Calley Kruger- week 2 blogPosted by Admin on May 30, 2011 in Articles, Featured • No comments
The intense training continues on. I love training and physically pushing myself to my limits and beyond. I planned to do just that when I left my house Saturday afternoon to go for what I thought was going to be one of my ordinary runs. It was anything but. I got about a block from my house when I saw the fluorescent green arrows on the street. It hit me that our town, Parkersburg, had held its Race for Remembrance races that morning. The 5K and 10K races are always held Memorial Day weekend in remembrance of the EF5 tornado that destroyed half of Parkersburg on May 25th, 2008. This brought back a lot of memories and emotions.
The tornado happened on a Sunday. My family and I had no plans for the day other than a graduation party at a local restaurant later in the day. My wife was holding our second son, who had just turned one month old. At the last minute she decided that she should go back to her hometown, an hour and a half away, so that her parents could see the kids. I decided to stay back and take care of the yard work and the regular “Mr. Fix-it” stuff around the house that needed to be done. Later in the afternoon, a buddy of mine called me up to ride along with him to Cedar Falls to get some parts he needed for a project he was working on. So we jumped in the truck and took off.
My buddy and I were just getting ready to leave the store when his wife called and said a large tornado had just went by their acreage and she was pretty sure it had hit Parkersburg. We hurried out to the truck, where I had left my phone and saw that I had about 10 missed calls from my wife. I called her back and realized that she did not know I was in Cedar Falls and was devastated thinking something bad had happened to me. She had tried calling me, and all of our friends she had listed in her phone and no one answered. At that point, I had to get back to Parkersburg and find out if my family and friends were okay, and if I even had a house to go back to.
Feet pounding as I run. That was the sound I could hear in the moment as I ran, but even that sound had memories. When I got back to Parkersburg, they wouldn’t allow anyone but emergency workers in, so I had to park on a gravel road outside of town and run a mile or so through the fields to get into town. As I got closer I could see the devastation and realized, my grandparents’ home was directly hit, or should I say completely destroyed. Only one closet wall remained standing, the rest was gone. As I went to their house to search for them, someone told me they had been helped out of the rubble and were safe at another location. I spent the rest of the evening trying to help them get as much of their belongings together as possible.
We were fortunate enough to be three blocks away from the destruction path, our home was safe, which was really nice since I worked my ass off building it three years prior. In the next few weeks, I spent all of my time helping my grandparents, several other friends and family, and my father and uncle’s lumberyard business rebuild. My wife and kids weren’t able to come home for a week because there was no electricity or water. Times were tough but we never even considered giving up.
As my run brought me back home, I was reminded how times of adversity have made me dig deep and work harder than I thought I ever could, and in the end, I became stronger and more prepared for anything that my future could bring. I feel the same every time I train for a fight. Each fight makes me better, stronger, more prepared for the next one. Nothing can hold me back. I never back down.
Until next round,