What I Learned About Running from Truett Cathy

There is a lot in the news about Truett Cathy right now. Quotes and stories and memories and good feelings are all over the place. It makes you want to visit a Chick-fil-A just to honor him. He is our southern grandfather of chicken. And he has given a fortune to all kinds of charitable organizations. 

I met Mr. Cathy numerous times.

I interviewed once on behalf of WinShape Camps.

I crawled under his desk once for a video shoot.

My buddy Dan and I asked him to share the recipe of the chicken sandwich and he shouted back at us with a resounding firm “NO!” — but this too was for a video shoot.

I talked to him on the phone once about what kind of pizza we would be having at an event— of course he wanted his own, Upscale Pizza in Fayetteville, GA.

And then those other times where I just watched him…

One time I was staying on his farm for a work event with Winshape Camps. His humble home was at the bottom of the hill. I woke up early to go for a run through his pastures of cows and farm land. My path took me right beside his house— within feet. I remember thinking about him as I jogged past.

Was he asleep? Did he feel well? Did he see me, a stranger, running past his house? 

I continued on my run thinking about him. When the loop was about to be finished— I had to run past his house again— but this time I stopped…


I run. But I have trouble calling myself a runner. But I run. So maybe I am a runner.

Truett was a lot of things— chef, businessman, friend, Sunday school teacher, father, philanthropist…But Truett, more than anything for me was a inspiration.

Read his book Eat Mor Chicken. He overcame. Over and over a steep climb would be in front of him— and he would sprint up the challenging hill. It is easy to want what he had at the end. But who wants the medal without the race experience.

Truett will forever be an inspiration for me.


I sat outside his house and I was thankful. The run to where I was staying on the farm was another quarter mile away. I walked back, not because I was tired. But I walked because I was inspired to live a certain kind of life by Mr. Cathy— not just win one race or complete one run.

I want to participate in life with people— to be inspired and to be an inspiration.

This is what Truett Cathy was and is...

Who inspires you?

Who do you inspire?

Run well today.

Check out Marks running story at www.connectrunclub.com/mark

Mark is a creative, an instigator, and humorist living in Athens, GA. He has served with Connect Ministries as the leader of the WinShape Camps Experience Team for sometime. He is a reluctant runner-- only running with others because he always quits and sides with snacks when fronted with running alone. Mark likes to call himself a "marathoner" since he completed one.  Follow Mark on twitter @marktlamb