Member Profile of the Week - Rod (Pudknocker) Pannek A Poet James Roderick Pannek, goes by Pudknocker on the forums, but is better known by his stage name, J. Rod Pannek. His friends call him Rod, but only his late-mother called him James and only when she was, as Rod says, “pissed at him.” He is 49 years old and was born in San Diego, California, but has resided in Dallas, Texas his whole life. Rod is married to Courtney and they havean 18 month old baby. Rod has two adult children as well, 27 and 26 “Yeah, do the math!” Rod says. He adds, “My main motivation in reigniting my running is that I need to be here for a while, and I better have some energy since my wife is 28, and [my youngest] will be 16 when I am 65....pray for me.” Rod is an actor, primarily a stage actor with a few TV and commercial credits. “I often get cast as the heavy or the military type.” He mostly considers himself a writer though and has published over 100 pieces from short stories to articles to criticism but mostly poetry. An interesting detail about Rod is he is a member of MENSA, the International High IQ Society. Rod is a member of the Dallas Running Club and runs both barefoot and minimalist. He says he enjoys running because of the “freedom” he feels from doing so. “I've been running since junior high, about 35 years now, mostly just as an athlete in other sports and never really enjoyed it. During my four years as an active-duty Marine, I grew accustomed to long runs and was even able to see the joy in it on occasion. He recounts his most memorable running experience as “running five miles in formation on the beach during boot camp.” “As you can see from the pictures, I'm not built like a runner, more like the broken down 50-year-old former quarterback that I am. I'm 6 foot and weigh 210 pounds. This has always been the problem for my running. If other heal-strikers get shin splints, imagine how much force a guy my size lands with, and honestly, this is the slimmed down version. I have been as heavy as 250 pounds several years ago. When asked how he got into running barefoot and minimalist, he replies, “I heard a story on NPR about Born to Run, read it, and was hooked. I don't do things halfway very well, so I dove in. I've had a few weird injuries in the two months. Mostly calf and foot muscle stuff. The picture of the bruise (below) is a torn tendon sheath. The podiatrist also told me this was a good thing. It meant I was learning to use my toes and splaying them more. I've run as far as 6 miles both bare and minimally shod. I avoid asphalt and concrete and look for meadows and hills now. I've had more and more the feeling of freedom on runs.I haven't had any problems with shin splints which is rare for me." Rod adds, “If it feels like work, you're doing it wrong,” right? Well, I don’t work at it as much anymore."