• 61°

Sweat Therapy: Man Credits Running With Saving His Life

Enterprise Record

ADVANCE – Greg Beall was in a bad time during his life.
He was depressed. He was angry. He couldn’t shake that negative feeling.
“I didn’t really want to do anything,” he said. “Some difficult times hit me. It was either find a way to release stress and anger or else. Hitting the walls and doors didn’t work.
“So I just started running.”
That’s right – running. When feeling that stress was about to get the best of him, he headed out the door at full speed. It didn’t matter if it was 11 p.m. or 3 a.m. He ran, and he didn’t quit until he couldn’t run any more.
It saved his life.
“After a couple of months of that, I started to realize I was feeling better. I started running not just because I was stressed out. I made up a deal with myself, that I would never go more than two days without running.”
That worked until a knee injury sidelined him temporarily.
In the beginning, he ran three to five miles as fast as he could. His stress and anger subsided. “I liked the way I was feeling. It was like a therapy session. I would run on the country roads and listen to James Taylor.
“Before I knew it, I had lost 50 pounds and had my energy level back to when it was 30 years ago,” said Beall, now 49.
For 13 straight weekends, Beall completed a 5K race. He’s completed two half marathons.
Now, he’s training to run in the Chicago Marathon as a member of the Ups for Downs team, helping to raise money for Down’s Syndrome research. Anne, one of the reasons he runs in Advance so often, has not only helped him become himself again, she has a brother with Down’s.
Beall is a natural runner. The cross country coach at North Davidson High School where he teaches told him so. And he regularly wins awards at the races …