Saturday, April 7, 2012
This is the story of Gary Kirchhoff.
Gary was the son of a well-to-do
business man, and so he grew up
in a life with many privileges.
But when it came to athletics, Gary
earned every one of his accolades.
You could barely imagine a high
school running career as successful
as Gary's; and the last I knew, his
high school records were still hanging.
Growing up in the city, Gary ran
track among the black kids who are
usually faster. But he worked hard,
and trained with the quarter-milers--
because he said it really improves
one's endurance. The quarter-mile
is a puke-race for sure.
In the sprints, Gary was supreme.
His scrap-book of blue ribbons
would drive the envy of anyone.
Okay, not Usain Bolt, but most
anyone else. Gary was an athletic
phenom in every sport he tried.
Suffice it to say, Gary would be
recruited to play football for the
Air Force Academy. But he blew
it up. Gary made a man-child, lost
his mind, and abandoned ship.
In his new life, Gary started running
long distance. He studied medicine,
became an M.D., and believed
whole-heartedly that man was
"Born To Run."
Gary was magnificent in his athletic
afterlife. He jogged every day, and
finished competitively in every race
he entered. Then, at age 42, both knees
needed to be replaced, and this is where
the story abruptly ends.
I can name scores of runners whose
mobility and running career was suddenly
cut short. If you run, you will either quit
or the running will quit you.
Jogging is a self-fulfilling prophecy
of worn-out joints and heart attacks.
Posted by Tommy Kirchhoff at 7:48 AM