Editor's Note: In 2015, Fleet Feet Sports and Mizuno Running partnered together to create the Power of Running to Inspire, a campaign to recognize inspiring individuals in our running communities across the nation. Fleet Feet Santa Rosa nominated seven inspiring individuals in 2016 for the Power of Running and we will be celebrating all of them at a special celebration on Jan. 25, 2017 at the store. We will be publishing a blog post each week leading up to the celebration about our nominees.
“Why aren’t you dead yet?”
This is the question David Volk’s doctor posed to him a few years ago during a cardiology checkup. Tests revealed Volk, whose family had a history of heart problems, was in a high risk group for heart issues and would likely need surgical intervention in the near future. Volk also knew his diet wasn’t good and his activity level was low.
The cardiology visit sparked action.
“It shook me to the core,” said Volk, (AGE). “I remember vividly all of the issues my parents had with [heart] problems, [and] I thought about my wife and how much I didn’t want to widow her at a young age as we had so many plans for the future.”
He decided to try running on his own using the Couch to 5K app, and began to become active. A visit to the dentist’s office result in him learning about Fleet Feet training groups. The dental hygienist assisting him had participated in Fleet Feet half marathon and marathon training groups, and told him the groups had worked well for her.
“It seemed like the type of training program that could fit my immediate needs,” said Volk. “I went to the web site and luckily there was an informational meeting the next week.”
He joined a Fleet Feet 10K group in the early spring of 2012, and ran his first 10K in May of that year.
“I never would have considered running any distance before that doctor’s appointment,” said Volk. “Running is a challenge that has taken me out of my comfort zone (and the couch), and shown me that I can be successful at it and I can do longer distances.”
Volk’s cardiologist, a marathon runner himself, has since informed Volk that he doesn’t need to see him anymore barring anything unusual.
“He was impressed by my progress,” Volk said. Volk is currently training with a Fleet Feet half marathon training group.
“David is one of our happiest, most positive runners, and I really enjoy having him in our training groups,” said Patrick Temple, one of the Fleet Feet training group coaches. “A couple of years ago he had some tough news from his doctor, but running has come to his rescue.”
While Volk may be known for his positivity, he notes the encouragement from his fellow training group members is also a draw.
“The best part of the group is the comradery,” said Volk. “Each member of the training group is always so very supportive with a hearty “good job” as they zoom past me [and] perhaps the best, best part is that the coaches are wonderful, supportive and are ok with my ‘whining’ during each run.”
Temple noted Volk’s upbeat attitude.
“David is always ready with a smile and encouraging word, even when he has a tough day,” said Temple. “He's come a long way in a short time.”