How many people who don’t enjoy exercise manage to trick themselves into running 19,000 miles?
Retired principal Jim Schwarzkopf, the topic of this week’s News-Sentinel column, figured out a way to make his workouts more interesting. And now he’s not only still at it, 34 years later, but at 77 he’s an energetic advocate for creative self-discipline.
The other interesting thing about Schwarzkopf’s project is that he provides a plausible model for runners who worry about building up too much oxidative stress. I’m still not convinced that’s much of an issue myself, but even if I was worried about the possible effects of overdoing it, I’ve had trouble imagining how running could be as interesting if you took away speed or endurance goals.
Schwarzkopf doesn’t fret about how fast he goes, and he never runs more than 3 miles every other day. But he’s built something tangible with his running, and it’s become somewhat of a passion for him. He’s also way more energetic than you’d expect for a guy his age, which is kind of funny when you think he got into running because he was tired of being tired.