Math instructor Mr. Squire working in Toledo parks.

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Jesse Squire plans to run in every Toledo park this year, over 200 of them. He says that running helped him appreciate his city and revealed many other life lessons.

TOLEDO, Ohio – Toledo is often referred to as the City of Parks for good reason.

The 419 has over 200 parks.

Jesse Squire, the high school math teacher, has a mission to run on each and every one of them by the end of the year.

I met Jesse Squire in Cullen Park on a windy morning to run and talk to him about his experience, background in running, teaching work, and also his mission to run in every single park at 419.

Jesse’s route looped us down Summit Street before heading back to Cullen Park. It was just one of his many running adventures.

“I was getting bored and wanted something that did a little different every day,” said Jesse. “So I decided that I would try to run in every community, county, metropark, and state park in the Toledo area.”

Jesse found that the Toledo area is truly the city of parks.

“After I started making the list, I realized that this was a very, very long list,” said Jesse.

It’s just a way to break the monotony of everyday life.

“In January and February every day can feel the same. You know, it’s bleak and it’s dark and it’s cold. But every day I thought, ‘Where do I go today?'” Jesse said.

Our run took us to Cullen Park, a picturesque waterfront oasis in Point Place. Jesse wore a Start High School t-shirt and greeted me with a smile and a story.

His running journey began decades ago as a boy who grew up in Toledo.

“I started running at DeVeaux Junior High. I went on to DeVilbiss, where we were state champions. Had nothing to do with me, but it does tend to cheer you up a little. I was thrilled to meet another die-hard runner, ”said Jesse

But his journey taught him a lot more than just how to walk. He discovered how amazing his hometown and mine – Toledo – really are; how diverse and diverse the whole city is.

“That’s another wonderful thing I love about Toledo. is that there are so many different types of people. There are so many different types of neighborhoods and everyone makes the most of what they have, ”said Jesse.

And during the pandemic, it wasn’t always easy to make the most of the situation. But Jesse believes that running can heal.

“Go out and move. We have had many difficult times in the past year. Everything feels better when you’ve got out and moved. Sometimes all you have to do is get so tired that the worries of the world subside a little, ”Jesse said.

My worries vanished as I looked at the waves on Maumee Bay.

It is important to find an escape from the problems of everyday life. Whether it’s running, walking, fishing, reading, or something completely different, Jesse has a few goodbye words for you, me, and his students.

“Every day. Do a little every day. It doesn’t matter what you want to work on, whether it’s academic, athletic, or musical. Any goal you have. 15 minutes a day. If you have 15 minutes soon.” working on it during the day, those 15 minutes don’t really feel like work and you can accomplish things that you might not have believed you could, ”Jesse said.

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