Shake up your art
Mar 21, 2021 by Eileen Adler
When you think of a guy in a marathon, you do not usually think of him knitting. Until now. David Babcock did just that when he saw his near forty-year-old body becoming more middle-aged, with weight gain, asthma symptoms, and suffering more with allergies. Mr. Babcock is a tenured Associate Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg Missouri, but he does not think of himself as an artist, preferring “maker.” In 2011 he learned to knit and found that combining his knitting with his running, the time passed quickly and was extremely productive, this activity donating to fundraising for Alzheimer’s disease.
This is David’s bird’s eye view as he ran, holding the record for the longest knit-while-you-run scarf in 2013 – 12 feet in length accomplished in 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 27 seconds.
As the world changed, the rules changed, and David could no longer use knitting needles. Undaunted, he taught himself how to finger-knit using his fingers as his human knitting needles and knitting with heavier weight yarns. He trains for both activities at the gym! And, if you are wondering, he finger-crochets as well!
David Babcock admits that it is hard and is often asked why he does this. His answer: “because I can and it matters, plus it’s good to do hard things,” adding these life lessons:
- At those tough (toughest) moments, do not quit or slow down. Prepare in advance how you will handle the uphill climb.
- Altruism, thinking of someone else’s needs, keeps your motivation moving forward.
- Smile and keep your positivity in check. Mr. Babcock explains that “smiling is not a way to hide your pain but a way to invite others to share the load.”