Note from Michelle and Mike: From time to time we will be highlighting the stories of members of Team All Ears, a wonderful group of individuals, who have agreed to raise money for Deb Wills' Avon Breast Cancer Fund by running Disney races in January 2010.
I have a bit of a Disney addiction. I had visited Walt Disney World every few years throughout my childhood. The addiction did not really start to get serious until 1992 when I met my (now) wife Cindy and her family, who were annual visitors to Walt Disney World. I got to visit annually, as well. As a 40+ trip veteran and DVC Member, I looked for any reason or excuse to get to Walt Disney World. My past reasons have included attending Food and Wine, Baseballs' Spring Training, Star Wars Weekends, my brother-in-law’s wedding at the Wedding Pavilion. I was looking for a new reason to visit when I began hearing about the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.
13.1 miles? I could probably run 13.1 miles! My only problem was that I had not done anything athletic and physical since playing lacrosse in college 17 years ago.
I ran and completed my first half marathon this past January, running the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. I began January 1, 2008 with the New Year’s resolution of getting off of the couch, losing weight, and reducing my work related stress, while sneaking in another trip to WDW. After registering for the half, my wife Cindy threatened me that I had to complete this or else. I had registered several years ago not training seriously and never actually ran the race. After registering, I never actually ran --- period!
At the age of 39, now 35 pounds lighter, in shape, more relaxed, and a confident athlete, I am addicted to running. I get up at 4:00 am six days a week to workout and run, whether, I am training for a race or just keeping in shape. There is no better feeling and accomplishment then starting the day off with doing something most won't do, running miles at a time. I also completed my 2nd and 3rd half marathons this year, running the Suntrust Half Marathon through Washington, DC in March and the Harrisburg Half Marathon in September. I ran several 5Ks and the Disney Race for the Taste 10K. I am running the Harrisburg Marathon in several weeks, which will be my first full marathon. Needless to say running has become a significant part of my life. Living in chilly PA, I only ran in-doors for 2 weeks this past year. Outdoors is where I belong. As motivation for myself and hopefully others, I post my runs and times daily on Facebook and Twitter and am motivated by other runners doing the same.
Crossing the finish line in January was one of my greatest individual accomplishments. Joining the All Ears Running Team and the thought of motivating others and running for a cause was even more reason to pursue my new passion. I ran by myself for the past 21 months. The thought of letting other runners know that they have support and are not alone is something I enjoy being a part of.
My wife Cindy and I have been regular contributors to Deb's annual Avon walk for the past several years. I donate in memory of my grandmother Naomi Klevans, who lost the battle with breast cancer at the young age of 85 after having been diagnosed with breast cancer in her latter years. My grandmother was a very important influence in my life and taught me to work hard, set goals, and keep a positive attitude, no matter what life throws at you. Even facing such a significant diagnosis, I was awed by her positive outlook and how she took the diagnosis in stride. She waged a tough battle, but ultimately lost her battle with cancer a few years later. It is in her honor and memory that I run this coming year and why this cause and team is so important to me.
I will be competing in and completing the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge this January as I run in memory of my grandmother. My wonderful wife Cindy and my 5 1/2 year old daughter Julia will be there to support me during marathon weekend. This will be Julia's 18th trip to Walt Disney World, but her first time running as she participates in the 200M Kids race. I hope Julia catches the running bug, I sure have!
The previous post in this blog was Team All Ears Profile: Trey Brush.
The next post in this blog is Pace Tools - Walt Disney World Marathon.