Over the Hump

by: Father Charlie

October 2, 2019

It all began June 5, 1976. I awoke with a headache and a dry mouth, for I had drank a bit the night before and smoked as many cigarettes as I could to prepare myself for my 'QUIT' smoking day, of June 6th.

I had made a pact with two of my friends that we would quit together. We would each put up $50.00 for the person who could quit the longest (hoping for forever).

We had been planning this for many months and it was the beginning of a great change in my life and would mark the beginning of my running career.

The next day I decided to jog around the neighborhood, but could only make it about a block, for you see, I was 38 years old and I had been smoking about 2 packs a day for 20 years. However, I was determined and I was also afraid that I would put on a lot of weight, as some do when they quit.

I encouraged a friend to run with me, once a week at the local track. We both started slow and it took about a year to get up to one mile. (By the way, I won the money). One of the men made it until 10:00am that first day and the other man told God that only hell or high water would make him go back. But when the other man watched his hotel float away in a flood he took his smokes and headed for higher ground. (Major flood in 1976).

I got hooked, on running! I quit one addiction and to on another. Running was much more healthy than smoking. I began to run every day and even entered a few short races. In 1983, a friend suggested that I do a marathon, and I took him up on it.

I struggled and wondered if it was ever going to end and then the Stockyard finish line came into view and I had plenty left to finish. I was in tears as I came to the finish for I realized that running was Gods' way of healing me for the addiction that had a strong hold on me.

To the end of the story.... It all climaxed on Heartbreak Hill in Boston when my oldest daughter, Elizabeth, joined me for the last 6 miles of the Boston Marathon and we crossed the finish line together.



Bless somebody today!

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