ABA Banking Journal - December 2011 - (Page 40)
First person | thad childs
“Energizer banker” keeps on going…
…and going, as he runs more than 32 years straight
When Georgia banker Thad Childs says he’s “had a good run,” he means it literally and figuratively. Childs, 64, came from a Georgia community-banking family. Despite that, after four years in the Navy, he took a job managing a textile plant. Divorce gave him custody of his two-year-old son and a determination to find a steadier schedule than the 70-hours-a-week factory position was providing. He decided to take a job at a bank after all, and has been a banker ever since. Looking for exercise that would go with being a single father, he pushed his son’s stroller to the high school track, left it in the center of the field, and did laps—never losing sight of his son. Inspired by Jim Fixx’s Complete Book of Running, Childs found running habit-formThad Childs has run 87,000-plus miles, through illness and bad weather, keeping a ing, and built his schedule around a runner’s log on bank calendars. For tips, visit http://tinyurl.com/bankrunner run-daycare-work routine. Many bankers run. But what even walking,” says Childs, “your became most remarkable was that, since March 5, 1979, Childs has been thinking process improves.” running every day. He hasn’t stopped for illness, injury, work, travel, or any All through “the streak,” Childs other reason causing so many others to stumble. has been a banker. For much of his He’s run more than 87,000 miles over more than 32 years. Every day’s run career, it was with the family’s Bank of “the streak” has been recorded in bank calendars. “Whatever bank I was of Gray, which grew well for years, working at, that was my log for the year,” says Childs. but was sold in time. The acquiring His basic routine: Rise at 4:45 a.m., drink coffee, and run for an hour, “no bank failed in 2009. It was picked matter what.” Later he breakfasts on a glass of Slim-Fast. “It’s not to lose up by $2.8 billion-assets State weight,” says the 150-pound Childs. “I just love Slim-Fast.” Bank and Trust Co., Macon, where He shrugs off concerns about rain, cold, or heat. In fact, on one run, the Childs, now executive vice-presiearly morning crowd at the local Hardee’s saw him caught in the fringe of a dent, manages 14 branches. tornado, hanging onto a telephone pole guy wire while his legs streamed like Childs’ streak has taken him the a flag. Childs takes it all in stride. He’s run with flu, sore joints, and more. equivalent of 3.5 times around the “I’ve been blessed not to have things break or to have been in a bad acciworld, and he’s going strong. Has dent,” he says, so the streak continues. he considered contacting Guinness In his younger days, Childs ran in three Boston Marathons and even in World Records? “Never have,” he some ultra-marathons. While travelling, he’s run up and down Pike’s Peak says. “If I hit 40 years at it, I might and along the rim of the Grand Canyon. start looking into that.” But Childs’ preference remains his solo daily run. As he exercises his body, —Steve Cocheo, executive editor he exercises his mind, planning for what lies ahead. “When you are moving,
40 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | december 2011
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