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At 70, Smith wants to go backward

By Rachel McDaniel Bobby Smith, pastor of Jesus the Bread of Life in Barnesville, plans to celebrate 70 years on earth by jogging one mile backward at the recreation department track Saturday, May 14 at noon. ’I wanted to do something special to celebrate and I used to jog backward when I was younger so I decided to rekindle that ability,’ he said. ‘It’s difficult to jog backward and it takes a lot to learn to balance. It makes your muscles sore everywhere and it’s like running up a hill. It’s quite a challenge and I would not advise any other 70-year-olds to try to it.’ He said when he was living in California that he once jogged seven miles backward around a lake in Oakland, California. He moved there to live with his sister after he was shot in the leg in Atlanta, where he grew up. ’They never were able to get the bullet out and after I was shot, I had to drag my leg and I moved to live with my sister while I recuperated,’ he said. ‘I started to exercise and jog and run and I put my whole heart into trying to be stronger than ever. I ran every day and was able to run up to 17 miles. I was doing everything I could to exceed, and that was when I got saved. My whole life was changed.’ He entered the ministry in 1978 and has been running a spiritual race ever since. He wrote the book Saving Faith Becomes Our Faith. He has lived in Barnesville for 16 years. His wife of 23 years is educator Dr. Marye M. Smith who teaches English at Hampton High School. She said she is very proud of her husband’s accomplishments. He has one daughter, Terria Thomas and son-in-law Timothy Thomas, and three granddaughters, Erica, Aliceson and Naomi. His 70th birthday is actually Wednesday, May 11 but plans to celebrate surrounded by family and friends at the track as he goes backward for a record.

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