David Freeze: Gotta Run

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 2, 2018

How Steve Shive became a runner and why it might be good for you.

Every single runner has a story! Steve Shive is probably the most consistent racer in Rowan County and I wanted to find out more about him. Here it is, and I hope you’ll find it interesting.

After working in the landscape/nursery business for about 40 years, Steve decided to retire about three years ago. He said, “The type of work I did kept me active and in reasonably good shape. After I stopped working, I needed to do something to keep in shape. I started power walking about 20 miles a week. I slowly transitioned from walking to running. About 2 years ago I decided to try a 5K race. I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve only been running about 2 1/2 years. I can remember back in junior high and high school that I was not a fan of running. Things change.”

I asked Steve about the benefits he has experienced, and he replied, “Running makes me feel alive and keeps me in shape. There are good days and bad days, you learn from both. I like the confidence I feel when I push myself to do a longer distance or a faster time and succeed. When I have a bad day, I’ve learned not to give up because the next run many times is much better. One of many lessons we learn over and over again through life.”
Steve races just about every weekend. Here is what he said, “I primarily enter races to contribute to the causes they support. The more I race, the more I enjoy the competition. I enjoy meeting new people and learning from them, hearing their stories and comparing our aches and pains. The races are social gatherings for runners. I enjoy that. My first 5K was in Salisbury and for Hospice. It remains a favorite. I had a personal best time at the Lamb 5K in Mooresville. The Winter Flight 8Ks at Catawba college are favorites. Three weeks ago, I ran my first 10K in Mt Airy.”

Every runner has goals. Here are Steve’s. “My primary plans are to keep running as much as my body allows. A weak knee somewhat compromises the number of runs and distances I can do without injuring myself. I try to run 15-20 miles a week and I’ve found that works for me right now. Maybe some knee PT lies in my future. My knee problem has been with me since I was 14, long before I started running. I do plan to increase my running distances. I do 10Ks regularly now, and my goal is to do more 10K races and a 15K this fall. I’ll see how the 15K goes and then maybe look to do a half marathon. It depends on how my body holds up.”

Steve grew up in Salisbury, NC and went to Wiley Elementary, Knox Junior High, and Boyden/Salisbury High graduating in 1971. Next came two years at WCU and 3 years at NCSU graduating with a horticulture degree. Steve worked in the landscape/nursery business for about 40 years.

Now in retirement at age 65, Steve added, “For about 40 years, my hobby was work. Since I’ve transitioned out of that, I guess my hobby is running and staying in shape. I have two dogs that I love. They walk me 3-4 miles a day. They add another 15-20 miles a week of just walking. It’s kind of stop and go though. We enjoy each other. They are a man’s best friend. I do enjoy the out of doors, walking and running in the local parks and on the local greenway and trails. I’ve started to try my hand at growing shiitake mushrooms on a piece of mountain land I have. It’s not profitable but it’s fun. I appreciate the simpler things now that I have time to see what’s important for me.”

All this is the perfect lead-in to the Beginning Runners Class which starts on Thursday, September 6th. Steve has made point after point about why anyone considering the class should take the plunge and join in.

The VA’s Hero 5K honoring the US Marine veterans is set for Saturday, September 8 and the T-Man’s 5K is Sunday, September 16th. All other events are listed on the calendar at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org or call 704-310-6741 for more info.