WHY I RUN. A GUEST POST FROM MY PILOT BROTHER!!!

Hello Hungry Runner World!!  I am Janae’s brother Dave.  If you’ve been a long time reader you will know that I am the one that lives in Kentucky, has 7 children (yes, with just one wife lol) and am a pilot for Southwest Airlines.  I am so excited to connect with you and let you get to know me a little too.  I must first start out by thanking you.  Y’all (I’ve lived in Kentucky for 12 years now so I get to use “y’all” whenever I want) have been so supportive of Janae over the years and we are so grateful and appreciative of you!!  Janae (like so many of you I’m sure) has gone through a lot of ups and downs over the last several years and your kind words and encouragement has meant more to her and us than you’ll ever really realize.

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I am so proud of Janae and all that she has accomplished.  There is so much behind the scenes work that goes on with running a successful blog (see what I did there, “running” a successful blog! Yeah, I got Dad jokes) and I find it truly remarkable how Janae is able to juggle all that she has on her plate.  I am nine years older than Janae, but she has always been my “little buddy”.  The stories I could tell you of all of the good times that we’ve had together could be it’s own blog altogether.  I’ll keep it short though and tell you how much I love Janae and how overjoyed I am as to the person she has become.

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So, since this is a running blog, I thought I’d share a little with you about my love/hate relationship with running.  I am not your typical runner, but isn’t that what makes running so great.  There is no typical runner.  We are all doing it for different reasons, different skill levels, different body types, different distances, different speeds and on and on.  For the most part, we are racing and competing with ourselves.  That’s what makes this community so great.  I’ve never played a pickup game of basketball, made a good play or bad one for that matter and had someone from the other team compliment me or encourage me to keep working at it.  Not so with running.  There have been so many times when I’m at the hard part of a run or race and have been lifted by the smile of another runner.  The running community is such a special group of people that lifts one another and constantly encourages.  So anyway, here are some of the reasons I run:

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I run because…..I love to eat

Ok, I know I am not alone here.  Food is fantastic.  Whether it’s at a restaurant, off the backyard grill or a family dinner, there are so many yummy foods.  I love to eat, especially sweets.  I also may be somewhat to blame for Janae’s love of sugar haha.  When I got my driver’s license,  Janae and I started a weekly tradition of going to Dairy Queen together to get chocolate dipped cones.  Ice cream is my favorite food in the whole world.  We’ve been fortunate to go on trips all over (free flights as a pilot YAY) and whenever it’s my turn I choose Italy, GELATO EVERYWHERE!!  Because of this love of food —> must run

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I run because…..I can

Kind of a crazy one here, but 15 years ago I got a disease called Guillain-Barre (gee-YAH-buh-RAY) syndrome.  My immune system attacked my nervous system and I was left paralyzed, in extreme pain and in a hospital for many months.  It was a crazy time in our lives and for a minute there the doctors weren’t sure if I’d survive or not.  It is amazing how when everything is stripped from you, you come to realize what is truly important in your life and how little everything else matters.  We spend so much of our time and energy on things that really are insignificant and running helps me stay focused.  In the years since, EVERY single time I go out for a run I think back at my time in the hospital and feel eternally grateful for each step that I take.  Rehabilitation was difficult and I never dreamed I’d be where I am today.  Naturally, after an experience like that, I try each day to recognize and be thankful for the simple things in life like being able to run, as well as the big things like my baseball team sized family and achieving my dream of flying for Southwest Airlines.

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I run because…..it’s a great way to see a new place

With my job I am constantly visiting new cities.  I have found that there is no better way to get a feel for a new town like taking a run.  For whatever reason, I love to run near water.  Whether it’s a river, lake or ocean, if the town I’m in has water I generally head that way.  Some of my favorite places to run have been San Diego, San Francisco, Washington DC, Key West, the Bahamas,……okay I just realized this list could go on forever.  There are so many beautiful places to go for a run, so next time you go to a new city don’t forget your running shoes.

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I run because…..I need time alone

I have a feeling that this is a pretty common one.  Our house is noisy (understatement of the year).  Up until 2015, we lived in a 985 square foot home.  3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and eight human beings.  It wasn’t because we couldn’t afford a larger home, but as weird as this may sound to some, my wife and I both felt strongly that our family needed to be physically close so that we could grow emotionally close/strong as a family.  I can’t lie though, it was such a good feeling once we moved to be able to take a shower without one of the kids having to poop the moment you got in the shower.  Anyway, we all need some time to ourselves to clear out our minds.  For my wife it’s high intensity interval training.  For me it’s lacing up and heading outside on a run.

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I run because…..of my job

As an airline pilot we have to go through a medical examination process every six months.  If you don’t pass, you can’t fly.  I have a lot of very hungry mouths to feed, so whether I want to or not I have to exercise regularly.  I’ve never been one to go to the gym consistently.  Running seems to be the only way that I can stay constant.  The simplicity of it makes it difficult for me to come up with excuses not to go.

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I run because…..I love the way it makes me feel

Running is hard, no doubt about it.  I always try to get my run in the morning simply for the fact that I really enjoy the way my body feels for the rest of the day.  Even if it was a difficult run, there is just something about the way you feel the rest of the day that is addicting.  The thing that stinks though is the older I get it seems like what I spent months building up to crumbles if I take a week or two off.

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So, that’s a little about me.  I’ll end with a quick flying story that everyone seems to get a kick out of. WARNING: Some of you will not find this funny at all, but to me it was hilarious.  Many years ago at my previous airline I was flying a small regional jet, just 37 seats.  We took off out of New York City and proceeded to maneuver around Central Park.  I got the great idea to make a PA to the passengers telling them of our great view of the park.  I told them to look out the left side of the aircraft.  As soon as I said that I jerked the plane a little to the left and said, “WHOA WHOA WHOA not everyone at once!” HAHAHA  The flight attendant said the looks on some of their faces was priceless.  I quickly told them I was teasing and wished them a Happy April Fool’s Day.  On a completely unrelated topic, my mother has never gotten into an airplane with me :)

Honestly though, when you see me in an airport please say “hi”!!  I love it and it makes me look super cool in front of my coworkers.

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Where are you from/living?  

Favorite local spot to run?   

Now’s your chance, ask a pilot a question!  

Why do you run?

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133 comments

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You might just be my favorite sibling of Janae s. You love ice cream(my all time favorite food group), running near water(I live near the gulf), and fly for SouthWest (the only airline I will fly home on).

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Maria, I will be sure to brag to all of my siblings!!

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Love this post! Question for you both: when you’re training, do you participate in Fast Sundays at church? I know fueling is SO important, and I was curious for how you tackle the fast!

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Great question Brooke! We do participate in fasts at church. In fact when I was sick, our Stake (term in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for a group of about 12 congregations) held a special day of fasting and prayer for me and my family. You can imagine how supportive it felt to have 1000+ people making that sacrifice for you!! It is typically just once a month and on Sundays when we don’t run anyway and I’m not logging the number of miles where this has been an issue. Thank you again for reading!

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Love this post!

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Thanks so much for sharing! Love hearing your perspective, and I’m definitely with you on needing that time alone with running. I am not married and don’t have any kids, but I’m actively involved in many things that require me to be around people quite a bit. As much as I love people and spending time with them, I also appreciate the time I have to myself to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement. I’ve had some ups and downs with health issues related to my kidneys over the past few years that have often kept me from running and running to my full capacity, so I’m beyond grateful for each step I’m able to take. I might not be racing or where I want to right now as far as my speed and distances go, but hopefully I’ll be able to get there soon.

Hope that you have a great start to your week, Dave!

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Natalie, health problems are tough! It seems like you’ve got a good attitude which can sometimes be the hardest part, however also the most important! Enjoy your run this week!

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Ha! Great blog post! Loved it! Fun getting to learn about another of Janae’s siblings!

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Hahaha! That’s hilarious. Although I’m sure some people who don’t have good sense of humor didn’t appreciate it. But it’s funny.

We run for many of the same reasons, except I didn’t almost die so you’ve got me there.

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This is such a wonderful post!! Great read to start a Monday. Dave is a rockstar!!!!!

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I really am, HA!!

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That April Fools day joke is just CRUEL!
Next time you’re in San Diego and have a little time to run, go run the trails at Torrey Pines! Gorgeous ocean view and lots of hills. :)

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Torrey Pines, definitely, sounds amazing!! San Diego is for sure one of my favorite places to overnight! Good food, good weather and good vibes!

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I knew you ran but had no idea about the GB syndrome! So scary!! So glad things are better now. Also I love Daniel’s face in pretty much every picture! 🤣😊

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Thanks for sharing! Love your post! In addition to wanting to improve as an athlete, I run to get out of my head; something about only focusing on feet hitting the ground, enjoying my surroundings, and the tunes/podcast in my ears is rejuvenating. I also prefer being active outside over inside in a gym. My favorite run was in Dundee, Oregon–ran to the top of a peak overlooking all of the Willamette Wine Country, over 1,000 ft. elevation gain. Gorgeous, and because it was in the early morning before all the wineries opened, I felt like I had the entire area to myself. Thanks again for sharing. PS–I would have been one of the non-plussed passengers after your ’tilt to the left’ :-D

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Jules, I’m right there with you, I love being able to turn my brain off during a good run! Life is SO busy and I think we all need a way to turn it off regularly. Oregon is such a gorgeous place! My wife used to live in Medford, Oregon and we just love visiting

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I’m sooooo jealous. Your brother ROCKS! Will you adopt me please?

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We have reached a point where with 7 kids there is always one kid that wakes up at night whether they’re sick, had a bad dream, thirsty, cutting teeth etc. So if you are willing to takeover at night we may have a deal hahaha

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Thank you for the post, Dave! The love your family shows for each other is so admirable and a joy to see.

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Thank you Amanda! Family is EVERYTHING to us! Probably why I ended up with 7 kids 😂

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Great post!
I am the oldest of 8, and we were always in a small house…..it was sooooo nice getting my first apartment in college, ha!

I am from Tennessee (Chattanooga) and I am spoiled because I live downtown and have access to at least 20 miles of paved biking and running trails that snake next to the Tennessee River. I love it! It’s gorgeous, and I run there almost every day. You get to see wildlife (great blue herons, turtles, eagles, vultures, sometimes even turkey) and the views are spectacular! My husband isn’t a runner, but he jumps on his bike and goes with me, too!

Yeah, I get so panicked flying. It’s gotten worse as I get older. I don’t know how you do it! I literally take care of birds for a living, but I prefer penguins bc they don’t fly, ha!

I run because I love it. I may dread the getting ready part, but once I am laced up and out there, it’s great!

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Lori Beth, just curious, do you or your siblings have big families? We always wonder if our kids will want big families or not after growing up in our craziness! I LOVE Chattanooga!! So gorgeous! We once stayed in the train station that was transformed into a hotel and slept in one of the train cars. So fun!

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COOL! So glad you have gotten to visit Chattanooga! I work at the Aquarium there, you should come visit it!

I personally don’t want kids, but I feel like I sort of already had kids by help raising my siblings. There is 5 years between me and the next oldest, and 16 years between me and the youngest. I do have 3 sisters who have babies now, so we’ll see what happens with them! My brothers aren’t married….one is in college and one in high school.

Thanks for the reply!

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Being the oldest of 8, I’m sure you’ve done more child raising/diaper changing/ babysitting than most for sure!!

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My cousin and his wife are both pilots for an airline (not southwest). I love seeing how they get to explore the world in different ways that myself. Definitely love your story, being able to live through something like that and let it make you a better person is something more people need to see. God Bless and blue skies!

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Thank you Staci! It’s definitely a different life that us flight crews live. I have been so blessed with a wife who is supportive and thrives with the weird schedule. Have a great week ahead!!

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Loved reading this post! Your family is adorable and wow – I think you win a big prize or something for living in 985 sq feet for so many years! But that’s so true though, close physically means close emotionally!
I run for a lot of the same reasons – alone time, I love desserts, and also these utah sunrises never ever get old!!

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Thanks Laura, I miss Utah and I miss the desert! However, we might be moving to St.George in the near future, WIN WIN!!

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Wow. I can’t believe you had 8 people sharing a bathroom! I shared one bathroom with three other girls in college and I swore never to do it again.

Loved the rest of your post too, but I got a little stuck there….

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Funny story (well, funny now haha), we remodeled our one bathroom while living there and I had to pull out the toilet for two days. As soon as I pulled the toilet out and destroyed the tile beneath, stomach flu hit our family from both ends!!! Memories….

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What a cool brother! Would you consider a guest post or two about working out on the road? I travel for work A LOT and it is hard sometimes to get running or other workouts done on the road….Have a great week Dave and Janae!

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Cathy, I feel your pain! Working out on the road can be SO difficult! It’s definitely where I am the least consistent. My number one focus while on an overnight is making sure I get the proper sleep so I am safe to fly the next day. So on short overnights I have to skip. The other hard part about life on the road is eating properly. Good luck though and don’t forget to say “hi” when you see me out there!

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Hi Dave, I enjoyed your post! Why do they always turn off the cabin lights at take off?

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Wow, that is a great question that I’ve never been asked! With the cabin lights off during takeoff, if there arises the need to do an emergency evacuation, it makes it easier to see what’s going on outside and hopefully leads to a safer evacuation.

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Dave,

Running because you can is the best reason. My dad had Guillain-Barre as a teenager and while he regained over 90% of his movement it effected him the rest of his life. To hear that you not only fully recovered but have gone on to run makes me beyond happy and proud for you. I wish you nothing but the best on your first marathon training!

Stephanie

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Oh Stephanie, your Dad must have been an incredibly strong man!! I can’t even imagine all that he’s gone through! What an inspiration he must be and a great reminder as to all that we’ve been blessed with! Thank you for sharing that, it’s always so comforting to know that others understand what you’ve gone through

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Thank you for this.
We lived in a one bathroom home as kids too. We FONDLY, look back on those days! I know your kids will too.
Have a great day.

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I hope that they do! My wife and I sure do!

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Love your running reasons and LOVE that you enjoy and have run in Key West!!!!! I’m actually headed there next Friday to run the Key West Half Marathon for the 5th year in a row! Living in cold Pennsylvania, the tropical escape has become kind of a tradition for me :) SO, I am not sure what your airplane/flying story was at the end of your post, but I didn’t read it, just in case it was scary. ha ha I’ve come a LONG way with flying and not being afraid!!!!! I’ll go back and read it after my trip, I promise :)

Thanks for being a guest poster today!!!!!

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5th year in a row, that is awesome!!! Good luck, I know you’ll have a great time! Key West is one of those places where I don’t need extra motivation to run! I get so excited to run there

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Awesome post Dave! I love the pics of your beautiful family!! It’s so funny seeing pics of Janae’s nieces and nephews…I can definitely see the family resemblance. Are your oldest girls twins?
I live in TX and run by a lake every weekend. I get to see some really nice sunrises and sometimes deer!
I feel like I need to have ice cream at some point today :)

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Hi Elizabeth, no the oldest two girls are 14 months apart. The older one has always been a little smaller for her age and the opposite with her sister. We used to get asked if they were twins so often that I gave up and just started saying “yes” hahaha
Please eat some ice cream in my honor today! If anyone got anything out of my post i hope it’s that we need to eat more ice cream!!

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I live North of Seattle and help build the jets ya’ll fly – but not the 737’s or “stocking stuffers” as we call them up here.

My favorite place to run locally is at Greenlake (which is, or course, near water).

I run for many the same reasons as you- plus it gives me something my older boy and I can do together.

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“If it ain’t Boeing, I ain’t going.” HRG Pappa

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P.S. Just wanted to make sure you know…. I do realize you probably fly 737’s since you work for Southwest – and the above is intended as good natured ribbing :). Just sharing a bit of Boeing humor….

Which airliners are you qualified to fly?

I appreciate you sharing your story!

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Hey John! My Dad beat me to it! Boeing’s are the best, “If it ain’t a Boeing I ain’t going!!” The stocking stuffer 73 is an amazing airplane that’s lasted 40+ years and I’m sure will be flying for 40+ more! Plus it leads to a pretty nice paycheck ;) Keep up the good work at Boeing, you keep me, my family, my co-hearts and all of our passengers safe in your beautifully built aircraft. Before Southwest I flew Embraer regional jets, also another nice product.
Some of my favorite runs have been with my kids. It’s tough anymore though to get the older ones to run with slow-old-Dad!
Have a great week!

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Great post, Dave! Your smile makes me smile!

I run because of the way it makes me feel. I have never regretted going for a run! I regret extra dessert and staying up too late and other poor choices, but I have never once regretted going for a run.

Your story about your April Fools Day joke made me laugh out loud. I am definitley a nervous flyer, but even I would have to laugh at that!

I hope you have a great day! If I ever see you on a flight, I will definitely say hello!

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That is such a great point Maria, I have never regretted running! Have a great week!

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Loved the guest post – thanks! It’s fun to learn a few things about you! I live in a burb of Minneapolis & love running trails at Elm Creek or Hyland parks. I used to live near the MSP airport right by Lake Nokomis & have run that lake numerous times – it’s a nice spot, though is sometimes pretty popular.
I like choosing running as the thing I do for myself because it benefits my family (physical/emotional health) in addition to just being fun for me. Family is a big part of my life, and I loved seeing the photos of yours!
I rarely fly places, but when I do, it’s always more fun to have a nice pilot with a good sense of humor.

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Katie I am always so impressed by Minnesota runners!! People don’t know cold until they have been to Minneapolis in the winter! I don’t know how y’all do it. The summer in Minnesota has to be one of the most wonderful places on Earth though!!

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Haha yes, we Minnesotans definitely stay here in part for the beautiful summer days! We are required to spend as much time outside as possible, the moment temps warm up.

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I love this post! I am the 3rd of 6 children (all from the same parents) and I know how crazy and chaotic it is … along with being so much fun and never, ever lonely!

I live in San Diego, so I love that you put that first on your list of places you love to run (me too)! This is honestly the most perfect place to love as a runner… all outdoor miles and no treadmill EVER.

I have so many favorite places to run – but I also like to change it up a lot depending on what type of terrain I am looking for. That being said, I live only 2.5 miles from Torrey Pines beach, so I tend to find myself running along the coast more often than not! There really is no better place 😊

If I had been a passenger in your plane, I would have loved that little maneuver! I fly Southwest pretty often and I always feel like the crew is always warm and friendly. Do you like to joke around with your passengers? Are you looking forward to the impending Hawaii routes? I know I am!

I run for so many reasons. It makes me more patient. It helps me channel my competitive spirit. It gives me a huge sense of accomplishment when I finish a difficult run. It makes me feel strong. It helps me clear my head. Mainly though, it is just part of me, like breathing. I ❤ running.

It was SO nice meeting you!

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3rd of 6, you definitely get our crazy/chaotic lives!! Next time I’m in San Diego I will definitely be going to Torrey Pines! I can’t wait!!

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This is such a fun post! My husband is an air-traffic controller in Salt Lake, makes me wonder if you’ve spoken to each other.
You have such a beautiful family!

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Jaime, I’m sure I have talked to him on the radio! Salt Lake controllers are definitely some of the best, right along side the controllers in Washington DC!! Tell him to keep those shortcuts for Southwest coming haha

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Wonderful post!!! Hope to see more in the future on here, you are a great writer! How did you get guillian barre? A friend of mine who is a nurse contracted it from the flu shot. Glad you recovered, such a tough road

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Sandra, the doctors at the Mayo Clinic never figured out what caused it. I hadn’t been sick in months leading up to it. They recommend that I never get a flu shot though in the future. Give your friend a hug from me, she’s definitely been through a lot!

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What a small world, my husband is a pilot at southwest too! He is based out of MDW but we live in Columbus, Ohio. My husband runs a lot on his trips too. I’m so glad you are healthy and enjoying your runs:)

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Before Southwest I was actually at Republic and based in Columbus for a year. I don’t miss making that drive from Louisville. Have a great week!

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Hi Dave. Love your post. My twins are high school seniors and are applying to aeronautics programs. They both would like to work as pilots for a major airline someday. Where did you do your training? And did you a have minor like airport management as a back up? Thanks. I’d love your input.

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Hi Jeannette! There are a lot of different routes to go. I didn’t realize I wanted to be a pilot until finishing engineering school at BYU. After graduating I went to a flight school in Florida to get all of my ratings. I then taught at that school before getting a job at a regional airline. There is a great need right now for pilots in the industry and I’m sure they’ll have fantastic careers. As I always say, it beats working for living!!

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MD girl here!! I’m actually flying Southwest (my fav airline!!) next week…heading to warmer temps in Florida for a girls trip! I have started running to deal with going thru a hard time. There is nothing better than running to clear my mind. (cheaper than my therapy ha!) I’m sidelined for the moment due to a weird pain in my foot and while its killing me to not be able to run I’m still keeping active with modified Crossfit classes.

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Oh Brianne, I’m so sorry for what you are going through! You are so right, running really does help us hang in during hard times. A couple years ago I lost someone very close to me. I went for a run the next day and cried the entire way. Looking back though it was great therapy. Hang in there, have a fun trip and my family thanks you for flying Southwest :)

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Thanks for sharing! I loved this post.

I live in Arizona. Our weather, or lack thereof, makes this a perfect running state. Though I am sure they exist, I have yet to find a running trail near me as beautiful as the ones Janae shares. For now, I run to a park near my house with lots of grass and nice sidewalks.

I run because it I love the alone time, unless my dog Blue is with me, and because it reminds me of how strong I am and can be.

Question for a pilot: Have you ever seen anything unusual in the skies while flying?

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Libbie, if by anything strange you mean a UFO, I can neither confirm nor deny seeing such :) The view from up front however is amazing!! This planet we live on is full of beauty. Perhaps my favorite part is how many different types of beauty there are from weather formations to sunrises/sunsets to mountains to deserts to everything in between. How wonderful is it to look for the beauty in everything!!

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Hi Dave!
What a wonderful post and those pictures are just sooo cute!
So happy for Janae’s Family, it is a honor to know you wonderful people through Internet.
I run because I love it, I run slow but love long distances! I’m ging to run my 14th Marathon in Rimini, Italy!
I love running outside, along the river, in tghe forest, at Trails, everwhere but NEVER on the treadmill.
Do you also fly to Europe?
All the best, and hi from Innsbruck, Austria

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Gabrielle, my airline doesn’t fly to Europe…..yet :) However, my wife and I have been fortunate enough to spend many vacations in Europe. Good luck on your marathon. I would love to do one on the Italian coast. I think I’ve determined that my favorite place on Earth is the Amalfi Coast. Have you explored there?!

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Ah, Amalfi coast! Was not there yet, but it is on my bucket list. Great that you visited Europe! my husband, son and me lived in Nebraska 25years ago. Was a happy time and great experience! Kind regards!

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Great post! And you’re a great pilot! I was lucky enough to be on one of your flights, and you were kind enough to take a picture with me when I said “You’re Hungry Runner Girl’s Brother!!!!!!!”

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I totally remember!! That was really fun!

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OMG, hilarious! This was such a fun post! My brother is a pilot too – but for Spirit airlines (I know, VERY sad). Southwest is awesome! I think that is a pretty darn funny joke about looking left, but I think at the time I would be freaked out!
I can agree with all of these reasons for running. Amazing to think there was a time when he was paralyzed! That would definitely put a new perspective on life and fitness. Thanks for the fun reading!

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Thanks for reading Lisa!! I have a lot of friends at Spirit, great people!!!

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Love this and vote for more posts from Brother Dave! Would love to hear more about life as a commercial airline pilot and busy dad of 7!

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Thanks Meghan! I have some free time coming up again in the year 2023 and will try and write another post hahaha Thanks for supporting Janae!

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What a great post! I relate on so many levels with my running (love of food/ice cream and alone time FOR SURE). I’ll have to look for Dave next time I’m flying Southwest, if only to warn you NOT to pull any pranks mid-flight. I’m terrified of flying! ; )

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Kara, have an extra scoop of ice cream for me tonight!

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Love it all! Thank you for sharing :)

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Dave you play too much lol! I love the fact that all of your siblings have a good sense of humor. Your mom cracked me up on her post about the psycho bird & Janae has all the jokes on her podcast appearances! It’s great how positive you all are! Great post!

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Thanks for reading Courtney! I’ve never had beauty queen looks so I’ve always had to rely on my sense of humor hahaha Have a great week!

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I’ve been looking forward to this post since Janae said you were going to write it yesterday! Thanks for sharing Dave. Was lovely to read more about you and your family. As a wife of someone who travels for missions work I just want to say your wife is amazing. Mine is only gone for maybe a 2-4 weeks at a time once or twice a year but your wife dealing with a crazy schedule must be an absolute saint and a very organised soul. How does she do it with 7!! Love to you all.

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No doubt about it my wife is a saint!! She jokes though that at least when I leave she goes from having 8 kids to take care of down to just 7! Thanks for reading Leigh and safe travels to your husband

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Great guest post— Please do more!! As a dad to 7 and a pilot I feel like you have way more interesting stories to share! 😄

Have an awesome day, Dave!

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This was so great and made me lol several times. I’ll be sure to say “hi” if I ever see you on a flight. Also had you done that trick with me on the plane I would have never flown again because I would have died of a heart attack.

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OMG I love that story! I also love your reasons to run (and even right down to two magic words: ICE CREAM…I am convinced that if my family could claim it as an Olympic sport, EATING ICE CREAM would be ‘what we do to get a medal’…). (and, by the way, hello from Atlanta!!!)

Thanks for posting. I have a dear family friend with Guillian-Barre, and her paralysis literally came when she was in-flight from New Orleans to NJ for an on campus interview to teach at a university in the southern half of the state. She was literally rushed from airplane to hospital, and the university that was interviewing her postponed, or froze, or stalled, or WHATEVER their professor search until she was able to move and speak and use the right side of her body again. Another friend of mine, Katie, came down with that at the same time as a water toxicity infection right about 2 years ago (at the same time…). For her, the case of GB was mild, but it still took her a good amount of time with physical therapy to do more than slowly move her head and life her arm or slowly walk.

I hope that the next race you’re training for is one of your best ones yet!

In Atlanta where I live, there is a river called the Chattahoochee and there are a lot of foresty trails that can be so nice for running (except after the rain has come, because mud–not so much my thing…). In Columbia MO, where I lived when I started running, I lived close to a small lake called Stephens Lake and I owuld almost always include a loop or two around the lake in my training runs. I also like being near a body of water whenever I can and try to include it in my runs whenever I can! :)

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Thanks for sharing that Stephanie. My heart goes out to your friends, they have been through a lot!! Strange fact about my Dad and I, we have never had a brain freeze. If only ice cream eating were an Olympic sport, I would finally be a world class athlete at something lol

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Great post! So thoughtful and measured. I like it when you have your family guest post sometimes — you all seem like super nice people :)

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I absolutely loved this post! I do not love to fly. The older I get, the worse it is for some reason…
I really liked the reasons why you run. I cannot believe you lived in such cramped quarters! You are one tough guy and it sounds like a great dad an human being in general. Thanks for the post!

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HI Dave!
Thanks for the fun blog post! I love when Janae’s family makes a cameo. I used to be TERRIFIED of flying which is weird, because growing up my family and I would take weekend hoppers to SF or Seattle from PDX. Then, in college, I signed up to go on a January term travel trip to New Zealand, got accepted and realized it was A LOT of flying. This was 29 years ago and flying is way different as a passenger now ;) We live in Germany so fly across the pond occasionally and also within EU.

Do you know who your co-pilot will be before arriving to your shift (is it a shift? a flight? Workday? worknight?) Do you chit chat? I am sure you have gobs of stories to tell about various flights being that you carry hundreds of people a day.

I’ve been a runner since age 10 (born a swimmer though!). I actually run because I love it. It’s just something I really love to do.

I have 4 kids and at some point I have gone in between thinking “this is a lot” and “this isn’t that many.” The spread in ages is 12 years which makes it super fun in my opinion.

Have a super day, Dave!

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Hi Kelly! 4 is A LOT for sure!! My wife and I always say that the hardest transition was from 2 to 3. Let’s just say there is a lot of the years 2007-2009 that I don’t remember haha We usually fly with the same pilot for three days in a row so we really get to know each other. The flight attendants on the other hand can change every flight. I’ve made a lot of great friends through work!

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I can relate to almost all of your reasons why you run, except that I am a teacher. However, teaching can be stressful and running definitely helps to combat that!

I live in SoCal, so I’m really enjoying these perfect running temps right now!

We have this huge ridge up above a local park and it’s so pretty, hilly, and it feels like I’m running in a completely different city.

Where is your favorite place that you’ve ever flown to?

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The hill running y’all do in SoCal is no joke!! Italy is definitely my favorite place to go! We’ve been lucky enough to go many times and I never tire of it! My favorite airports to fly into are probably Portland, Maine (it’s a beautiful approach where you fly around several lighthouses and then up the harbor), Washington DC (you can almost reach out and touch the monuments) or Salt Lake City (Utah will always be home for me!!)

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YAY! Portland Maine! I live in Portland -and it the best when you get to fly in along the coastline and over the city and the lighthouses. The inland flight pattern leaves a lot to be desired. Trees trees trees and more trees. :) Every time I Southwest I look to see if I could see HRG’s brother but the flight attendants are always blocking my view! I’ll keep looking!

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HAHAHA! I totally laughed at your NYC airplane story. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with us!

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Great post! I live just north of Charlotte, NC and next week is the 10 year anniversary of the Miracle on the Hudson, when Captain Sullenberger landed the jet on the Hudson River and no one died or was seriously hurt, and I wondered when something like that happens what do you think? Does it make you think about what you’d do if it happened to you or how you’d handle it or what? As I pilot I think you’d have a different reaction than a passenger like me.

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It sure was wonderful that nobody was hurt. I have to say the Tom Hanks movie was extremely realistic. Honestly though, my thoughts after I saw what happened were probably what most pilots thought, “I could’ve done that!” Pilots are a highly confident group of people, but isn’t that what you want?! You wouldn’t want your pilot intimidated by a situation. However, another reason we always feel so confident is due to the fact that we go through so much training and so many different scenarios.

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Hi Dave! Thanks for sharing. I love the quote “There is no such thing as a typical runner.” Very true. Thanks for taking the time for a guest post! I like to run for pretty much all the same reasons you do- actually currently letting a snack digest before I head out for an easy 5K.

I’m from Atlanta, which is all about Delta/ Hartsfield Jackson, so I’ve never flown southwest. My whole family is filled with pilots so I actually don’t have a ton of questions related to flying for you- being a pilot is a pretty cool job though. Have you ever seen air force one?

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Yes, classic movie! I don’t know if there’s a single Harrison Ford movie that I haven’t seen! As I say on my announcement whenever we fly through Atlanta, “we know when flying out of Atlanta that you have a lot of awful choices errr awful lot of choices, but we thank you for choosing Southwest!” hahaha

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Long time reader. LOVE THIS BROTHER OF YOURS JANAE. Every time I see his sweet kind smile and the love of his beautiful family it makes my heart so happy deep inside!!!!!!!! You all come from a wonderful family, with solid morals and kind and gentle souls. Good for you on the running Dave. Keep it up!!! I will look for you each time I get on a SW flight!

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Awww, thanks Donna!! Keep going

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Hi Dave!
That’s my favorite uncle’s name, so I happen to think it’s a good one ;-)
I’m wondering if you can give me any tips about becoming a commercial pilot. It definitely feels like a bit of a club that’s hard to get into. My boyfriend has his pilot’s license (though I think he needs to do some sort of refresher right now) but found it tough to keep moving forward with that career path. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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True story Amanda, I am actually named after my Uncle David. I’m not gonna lie, it really is a tough field to get in to. There are lots of different routes, but the bottom line is you have to get the licenses and you have to build hours. After college my wife worked full time while I worked on my licenses full time (took about a year and lots of $$$) then I taught others to fly at the same flight school. In the end though it has been totally worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing!

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Shout out to David and Janae from an old friend. Your family is amazing – I’ve enjoyed reading this blog and seeing how successful you all are.

I’m a runner but will never be as good as Janae. Fastest marathon was 3:54 and I mostly only trail run now, I find it more interesting but less convenient. I do one ultra per year, doing a 52 miler in two weeks, and am getting into triathlons. I’m signed up for the full Ironman in Tempe Nov 2019.

I started running because I gained about 30 lbs after going through a long stretch of traveling for work. I’ve lost it and kept it off for 10 years and now running is my go-to hobby. I own more shoes than my wife. I run now because it keeps me sane – it’s the best stress reliever I know.

Enjoyed the guest post, keep up the good work Janae. If you’re ever in AZ I know all the trails in the Phoenix area or we can run the Grand Canyon.

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Trevor! It is so so good to hear from you! An ultra each year—> that is amazing! Good luck in two weeks and send us your tips! An Ironman this year? That is amazing! Keep me updated on how you are doing and yes to the Grand Canyon!!!

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Trevor, you are incredible!!!

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I loved everything about this post! Janae sure is very blessed to have you for a brother. I don’t fly too often, but when I do I fly Southwest. And right now I am seriously craving a DQ dip cone 😁 I must also say that you and Janae have very sincere smiles that just light up your faces.

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Thank you Kimberly you are so kind!! I hope you got that DQ dipped cone. If not, that needs to be your goal tomorrow for sure!

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Hello from an MCO co-heart :)! There’s plenty of lakes to run around here, maybe Lake Baldwin? You should do the BNA 5K!
I LUVed your prank story!
Y’all is right and proper… I used to live in SDF, too. Back when I worked for Brown.

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Hey Karen <3 <3 <3
I can’t lie, whenever I run near water in Orlando I’m just waiting for an alligator to jump at me!!

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I love this post! Its fun to hear from her family. My mom is from a family of 7 kids and they all lived in a 3 bedroom home/1 bath home and they are all so close. I think that’s great! I too love running because anyone can do it and can be done anywhere.

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What a great post! And I love your attitude about running. I run for lots of those same reasons. I was one of 8 kids so I can relate to a loud house (so so much fun) and I CAN’T believe you all lived in 985 square feet until a few years ago. Your family rocks! Thanks for sharing!!

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What a beautiful family you have Dave. So that first picture, with snow stuck all over you….nothing makes me get hot chocolate and slippers faster. The kid poop story while your in the shower, I laughed so hard at that because we have a 2 bed 1 bath house and yea, that’s real life. The Central Park story is hilarious. Had I been on the plane, I would have thought it funny…afterwards. haha I have flown many airlines, I must say, SW has the most positive, friendly and good humored employees. And for nervous flyers like myself, I’m not sure you all know how much that means to us. So thank you.
1. I’m from IL. Hopefully one day soon, I’ll be from a more southern state with less winter.
2. I run because: I get much need Me Time. Getting older/keeping weight in check/feed good…yadda yadda. Mostly though, as a grade schooler, a stranger attempted to pick me up walking home from school. As a high schooler I was chased to the point I barely escaped…..I outran them in both situations. Had I not been able to run, things could have ended much differently. So I run, so that I always can.
3. Pilot question(s). Have you ever needed to make an emergency landing, if so what was the reason? Can a plane really land on autopilot? How long was your longest flight ever? And what do those stripes on the uniform really mean (I hear conflicting stories)?

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Great questions Michele!! I have had to make an emergency landing. Shortly after takeoff out of Atlanta we had a mechanical problem which we were worried could get worse quickly so we made an emergency decent and landing back at Atlanta. What happens more often though are medical emergencies with passengers. Yes, there are several airplanes that can land on autopilot. My longest flight so far has been Baltimore to Oakland with a big headwind that took nearly 6 hours in the air. The stripes hail from maritime days. Simply though, the Captain wears 4 stripes and the First Officer wears 3 stripes. Thanks for the fun questions. One thing that all of us pilots seem to have in common is we love to talk about aviation and we love to talk about ourselves!

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Thanks for the really fun post HRG Brother! I also prefer to run near water which works well for me because I live on the gulf coast of FL south of Tampa. But, our favorite race runs from Key Largo to Key West (100 miles) and the most beautiful way to see the Keys is by foot! I don’t blame you for adding it to your list.

My brother is an air traffic controller at Oakland Center so it’s fun to think perhaps you two have interacted before or will in the future! I also love airplane humor because I was raised in that environment (my dad loves planes) so I approve of your jokes.

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(I wrote a comment but I think it got lost in cyber space. So if this is a duplicate I’m sorry!)

Thanks for the really fun blog post HRG Brother! I also love to run near the water and often drive to those locations locally instead of running within my neighborhood (my husband does not understand this preference). I live on the gulf coast of FL south of Tampa so this works out well for me and gives me lots of daily options. Our favorite place to run though is definitely the Keys! Our favorite race runs from Key Largo to Key West (yes, 100 miles) and the most beautiful way to experience the Keys is on foot. My favorite is crossing the bridges and being able to see the sea life down below as you run since that’s not something you experience from your car. I understand why it was on your list!

My brother is an air traffic controller at Oakland Center so it’s fun to think perhaps you two have interacted before (or will in the future). I also was raised with airplane humor (my dad loves planes) so I approve of your jokes!

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Ally, I was just in Tampa this evening, what a beautiful night!! Key Largo to Key West sounds absolutely incredible!! As a flight student one of my first long solo flights was from Orlando to the Florida Keys and I’ve loved it there ever since! I’m sure I’ve talked to your brother in Oakland! Tell him to keep the shortcuts coming!!

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Big brother little sister ice cream dates?! Cutest ever! Janae, I can see why you love your brother so much.
I just loved this guest post!

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Great post! If this had been an anonymous guest post, who could have figured out it’s Janae’s brother: loves ice cream, loves to run, has overcome challenges, recharges with a bit of running zen, has a fabulous positive attitude, zest for adventure, a little mischievous prank…sounds like a sibling of Janae’s for sure :) Thank you for giving us a glimpse, Dave!

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Thank you Corey!! Comparing me to Janae is the highest compliment you could’ve given me!!

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Great post, Dave!! Enjoyed every minute of it. I’m the youngest of ten kids (5 girls; 5 boys) – yes, from the same mother and father. lol!! We grew up in a 3 bedroom, one bathroom house. That’s a lot of people under one roof – and sharing the same bathroom. No one was ever alone. hahaha!! But I wouldn’t change a thing. I love my big dysfunctional and crazy family. And I love reading about yours, as well. I’ll definitely say hello if I ever get the chance to have you as my pilot. Happy Running!

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I LOVE IT Patty!!!! Youngest of 10, wow, I would love to hear some of the stories you could tell. Isn’t family everything?!?! Have a great week!!

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I don’t run that often anymore (back issues) but my workout time is my favorite alone time! And I am a much better wife/mom when I get that time each day!
When I was running San Francisco was my FAVORITE city to run in! I even flew there two years in a row to do a race! I just love that city! What about Portland, Oregon? Have you ever had the chance to fly into PDX? Not to brag but our airport is pretty wonderful ;) And we have some great running spots (as long as you don’t mind rain in the fall, winter and most of spring, haha!). Summer is perfection though!
Loved this post, thanks for writing it!

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Brandy I love Portland!! Such a beautiful city! I wish I got there more often. One of these days I’ve got to try Voodoo Donuts as well! So sorry about your back!! My brother and sister both struggle with back problems, so hard when you want to be active or when you aren’t active or when you are sitting or when you are lying down or basically anytime!!

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This was so much fun! I loved his point of view. Very funny.

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Love this post! We are an aviation family. My husband has been a commercial pilot since 2001. It’s definitely a crazy lifestyle, but our family tries to make the best of it. We even got my husband’s brother into aviation, and now he (my BIL) is a dispatcher for SWA!
By far my husband’s biggest challenge health-wise is how to eat well while on trips. During the work day airport food is expensive, especially for healthier options. Once he gets to his hotel for the overnight, it can be hit/miss whether there are good dining options nearby. He usually packs food but it can be hard to figure out options beyond PB&J that will stay good for a 3-4 day trip. He also hates carrying a ginormous lunchbox :) Any tips?

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Hey Dave! Loved your post- so funny!! I have a pilot question- I genuinely love to fly and mostly don’t get anxious but I do freak out a little bit when the plane hits turbulence. Can a plane crash from turbulence or is that something I shouldn’t worry about?

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This was a fun post to read! My husband and I have 7 kids as well (our closest are 20 months apart), so running is my alone/recharge/energize/let’s do this! time. I truly got a kick out of your one bath reno while the flu hit the family, someone with a full house can really appreciate that one! I grew up in a 1200 sq ft one bath home with 11 people (nine kids & my parents), and all of us still enjoy each other’s company ;)

Like you, Dave, I also run because I CAN. My husband lost his sister to cancer 5 years ago and I frequently think of her when I am finding excuses to not get my shoes laced up, and remind myself of the time she lost her eyesight and couldn’t even navigate a room without assistance. All my excuses feel pretty lame at that point!

This isn’t a pilot question, (thanks for keeping my sister who flies weekly safe!) rather a question for you and your wife: have you ever noticed how quiet the house is when school starts up in the fall?! Lol, we still have toddlers at home, but it’s almost eerie!

Also, would be fun to hear input from your other siblings as well! Your family sounds so fun!

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This was such a fun post! I love hearing from members of your family, Janae! You all seem so nice. My brother is a pilot for Skywest, but wants to work for Southwest someday. He always says that the pilots who work for Southwest are always so happy with their jobs! Any tips for him??

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Such a FUN read. I have been running since I have been 13 and going on 57 and incredibly blessed to still love this sport! I admire you’re faith and love for family too! THANKS for sharing!

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I loved getting to know more of one of Janae’s brothers through your post. It was somehow especially timely for me as I live in Dallas and we have all been thinking about and appreciating Herb Kelleher in the past few days. The paper has been full of articles and letters about him and South West Airlines. I never met him but he sounds a wonderful guy.
Thank you for your post and as a frequent flyer (just short of 3 million miles with AA, sorry!) I liked your joke! Color me callous!

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Hi Dave! I am so inspired by your sister every day, because she has such a beautiful way of looking at life–focusing on the positive, persevering and having grit, prioritizing time with family and friends, and doing it all with a kindness and openness of spirit that lifts us all up.

Now, I can see that you are just as special as your sister. The kindness and love you have for your sister and your family radiates out through your words. Your smile is beautiful and genuine, just like Janae’s, without a hint of self-importance or ego; it just beams out openness and a loving heart!

Thank you for sharing your reasons for running as well as other parts of your journey. I can only imagine that your experience with a debilitating illness (my close friend also had this syndrome) has thoroughly deepened your appreciation and understanding of what matters.

The places you get to visit sound amazing and I will definitely say hi if I ever see you, although I live in BC, Canada, so not very likely unfortunately!

Many blessings,

Jaclyn

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Kentucky?! Do you run Flying Pig? I ran it for the first time last year, but was a few months lost party and didn’t enjoy it a ton. I can’t wait to go back this year! LOVE the April Fool’s joke hahahaha

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I’m behind on posts because my whole family except for me has been sick this week and I’ve been caretaking/disinfecting. Happily, everyone’s now healthy and I’m catching up on some much needed rest. But I wanted to say that as a Kentuckian (in Lexington) I always love hearing about the Kentucky contingent of your family. I occasionally fly out of Louisville and will definitely keep my eye out!

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Love Southwest!!! Just flew from Nashville to New Orleans and back to Nashville today. I looked in the cockpit both flights you wasn’t on our departure flight & the door was closed on the return! #bestairline #flyforpretzels

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