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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Where are you from/living?
Favorite local spot to run?
Now’s your chance, ask a pilot a question!
Why do you run?