Concordia University Chicago

Carl Gnewuch is running for others

My motivation for running has always been beyond myself - if it were just for me, I wouldn't do it. Instead, I'd watch a movie while eating bacon flavored ice cream. I run with others and for others, or not at all.

When I attended CUC and before that at Walther, I ran for the coach and the team. Running for them was great fun because they were great friends. After college, I had no one to run with, so I didn't. I tried to run on my own, but just couldn't keep it going.

Then five years ago, shortly after his eighth grade graduation, my son shared with me his desire to play football in high school. I was dismayed. My son had been cut from every sports team in grade school. I thought, how in the world is he going to survive high school football tryouts, much less make the team? He was overweight and badly out of shape. Then I looked in the mirror and thought, so am I! I have love handles!We'll do this together. So we signed up for a membership at the Y and began to work out with weights and on the treadmill.

My son made the team that fall and no longer needed me to work with him, but by that time I had begun running with a couple men from church. They became my new motivation to keep running. I built an enduring friendship with them on our long Saturday runs, sharing deep conversations about everything from family to faith.

Running soon opened up the opportunity for me to witness the faith with people throughout the community. Most runners are very social, a fact most non-runners are surprised to discover. More than merely friendly, runners share a bond that permits personal conversations with perfect strangers. Non-runners would be amazed at the topics discussed by runners, even during group runs and races. This openness provides the opportunity to share my faith in Jesus - so I just do it! Another motivation to run!

So you already know why I'm running for the CUC team this fall - for others: For my fellow teammates and team leaders, for my alma mater, for those who will benefit from the literacy program, for everyone who will be blessed by donating to this ministry, for my Lord and at the end of it all, I'm still running for my son.

My son is now a senior at a Lutheran high school where he developed into a standout athlete in football and wrestling. This year, for the first time, he is running for the track team - and has begun running with me! How sweet that is! His motivation for running is to get in shape for the Marine Corps. He wants to max the running portion of the PT test at boot camp this fall. My motivation? To run with him. God willing, as we run together this summer we'll both be blessed this fall - and CUC as well!

Our Supporters

  • 1

    Paige Craig

    Thanks for taking this challenge for all Cougars - past, present and future!
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    Michael Ruberry

    Best wishes, Carl! Ruberry, Stalmack & Garvey, LLC
  • 5

    Minnie Gnewuch

    Carl, may God be with you as you run for literacy. Love, Mom
  • 6

    Sue Myers

    Good luck Carl!!