Someone You Should Know: On The Run

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – If you peek at Paula Gordon’s journal, you’ll learn about a doctor’s appointment she had 19 years ago.

“Monday July 12th, 1999,” said Gordon. “He suggested I run in the AM, so I’ll try tomorrow.”

Back in 1999, it was challenging to find time to exercise with three little kids: Paul, Haley, and Jack. However, Paula did roll out of bed and go on that first run on a hot summer morning.

“I thought okay ‘I’ll go a day,’” said Gordon. “Then I’ll try another day.”

Then another, and then another. In fact, she hasn’t missed a single day running ever since.  

Over the past 19 years, Paula has laced up in snowy blizzards and triple digit heat. She’s run with broken bones, an injured hamstring, and the flu, never missing a day.

“I have a million excuses not to go for a run,” said Gordon. “I just have to choose if I want to follow them or not.”

There are no days off, even if that means running through an international airport.

“Plan A would be to run one of the aisles of the plane and hope they didn’t throw me out,” said Gordon.

While Paula’s proud of her 19 year streak, she is chasing a goal. She’s inspired by a former coworker, Tony, who had a 28-year running streak.

“It gives you time to wake up,” said Gordon. “It gives you time to think.”

First, Tony inspired Paula. Then, Paula inspired her niece, who also happens to be a busy mom to three, to take on a running streak over the past two years.

“It’s very humbling when people say, you know, ‘you’ve inspired me to do that.’”

Paula still has nine years before she ties with Tony,but quitting? Not on her watch.

“Are you going to try it?”

Paula recommends starting with a small but measurable goal, like going for a 10-minute walk everyday. She runs at least one mile per day.

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