Being Monumental "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
In 2013, weighing 210 pounds, and no longer wanting to put it off for "tomorrow" I made a promise to my daughter, but most importantly to myself, to run at least one marathon with her. So on May 4, 2013, I committed to the ride of my life. After watching my daughter complete her first 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, I went home and began my own journey, jogging 1 mile (at 13 minute pace).
After my summer break, I came back to school in the fall weighing 162 pounds, averaging 50 to 60 miles a week with an average pace of 9 minutes. I would not only run before and after school but use lunch breaks to continue my training. My students would see me leave and return asking me "how far?" During one of my runs, I wanted to get the students involved so I came up with a running program in which the students, collectively would run across America (RAAm). So the students would run 5 to 6 minutes during their gym class in which I would give a value to each class and add it to the map.
During the 2014 school year, Kathy Langton and Casey Collins extended an invitation to School #83 students, parents, and staff to participate in the Monumental 5K. I chose to participate in the marathon with my daughter, fulfilling my promise to her.
Race day was like a "story untold". It started off as a cold and blustery morning and I was certain that most of our students, parents, and even staff would choose not to participate; but as the morning began to unfold I was proven wrong. We had approximately 97% of the runners and 100% of staff show. As I stood in my corral before the start of the marathon, I realized that this was the first time I was alone, not with the students and staff. All morning my thoughts were on my students and their goals and their safety. Qualifying for Boston was at best just a fleeting thought, but as the race unfolded like a house of cards, I realized that I was ahead of the required pace to qualify but still knew many things could go wrong. The desire of potentially qualifying began to erase all doubts, my pace was still strong, but more importantly my belief was stronger. Nearing the finish line the feeling of accomplishment started to engulf me. Knowing all the hard work and steps taken meant something and that my students were there waiting to talk about their moment being monumental as well as supporting me in my journey.
Looking back, that day was amazing. The beginning of the story had me as a physical education teacher sharing a passion for health and fitness with my students, parents, and staff. Since then, my principal has participated in four 5K races, school #83 staff members participated in over a dozen 5K races and one of our teachers participated in 2 half marathons and one triathlon. Additionally, the Indianapolis Colts built our school a fitness trail on our property. Finally, the latest chapters had me qualifying for and then running with the best runners in the world at the 2016 Boston Marathon. It all started with a single step at the 2014 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.To take my goal, my promise to my daughter and share my passion through my profession with students and staff through the Monumental Kids Running program has been monumental.
Looking forward to another chapter at the 2016 Monumental Marathon.