Jim Gump is on an incredible mission. He has already run about 14,000 miles (10,000 in the UK and 4,000 in the US), covering an average of 22 miles per day! This remarkable discovery will eventually see him run 30,000 miles (and he’s hinted he can’t stop at that!).
Running the gym is not without purpose. In fact, he is in every effort to raise awareness of obesity in children and inspire children around the world to lead healthier, more active lives.
Jim is an amazing human being and was awarded our “Athlete of the Year” in 2016. As he continues his vigorous run around America, we caught up with him last week for a quick interview. Here’s what he had to say:
You’re driving a ridiculous amount of mileage, the kind of mileage that would put the cars through certain services! How did this idea come to your mind, what inspired you?
I was initially inspired by the London 2012 Olympics and just running 10k every day for 2013. I ran until 2014, then did a triathlon every day for 2015. Now I’m doing the Forrest Gump Run for Real with school visits on the way to encourage daily activity in kids.
What is your current mileage?
The minimum is 121 miles per week but the average is 154 miles per week in the US so far. My average is 22 miles per day.
The people there are liking your story. How does that make you feel?
It makes me feel great, like a reddy break kid with a hot flash! It’s hard work. My days are long and often stressful enough to cram everything in. But, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
However, I am a little robot. So the feeling doesn’t really get into it, at least from an adult point of view in some way. Usually I like it best when I see children’s facial expressions in response to their stories and pictures of the dog and I.
Your run can raise awareness of any cause or issue – why choose obesity?
If I’m being honest I didn’t really choose obesity. Obesity chose my challenge. It is very difficult to describe this. I’m basically encouraging all kids to be active throughout their lives. Do they have weight problems or not? It was the media that really raised the issue of obesity.
For me, all kids and adults alike benefit from being a little active every day, both mentally and physically.
As hunter-gatherers, it is our design to be active every day, and even from a young age. We’ve lived through 200,000 years of being Homo sapiens, this is the human timeline. Almost all of which was spent hunting and gathering and being active.
Which has been your favorite city/town so far and why?
A town called Big Spring in Texas. The people there loved what I was doing there. However, I just started my Colorado tour and it seems the people here are really amazing too.
Have you recovered from your knee injury? Any fresh injuries?
Yes. fully recovered. Sometimes I wish they weren’t okay so I had an excuse to stop. So far, however, I am recovering well. I get hurt a lot. But the body has a great recovery mechanism. Part of what I’m doing is showing how great they are.
What do you remember from life in England?
My mother died and my dog died. That leaves my daughter Hannah, a good Sunday roast and decent marmalade are the only things I ‘miss’.
What are your plans for the coming month?
March is the month to come. I am short of visa, time and money. So, my plans are basically based on keeping the Jim Gump project alive somehow, wherever it is. I have ideas, though. ideas and opportunities. I always make sure I have these.
You inspire many, and your fan base continues to grow but who inspires you and why?
The main inspiration is the children’s reaction to my journey. Although I am also inspired by London 2012, Coe and Ovett and the astronauts.
Ever wanted to give up?
Yes. However, not because of physical demands. But due to lack of funds. I make a direct connection between funding and interest.
The lack of funds shows me that, in fact, people are not interested in what I’m trying to do. This is what makes me feel like stopping and nothing else.
You can support Jim here – https://www.pledgesports.org/projects/jimgump/
What can you say that you haven’t said before?
Well, the GymGump project is the best thing ever. This, along with the Kx365 Initiative for Adults, is something that I truly believe is making an impact on society.
However, if the world is not ready for it then the world is not ready for it. I’ll have to accept that, and maybe wait until it’s ready.
Want to read some more stories on running? here you go!
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