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From Left to right this picture show my dad, my brother Chuck, me, and my brother George. This picture was taken at Chuck's wedding in 1975. Chuck was 22/ I was 16. This was a great day. Back then I could run like a deer. Nowadays, I am kind of a slug. I still run, just slower. No one else in the picture is a runner.

11 years later was one of the worst days of our lives. Chuck was a firefighter/EMT. He returned from a call and he was tired. So he went to bed. Before he woke up, Chuck had a fatal heart attack. He was 33. As you could imagine, our parensts were beside themselves with grief. It was left to me to call my sister and brother with the news. To make matters worse they were expecting news of my son's birth. Insted they got the horrible news. We buried Chuck on my 28th birthday. At some point during the service my mom turned to me in tears and apologized. I did not know why she was apologizing. Then through her tears, she said that she had forgotten that it was my bithday. The truth is that I had forgotten myself.

I was delivering a load in New Hampshire when I got the news about my father. This was long before I had gotten my first cell phone. When I arrived at my delivery, I was told to call home. My wife gave me the bad news. People all along the way home were exceptional. That helped, but it was still a horrible drive home.

Years later, I got a phone call from my sister that George had just had a fatal heart attack. It was early evening and I had just arrived at a customer near Milwaukee. The delivery was scheduled for the next morning. I called night dispatch ane arranged to dead head home to Green Bay the next morning.

3 of my grandparents also died suddenly from heart disease as well. None of them were runners. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure when I was in my twenties. I have taken medication ever since. I am OK with that. It beats the alternative. At one time my goal was to finish a marathonwhile I was in my seventies. Life evolves. I have been blessed with 5 wonderful grandaughters. Now, my goal is to dance with each of them at their weddings. I will keep running as a way of achieving that goal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment ()


Jeff, while heartbreaking, this is a very good article. You have found your motivation and ultimately that is the key for staying in shape. That is better than many people ever do.

April 19, 2017 9:29:17 AM

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About Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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