116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Editor's note: Daren Schumaker and Dennis Lee are attempting to run across Iowa's 99 counties, raising money for the American Heart Association. They have completed 45 counties.
By Daren Schumaker, community contributor
Rain, more rain, and even more rain had taken a toll.
The water flowing through local creeks and rivers climbed to and over the banks that were meant to contain them. This was especially the case with the Iowa River between Marshalltown and Iowa City.
Things were bad - roads were closed, crops ruined, and homes destroyed. To many, it seemed as if the water was too much to fight, too great of an opponent to battle. Those individuals lost. To others, the water was only the first of many challengesthey would face on the way back to normalcy.
On June 2, as the floodwaters continued to make their presence known, Team 99 Counties also experienced an unexpected surge - two guest runners, Jon Swails and Rick Colton.
After meeting in Cedar Rapids at 7 a.m. we headed west to Marshall County, witnessing the floodwaters along the way. We started our journey in cold and cloudy conditions, battling a north wind as we ran eastward on West Main Street Road. We completed 10 miles of hills and gravel before we really knew what we were doing.
Our route continued east through Marshalltown on West Main Street, danced south to Shady Oaks Road, and rolled along Highway 30 before shooting through and ending just east of Le Grand.
We ran for3 hours 39 minutes and 48 seconds, completing our 27.1-mile course.
Swails and Colton did well. They were focused. They were inspiring. They knew the only way to complete the journey across Marshall County was one step at a time.
They knew, no matter how urgently they wanted the pain and effort to end - and there was a lot of pain and effort - they had to take it slowly one step at a time. When it was all said and done, Colton had run farther than he had ever run before and Swails made things look elementary.
Moral of the story. Becoming physically fit isn't something you can achieve in one day. Don't give up when you think the floodwaters are too deep. Battle back. When you think there is no hope, when you think you will never be fit or lose the weight that you want to, take a step forward.
Literally take a step forward, and then take two. We don't run across a county all at once with one giant step.
Whether you move slowly or quickly, you're moving in the right direction and that is what is important. If you keep at it, you might even find yourself doing something that you never thought possible - like running across a county.
Inspiration through perspiration. Become active or make a donation to the American Heart Association to help fight heart disease.