A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

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Day 138: The Other Running Mate

November 14th · 5 Comments

Today is the one-year anniversary of the most popular blog post I’ve ever written. I take little credit for this fact. If this post were a pop song, I’d be the bassist holding up the wall while another guy wagged his tail at the audience. That guy, of course, was an Illinois senator named Barack Obama.

One year ago today, Obama showed up for a workout at my gym. You can read the whole tale here.

It’s amazing to remember that most people in the gym didn’t recognize him. Back then, I was a fitness trainer, Hillary Clinton’s lead among the Democrats was almost impregnable, and Obama’s win in the Iowa primaries was still two months away. Obama was a just a young, handsome guy who had a way with words.

Just one year go, and already my account is turning from black and white to sepia. We all know now how obsessive Barack is about his morning trip to the gym. We all know his serious face and how he can be both approachable and distant at the same time. I realize now that my criticism of Obama’s running gait was misplaced; if anything, it’s Obama who has worlds to teach me about how to run.

Finally, of course, I can savor how this encounter will never be repeated. Seeing Obama at the next treadmill in the neighborhood gym is about as likely as spotting George Bush doing the Wu-Tang at a Jay-Z concert. I feel very lucky to have shaken the man’s hand while he wore a sweaty workout shirt. The next time I touch him, I suspect it will be his image, stamped on a coin.

Just remember, Joe Biden – I ran with him first.

Tags: Politics · Schmoozing · Sports

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 RizzoJ // Nov 15, 2008 at 3:45 am

    HOLY S—! That’s what I said when your site popped up today… What a random tale. I always thought about how I was the “brown”-est person at that Mill Valley gym every morning. hahaha
    He might’ve been using the loud treadmill… Gary banged on that when he ran too. 🙂
    Very cool, David.

  • 2 Dane Golden // Nov 15, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Talk about long distance running. This guy ran for two years and didn’t stop – now that’s endurance. Importantly, though, does he pronate or supenate? I’d still love to see an article about his running style in Runner’s World.

  • 3 Susan // Nov 16, 2008 at 3:23 am

    Who’d’ve thunk it, Dave? I remember thinking it was very cool that you met a presidential candidate, and one I admired, but I wouldn’t have put much money on his chances of winning at the time. You just never know. Good for you for introducing yourself and shaking his hand. Now you can say you met the president back when he worked out at local gyms on the campaign trail. As you said, that was your chance – it won’t happen again!

  • 4 sarka // Nov 22, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Congratulations, Dave! I had entirely forgotten about this memorable meeting of yours. Good for you. It’s great to see you next to Mr. Obama.
    Eric and I arrived in Mexico yesterday. Crossing the “borderline” we hoisted the Mexican flag on our starboard side and the US flag at our stern. As we were entering the harbor at Ensenada early in the morning, a large fishing boat loaded with fishermen passed us on her way out. The fishermen waved at us and shouted cheerfully “Obama!”

  • 5 Jamie // Nov 29, 2008 at 1:33 am


    That is awesome. I hoping to sometime have the opportunity to play b-ball with him. One never knows. When are we going to see you in DC? Inauguration?

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