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The Amish Runner

My full-time gig is with Susquehanna Marble and Granite. Yes. There is never a dull moment. I have been with the company for seven seasons. I am not the strongest guy, and these rocks are super heavy. I tend to break stuff, and my fellow work chums say I am a liability. I was banned from the shop and now work in the office. It is much safer for everyone. I answer phones.

We are truly blessed to work with so many great people. I enjoy most of our customers. We treat every top the same, regardless of size or material. You wouldn’t believe some of these projects. I am starting to dislike HGTV and Pinterest — insane houses. I can only imagine if Don was still president.

I told you before that I have a great relationship with a few Amish cabinet builders. I absolutely love our conversations. They are a true joy, and I have so many great experiences. My bearded friends and I have worked on many great projects. I try to get on the road to spend some time in deep conversation. Big Jake, Levi, Sam, Jonas, Melvin, and Daniel Lee helped Big Spence and me hang the trusses. We talk about everything. Even politics. But mostly fishing. We are quite friendly.

My guys think I am cool. I tend to spoil their children during Christmas. A few have already met my wife and Jensen. We recently took a trip to Howard just to hang with Jonas from Glick’s and his adorable family. It was fantastic. We drank tea and played with puppies. My son and I helped bale some hay, and we even got a crash course on mowing the lawn the Amish way. I have recently entertained the idea of joining their organization.

I have some great material. My Amish friends and I seriously belong on television. I am still working on a few pilots. Netflix said no. But Hulu was interested. Now I just need to capture some footage. I am not allowed to record or take selfies. My bearded brothers have asked me to tag along. We will be floating on the Susquehanna River and camping overnight. Teach has encouraged me to do it this year. I am going. Can I borrow a drone?

Yes. Fishing is a common passion. My bearded brothers and I compare notes quite often. Don’t let their looks fool you. These guys aren’t sitting around with cane poles. Some of my friends have nicer setups than I do. I always give my chums a few lures to try. I usually go with the Heddon Torpedoes. These are my go-to lures for catching bass. Sam has tried.

One of my buds is quite the character. Emmanuel King is a talented cabinet installer. He is from the new mold and is well-traveled. Emmanuel is a young free spirit. He has been to Alaska and Arizona. My man enjoys snowboarding and long-distance biking. Emmanuel is one of the best runners in the area. I am not kidding. My little Amish buddy is outstanding.

Emmanuel is so dang modest. I asked him how he did when he was down in VA. He finally opened up after some digging. The 25-year-old King finished second in Massanutten Mountain 100. Yes. 100 miles. All in one day. Are you serious?

“We started at 5:00 a.m.,” Emmanuel explained. “I finished in 19 hours. It was totally dark.”

Emmanuel quickly realized that I was asking more and more questions. He wanted to know if I was working on an article. We joked and laughed for the next few minutes. I was extremely curious about his garb. Barefoot? No. I was wearing Solomans. Emmanuel filled me in on the preparation and timing. He had two of his friends there to help with the pit stops. I was amazed at how detailed this trip was. Emmanuel never saw the course, but he knew about every turn. He was strapped with an H2O pack and tons of gels — incredible stuff. My guy Emmanuel is a contender.

“I am a very competitive person,” Emmanuel concluded. “I love to run. There is a lot that goes into my preparation. A group of us train year-round. I was very pleased with my finish. It was my first 100-mile race. It was tough. The terrain was rocky. Rough track with lots of changes. I was hurting Monday.”

My Amish friends are a true blessing. I am dead serious. They remind me to stay humble. Keep things simple. They are awe-inspiring and hard-working people. I love hearing more about their faiths and traditions. I also believe the feelings are mutual. Major props to my friend Emmanuel. 100 miles in the woods is insane. Congratulations. Cheers.