Bobby Hopkin's Story
In July 2016, my fiancée needed to attend an in service training for her job. That meant that I worked from home and spent time with three cute little girls. The girls and I decided to take a long lunch break at the park. They can only stare at screens playing Minecraft for so long. We headed to the park that day. Before long, I found myself caught up in a game of Hide and Seek. Let me tell you, there aren't many good hiding places on the playground for a 6 ft grown adult. I decided to climb a spiral ladder to stay out of reach until I could climb down and run to the base. My window of opportunity opened. I began to climb down the spiral stairs. I misjudged how many steps I had remaining as I climbed down backwards. I bypassed the final step and put all of my weight on my right leg. My leg torqued inward (it isn't designed to do that) and I felt a sudden pop. A quick rush of sweat and dizziness. I made it over to the base (I didn't get tagged still) and leaned over the perimeter fence of the playground. Before I knew it, I had passed out from the pain and lay motionless on the rubbery ground. I came to with three cute little girls standing over me with confused looks on their faces.
In October 2016, I underwent ACL, meniscus, and micro-fracture surgery on my right knee. In the few years leading up to the "Hide and Seek Incident", running had become and ingrained part of my life. I ran everything from 5k races to 100-mile ultra races. One day in October 2016 marked, what I thought would be, the end of my relationship with running. I knew that my knee would be physically able to handle running again after rehab. However, my habits had changed. I started to feel sort of sorry for myself. I resigned to a more sedentary lifestyle. I told myself that I'd find a low-impact outlet to help me stay in shape. Before long, I wasn't really doing much of anything. During my running days, I had cut down to about 200 lbs from 280 lbs. A few months out from surgery and I was back up to 280 lbs. Maybe this was the new me. It's just a number, right? However, it wasn't just a number. I started feeling slow and sluggish all the time. My blood pressure was high and I needed medication to keep it at a bearable level. For me, a sedentary lifestyle, absent of running, was killing me.
My oldest step-daughter, Corban, was there on the day I hurt my knee. She's going into middle school this year. The newest love of her life is my old love, running. Corban is going to be on her school's cross country team. She runs twice a day (we make her split up run sessions so she doesn't overdo it) and competes with her future team via Strava. Watching her do something she loves, and something I used to love, is inspiring to me. One day she'll run with Skechers. The next day she'll run with Chacos. She isn't picky and never complains. She doesn't know about cadence, breathing tricks, Good Form Running, or the latest technical fabrics. She will learn about those things when she gets started with her cross country team. I'll share anything I know when she asks. However, right now only one thing matters most: she loves running.
It is now July 2017, a year after my initial knee injury, and I've fallen in love with running again. I didn't go out and buy the newest pair of Altras (my shoe of choice) or slick looking shorts. I found something that fit and started running with Corban. I've been inspired just by watching her do something that she loves to do. My health is taking a positive turn. I'm slowly building up to faster and longer runs. My knee is feeling better and I'm emotionally more stable. My kid saved my life with running. It didn't take coercion or persuasion. Her love for running is infectious.
I want the very best for Corban. If she moves on from running to find another love, then I'll support her newfound passions.For me, I'll stick with running.