"It makes me feel like I'm being used in the way I was meant to be used. I feel like when I see someone who feels like they can't run, I remember saying those same words, so I can relate to them," says Karen King, Joplin Family YMCA.
One of them being Bobby Ballard.
"Bobby Ballard is a great story. He actually took the Anyone Can Run class and had a heart attack on his 3 mile run," says King.
"I had just begun the Anyone Can Run class, I had just completed 3 miles and I went to get my water and sit down, I was talking to the people we were running with and that's the last thing I remember," says Bobby Ballard, Runner.
Bobby was in coma for 11 days and 5 weeks after his surgery, he walked in his first 5K. Since then, he's run in 26 races including 2 half marathons and is down 80 pounds from when he first became active. Just this past year, Bobby became a certified running coach for the YMCA.
Together, Bobby and Karen offer all levels of running classes from beginning to training for a 5K, 10K and even a half marathon. Over the past few years, they have enjoyed watching the community's interest in running explode.
"We didn't see many people when we would go out running, now you go out and you may pass 10 people running, so it's an exciting change," says King.
The city now has a store dedicated to meeting runners needs. In addition, the City of Joplin has plans to expand the running trails to meet the demand.