I have known John since I was 12. He was in the Myersville Lions Club, my mom was in the Myersville Homemakers club…yes the town I lived in was that small. We were so small in fact, we had a Trolley Festival dedicated to the restored trolley car that use to traverse Main Street. It was at this small town event that I met John. He was kind and fun. He made me laugh and feel less sub conscious about myself.
Fast forward a few years (about 20) when I started training with Regina….it turned out that her friend John was the same John I knew from years ago. We excitedly caught up and hugged. It was as if no time had passed-John hadn’t aged and he was the same kind and fun person that I remembered.
John is the epitome of physical fitness-he runs several 100 mile races each year. He runs marathons and half marathons. He cheers his friends on and enjoys being a middle to back of the pack runner because that’s where the party happens.
I adore John.
John was diagnosed about a year ago with ALS. John kept running until he couldn’t anymore. The disease robbed him of his balance and fine motor skills. It has not robbed him of his humor or his kindness. It has not robbed him of his disease to run and be there for others.
John still runs. He still runs with his friends.
John is running the MCM. I am honored to be a part of his “Wing B*tches” team. We will take turns pushing John along the route that he has run over 20 times.
I think that is why I continue to be so dedicated to my training. And why I have found joy in running this year, because I can. Tonight was hot and humid but pushing John felt effortless (there was a slight mishap with turning and traffic but we are all good)
It was truly a pleasure and joy to run with John because we all laughed-Regina, John, Timmy (Regina’s son), Aiden (Timmy’s son, who didn’t really take part he’s 18 months but he’s cute) and Becky. We made a united front running through town, taking turns and laughing and the various mishaps that John and Regina have had together on this ALS journey.
John has touched the lives of so many people (in his irreverent and inappropriate humor he would say that he has touched a lot of people), I know that my story of my experience with John is not unique. But John has a way of making you feel that you are the most important and special person in his life, that who you are and what you are is so special to him.
I am grateful that John is my friend. I am grateful that I will be spending my 7th MCM with John. Partying our way through the race.