For the past 43 years, I have lived in Calumet City, Illinois and began running on Feb. 22, 1978 (literally). I began because life was not going well, and I answered a call from deep within to do something physical with my life.
I have enjoyed 25 years of a wonderful activity, many new friends (some of whom are now old friends), many accomplishments as a "runner" both individually, and as a corporate "runner" with my company. I have zillions of stories to share throughout the years as a Strider. I was at the inaugural meeting of the Striders, August 1978. There were 19 of us, 17 men and 2 women (I have lost contact with the other woman, Chris Skiba) and have been a member and a Gold Cup Series participant ever since (although I have not completed the series requirements every year)
Why do I run? I run for health, for self-esteem, for the brotherhood of all the runners I have met over the years, for the heart felt memories of all the years of running, for togetherness with my husband, my 2 sons, my daughter, my son-in-law, and several grandchildren! I run with respect for all runners, race directors, walkers, coaches, running writers, and all others who give so much to this sport.
Challenges of the 2003 running season: try to run races at a reasonable pace without walking! Finish every race I enter, upright and moving forward. Hold my own at the River to River run. Run as many GCS races as my schedule and body will allow. Encourage new runners and offer support to "old" runners like me. When in a new area, try to find a race and enter it expecting to find a new experience, new fun.
My husband, Phil coaches track and I attend most meets. I am "Nana" to thirteen grandchildren and cook for the homeless at a program called P.A.D.S. (Public Acting to Deliver Shelter). I am an involved member of the American Cancer Society and help plan and implement the Relay For Life all night run in June. I teach Sunday School every Sunday. Thank God for Saturday races. Phil (my husband) and I are advisers and co-ordinators of several events at the Senior Games of Northwest Indiana in August. I am an election judge. As my body ages and running becomes harder and with Phil's new hip, we will be doing more bike tours this year. We have biked and hiked for years and though running is number one, we enjoy the bikes also! We have backpacked parts of the the Appalachian trail and to the bottom of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
As a board member, I would like to bring the bit of wisdom I have gained over the years to the board meetings. I will continue to encourage new runners I meet to become a Strider. I will always speak with great honor of a sports activity called "running".
The Striders are my extended family. There is no way my life would have been as fulfilling as it has been without my involvement with the Striders. One of my duties over the years was as the first "Newsletter" editor. No kidding, when we began, we had not named it the "Instep"! I am having the most fun time now pouring over the original newsletters, seeing all the generous contributions so many people have made over the years. There are names that many new members do not recognize that have given so much. I am hoping to be able to write about some of them. This club has been wonderful from August 1978 on and continues to be thanks to great leadership, not only from officers, but from many, many others who have worked so hard to make it a very respected part of running in the Calumet Region.