story and understanding how much his/her actions mean. Running has always served as a means of connecting with others, and my hope is that through this blog I can continue to touch the lives

I live in a small town in North Idaho called Hope. There are not too many of us, only 75 at last count. My wife sells flower bouquets for $5 from our garden, I sell eggs for $4 a dozen from our chickens on the weekends, and most of our friends we see every day. It is a beautiful place bordering a magnificent lake surrounded by mountains. Despite the small size of Hope, every day I lace up my running shoes, life presents a new day and fresh start. Running represents a place to go to relieve stress and to think and be inspired. When I leave for a run I tell my wife I am going out to reboot. She just smiles.

The first steps of every run can be difficult, and similar to starting an old car in sub-zero temperatures, the older I get the longer it takes to get the blood flowing. But steps are steps and must be taken to move forward. I figure that when I stop moving I’ll die. People have said to me, “Oh it is easy for you because you have been doing it for so long”. Well, perhaps time on feet may matter, but to be honest, every day and every new goal is a new adventure. I never know what to expect, but I do expect to be surprised, and for me that is what running is all about. Learning, living and loving what I do. So as I trod on, I will share with you my life on the trail.

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