Running life

Maj. Jason Kalin, 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, poses in front of his running medals at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., April 16, 2015. Kalin has participated and completed one Ultramarathon (63.75 miles), 16 marathons, five half-marathons, two Bataan Death Marches and numerous 10 milers, 10Ks and 5Ks. To culminate his tour at Whiteman, Kalin is taking part in his last race as the commander of the 509th LRS, the Striker Life Half Marathon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keenan Berry/Released)

Maj. Jason Kalin, 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, poses in front of his running medals at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., April 16, 2015. Kalin has participated and completed one Ultramarathon (63.75 miles), 16 marathons, five half-marathons, two Bataan Death Marches and numerous 10 milers, 10Ks and 5Ks. To culminate his tour at Whiteman, Kalin is taking part in his last race as the commander of the 509th LRS, the Striker Life Half Marathon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Keenan Berry/Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- My commander leaves us this summer and I felt compelled to share with you a little about him that you may have not known and I thought was cool. 

The gentleman I am describing is Maj. Jason Kalin, 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander.  Interesting fact: he has participated and completed one Ultramarathon (63.75 miles), 16 marathons, five half-marathons, two Bataan Death Marches and numerous 10 milers, 10Ks and 5Ks.  He is an elite runner that has the endurance of a sled dog and the athleticism of a gazelle.  What makes his running hobby special, relative and unique is wherever he goes, his love for running becomes contagious to all those around him. 

In 2011 and 2014, Kalin identified his first victim and finished the Oklahoma City Marathon with his son, Hunter. Later in 2014, we completed the Air Force Marathon together, in early 2015 he managed to sway the deputy group commander into running her first marathon. Now he's got the whole front office running all sorts of runs, to include the operations officer and squadron superintendent.  Kalin promotes healthy living and year round physical fitness; he is a "lead by example" officer when it comes to this attribute.   Not only does he promote running and give "us" running assignments for the weekend but he also gives us expert advice in the days leading up to races.  He tells us when to start carb loading (which is the norm for most of us), how to sleep, when to wake up on race day, what to wear/weather report and what to eat for breakfast! 

Running for Kalin isn't just about maximizing his annual test requirements or staying skinny (although those are great side effects); his passion to run comes from a desire within.  In his office on his medal rack he enshrines the quote, "Keep running the race that is set before you with endurance." -Hebrews 12:1.  His love for running exemplifies his internal core value of resiliency in life.

"You can replace the word race with marathon half-marathon or 5K," Kalin said. "Either way, when you get to the latter stages, you need endurance to finish. The same can be said about the word life. You need endurance to get through life, as well." 

You see, marathons aren't about winning, they are about finishing, much like challenges in life aren't about speed but getting back up or getting through it.  In a race, one confronts a series of internal struggles such as quitting, stopping, stretching, taking a selfie or walking.  Running teaches us how to confront these challenges, press on in pain and win!   

To culminate his tour here at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Kalin is taking part in his last race as the commander of the 509th LRS, the Striker Life Half Marathon, hosted here May 30, 2015 (Sign-up on Active.com search for "Striker Life").  For his last run he has encouraged the whole unit to come out and run.  Additionally, he will be updating the Striker Life Facebook with tips and dieting information in the days leading up to the event.  So come out, run the race that is set before you, and see you there!