Friday, April 4, 2014

Jim Cook

There is nothing like the runner's high, you get those endorphins in the brain. It makes you feel good.

Jim Cook

Thomas James 'Jim' Cook
September 30, 1945 - March 22, 2014
What can one say about a man who ran the very first Manitoba Marathon?

How does one describe the man who twice honoured our community as president of Manitoba Runners's Association?

How do we say thanks to the man who gave so much to our community?

How do we express our gratitude?

How we do to show our respect?

Tough questions indeed, fortunately the answer is quite simple.  We're runners after all and we revel in simplicity.  Here's the answer...

Go for a run. 

We run in his honour whether it be quiet and reflective or loud and boisterous.  We can run with raw emotion or we can run with idle chatter.  We can think of this fine man as we run or we can say his name aloud. It really doesn't matter, as long as we run. This is what Jim would want and would expect.  

In times past Jim would laugh and run along our side, telling stories and lies with the best of us. We honour his memory through the the act of running for this is the community that brought him such joy, the community he was instrumental in building. 

By running we make Jim smile and we make Jim glow with pride. By running we say thanks...

... and then we go for coffee, or a beer,  and continue the chatter, the laughter, the lies, the memories.  Yes, this is what Jim would want of us, to run, to laugh, to chat, to remember. 

That's it in a nutshell. That's how you can honour the memory of this fine gentleman who gave so much and expected so little in return ... save a laugh and a run.

Life friend Leni Campbell has 30 years of  memories. She shares  "He did a  lot for the Manitoba running community over the years. Both Jim and his wife Morna are very special to me and I will never forget Jim."

Jim died on March 22 at St. Boniface Hospital with his lovely wife Morna by his side. We don't know his thoughts as he lay on that palliative bed, nor does it matter.  I like to think the memory of running, the memory of running pals, the memory of sweat, the memory of laughs gave him some comfort, and perhaps may even have provided some good cheer in his final moments.

But we don't know, and it doesn't matter.

Go for a run and remember Jim; that matters. 

Running helps you to put off old age. It helps to keep you healthy and less susceptible to disease and illness.

Jim Cook
November 2003

It's a good day to be alive,

April 2014