My inspiration: The warrior with the beautiful smile

Eva Donahue, running one of her races.

Eva Donahue, running one of her races. photo courtesy Donahue family

When I first met Eva Donahue, I didn’t realize what an impact she would have on my life.

Knowing her has, in fact, lengthened my life.

I was never a big one for exercise. I was on the swim team in high school, and enjoyed it, but hung up my goggles upon graduation.

I got by, not huffing and puffing up stairs, but certainly not anything that could remotely be referred to as “in shape.” I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. I worked, I played, got married, had my two children, and so life goes, and the years get on.

Then, before I knew it, there was this person next to me, talking to me about how much she enjoyed running.

“Well, it’s really more like ‘shuffling,’” Eva said, in her usual, modest way. “The people I run with are great runners, but they’re so nice — they wait for me along the way on our runs.”

I saw her get more and more in shape. I saw how she had more energy, how she always had a spring in her step and time to listen to anyone with a story.

I started thinking, “Maybe I should try this.”

But then, life took over again, and I was busy with the kids, work, the everyday stress that sometimes keeps you from seeing the big picture.

And still, there was Eva, not insistent, but persistent.

“Why don’t we meet up in the morning and go running?” she asked me one day.

“Maybe next weekend,” I said as, most weekends, she and I could be found on the beach in front of my camp on Lake Ontario, with a drink in our hands and our toes in the sand as we watch our kids play in the surf and marvel at the frogs they’ve caught from the local “crick.”

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