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By Hilde Kate Lysiak
Last Monday morning Selinsgrove resident Matthew Lysiak laced up his gym shoes, walked out the front door, turned right, then began running down Orange Street.
He turned left at Pine, running over the bridge into the Isle of Que, until reaching the end of the road. He then turned right and ran along the Susquehanna River.
Five and a half miles later Lysiak was back home.
For Lysiak it was just a normal day — something he had done every day exactly one thousand times.
Lysiak, who works as an author, says he began the streak on July 24th, 2014 as a way to help his clear his mind to help his writing. Lysiak has authored six books. Currently, he is working on a four book series of middle grade fiction.
“I have to come up with ideas,” Lysiak told the OSN. “When my body begins moving, sometimes my ideas get moving too.”
Lysiak says he isn’t out to set records but has no plans on stopping.
“I wanted to challenge myself and the streak motivates me,” Lysiak (full disclosure: Lysiak is related to OSN publisher) told the Orange Street News.
Lysiak runs through snow storms and heavy downpours. However, he says the toughest is the ice.
“Earlier this year I ran after a storm and it felt like I was ice skating,” he said. “I walked outside and thought, this might be the day I can’t run. But I ran. And it was just real slow.”
Lysiak says he doesn’t warm up or stretch before running, or follow any particular diet that helps him.
“I drink beer and I like to eat donuts. A lot,” he says.
He also says he hasn’t had any kind of sickness other than a stuffy nose.
The epic running streak ranks as the 549th longest active in the United States, according to the USRSA. But Lysiak has a long way to go if he wants to reach the top of the list. The longest current streak is 17,495 straight days and counting.
Asked if he had any advice for other people who might be interested in starting a running streak of their own, he said not to focus on a streak, just worry about taking that first step.
“I know one thousand day sounds overwhelming. I really try not to think about it as a streak. Or even 5.5 miles. Some days I feel like crap and I really don’t want to run. But I tell myself I just need to do one day at a time and that begins with that first step, than the next, and before long those steps turn into miles, and step by step those miles begin to pile up,” Lysiak told the OSN.
“That isn’t just advice I use to motivate myself to keep running, but how I try to live my life,” added Lysiak.