South Paris native Sean Meehan runs Papermill Trail in Lisbon on Wednesday. Adam Robinson/The Times Record

Editor’s note: This is the third story in our new series “Everyday Athletes,” in which we talk with people who are out and about enjoying some outdoor recreation. Sports is all around us and we’re on the lookout. If you know someone who would make a great “Everyday Athlete” please contact sports editor Bill Stewart at [email protected]

LISBON — After four bouts with cancer, Sean Meehan is still smiling.

Meehan has battled thyroid cancer multiple times, which forced the longtime Portland firefighter to focus on his health. Thanks to help from friends, you may see the soon-to-be 56-year-old South Paris resident jogging down Maine’s trails with a smile on his face. On Wednesday, as he was stretching before attacking Miller Park’s Papermill Trail, he took a look back on his life and how he got to where he is today.

Q: What’s the plan for (Wednesday)?

A: “I’ll probably go out and jog three or four miles.”

Q: When did you get into running?

A: “About a year ago.”

Q: What turned you on to it?

A: “A pretty lady, if we’re being honest.”

South Paris native Sean Meehan poses while out at Papermill Trail in Lisbon on Wednesday. Adam Robinson/The Times Record

Q: You look like you’re in good shape, what is your history in athletics?

A: “I was always into sports, in high school I played three sports and was always athletic. I was a fireman for 26 years and retired five years ago. I was getting out of shape and getting old so I started going to the gym. I turned 55 last year and I got the idea to start running. I said, ‘I’m going to run five and a half miles. I hadn’t run in 10 years so I got to it and just didn’t stop. I’m still going a year later and going to be 56 next month.”

Q: What made you want to do that on your birthday?

A: “Just to motivate myself. I thought, ‘Jesus, I’m getting old. I gotta start doing something.’ I hadn’t done anything in years and I got cancer 15 years ago, thyroid cancer, and had a couple different operations then and so I started to run for three or four years and I got up 12, 13 miles at a time then I stopped. My birthday was coming up and that motivated me. I figured if I could run five and a half on my birthday, that would motivate me.”

Q: How’s the cancer situation going right now?

A: “It’s good. I’ve had cancer taken out of me four times and so I stay healthy and that’s all I can do. No point in worrying about it, it’s all you can do.”

Q: So when you were doing 12 miles a day, were you doing any road races?

A: “I’ve never done a race in my life. I was ready to do one this year and sure as crap, this all happens.”

Q: What kind of sports did you play in high school?

A: “Basketball, soccer, track.”

 

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