About One Step at a Time
Charles Cope opened One Step at at Time in the Oakhurst neighborhood in March of 2001, only 4 blocks from where he grew up, specializing in athletic shoes for walkers and runners, Thanks to loyal customers, the store continues to succeed and grow.
Why I Run: A personal history
My name is Charles Cope. I am 61 years old and have been running since my first year in Boy Scouts (50 years). I had acute childhood asthma and was held out of school at age six. Asthma produces a state of oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) that can severely curtail one's lifestyle. When I did start school, I missed 45 days due to asthma. I was not allowed to play at recess or to go outside very often. Joining the Boy Scouts and starting to run may have saved my life. Running was my ticket to a normal life. I gained weight, grew stronger and started hiking, camping, and caving. Running taught me to deal with my asthma. I developed a way to personally monitor my illness and to finally control it. It has been my passion to share this secret with others who strive to overcome asthma or any other debilitating illness.
I have added several cross-training activities to running and caving. I restored my 50 year old bicycle and ride it to work regularly. I also taught myself to rollerblade. Eleven years ago, I began martial arts training and now hold a black belt and teach adult sparing. Eight years ago, I became a walker. After dislocating my knee practicing karate, I was unable to run a step.
Since I had successfully avoided knee surgery after a motorcycle accident in 1970 (injuring the same knee), I decided to try to rehabilitate this injury as well. I walked 1,800 miles on the Agnes Scott College track - 3 miles at a time - before I could run again. If I missed a day, I made it up. About the time my knee started working again in February 2000, I partially dislocated my left hip in a freak accident.
Back to the Agnes Scott track and another 1,000 miles of walking. By September 2000, I started to run again and ran the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. I am slow, but running makes me happy. It makes me strong.