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Gotta’ Run: Beginners get it done

We had to cancel our beginning runners class in the spring but just finished a small, yet very enthusiastic fall class. The main advantage of a small class is getting to know them better. Here is a recap of a fantastic group and their thoughts.

Hannah Couch is 29 and a project coordinator for a local commercial grading business. She’s been married for two years to husband, Andrew, and is a proud dog mom. Steve McCombs, a Methodist pastor who came to Salisbury in 2010, served as pastor at Milford Hills UMC from 2010-2015 and later at Millingport from 2015-2019. Retired now, Steve said, “I’m taking some time to realize how I can make a difference in the greater Salisbury community. My main activity is volunteering at the community garden at Rowan Helping Ministries.”

Destiny Brown, 24, works as a hospice nurse. She’s happily married to husband, Tyler, and they have 20 chickens and three goats. Destiny’s mother, Tracy Blackwood, the last to sign up, works as an office manager. Tracy said, “My daughter, as she has done so many times in the past, signed me up for a class. Before I could even consider and even take time to process it, I found myself sitting in David’s run class.”

I asked why the rest wanted to take the class. Hannah said, “I decided to take a running class to connect with my cousins and take control of my exercise experience. I was certainly apprehensive. Running has never been my favorite way to work out, but with the encouragement of my cousins, I agreed to join the running class.”

Steve added, “I took my first SRR Beginners Runners Class about six years ago. I seek to be intentional about overall health and how best to stay in shape. Running has appealed to me because of my physical makeup and the simplicity of running. Overall health is on my mind more since I retired.”

And Destiny said, “I joined so that I could learn the fundamentals of running. I ran in the past with personal trainers and friends but have never been in a running course where I would learn technique, fueling, stretching and the importance of running shoes. I knew in order to be successful in my future running adventures, I needed to learn the basics.”

The whole group ran the popular Greenway/Bare Bones 5K course on Thursday, Oct. 22. All did well with on a perfect early evening while escorted by four members of the Salisbury PD bike patrol. Officers on hand were Sergeants Shulenburger, Brooks and DeSantis plus Detective Easler.

Each graduate listed positives for the class upon receiving diplomas while the SRR band played “Pomp and Circumstance.” Hannah said, “One takeaway I have after making such progress is there’s always room to better myself and my health. It definitely wasn’t always easy, but it’s been worth it and improved my confidence. I’ll continue working to improve my time and technique, plus trying physical activities that I’ve been resistant or reserved about, similarly to how I felt about running prior to joining this class.”

Steve said, “I realized it’s all about taking a new challenge step by step. I just needed to “do it” in order to experience the reality. I can run alone or with others. Other than a good pair of shoes and socks, there are few expenses. As long as I am able, I’ll keep on running into the future.”

Tracy said, “My apprehensiveness disappeared as all the fellowship, laughter and knowledge flooded the room. We mastered the task at hand when finishing that 5K. Thanks to all our supporters in class and to the Salisbury Police for riding beside us on their bikes. I highly recommend David’s class for everyone, get out there and enjoy life.”

And Destiny concluded with, “The biggest takeaway was to not judge the run based on the day I was having or on the first mile of the run. Some days, I felt extra tired, but my run would feel the best. I questioned how I was ever going to keep putting one foot in front of the other but I’m glad I did and that I accomplished running 3.1 miles. Running will play a part in my life when I feel stressed or tired. I know I can always throw on my shoes, go outside and get some fresh air and let my worries go away for a little while!”

Watch for the next beginners class in March and the next local race, the Ed Dupree Redo 5K at East Rowan High on Nov. 7, at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org .

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