Walt Stack….again…and again…

stack nike

What the heck?!

I sat here….writing a blog post…drinking coffee….and get to the point where I’m going to save the latest part….and it wouldn’t do it.

So….I restored the backup of the post…..tried to save it….wouldn’t do it….closed the window to start it up again….and when I started it up again….everything was gone.

That’s kind of a pity, too….it was some brilliant writing.

That’s the beauty of something that goes away….it can be as great as you say it was.

If the evidence is gone….it can be great.

I wonder what happened?

I guess that the gist of the post was centered on a comment made by a reader named Mike Walker.

Here’s the comment:

Thought you might like to know this. Stack’s gym, or club as you’d have it, was the Dolphin Swim and Rowing Club, down at the end of Fisherman’s Wharf at Aquatic Park in San Fran. That’s where Stack did his swimming, most of his running and daily biking from mid fifties until his death in 1995.

There is a sign in that club, embossed in wood and varnish that reads “Renew Thyself Completely Each Day. Do It Again, & Again, & Forever Again.” Fitting for the man Stack was, and all of the others from that club who had come before, and after him. Sail on! Mike Walker

The original post….the one that disappeared….was about consistency….and heart….and just getting out into the world and moving….day after day after day.

The story of Walt Stack is amazing to me….this older fellow who was a hod carrier….who worked with masonry all day….who went out and ran and biked and swam every day….as part of his routine….not sponsored or feted or supported financially for what he did….who just went out every day….no matter what the weather was…..and did his workout.

Here’s a description of what he did….from the Wikipedia article:

For 27 years, from 1966 until 1993, Stack persisted in covering a set training route. His highly visible training routine made him a San Francisco institution. “I’m going to do this ’til I get planted,” Stack decreed. Starting on his bike, he would ride six hilly miles from hisPotrero Hill home to Fisherman’s Wharf. Once there, he’d strip off his shirt, displaying tattoos of peacocks, wild horses, and bathing beauties across his broad chest, and then proceed to run a 17-mile (27 km) route over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and back, after which he would take a one-mile (1.6 km) swim in the currents of the San Francisco Bay near Alcatraz Island. It is probably noteworthy that Stack could claim that he was the only actual ‘prisoner’ of Alcatraz Island to have made a successful swim from Alcatraz to the shores of Fisherman’s Wharf – Stack was a prisoner on Alcatraz for a six-month period sentenced to hard labor while a youth, for having left his post AWOL in the Philippines. He had in fact swum the distance many times in his later years, as a participant in sanctioned Alcatraz swims which have become quite popular. He often swam year round in those cold Bay waters.

How about that? Walt Stack was a DUDE!! What an athlete! His story is pretty darn inspiring to me.

I’m going to publish this before something happens and it all disappears again.

Because….if it keeps disappearing, I’ll have to keep writing it….again and again….and forever….again.

I don’t know if I have the endurance to do that.

Walt Stack….man…..

walt stack 2


“it keeps you runnin’ ” The Doobie Brothers

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.


Walt Stack….again…and again… — 1 Comment

  1. Really enjoyed this. I had the absolute honor of almost finishing my first marathon with Walt. I unfortunately started to slow so badly, that he continued on, and I followed him in, albeit 20 minutes to the rear, or there about.
    My favorite Walt Stack line, at least I believe he’s credited with it “Start slow and taper off”