Here’s an interesting fact, that some of you don’t know about me. Over 10 years ago, while I was a stay-at-home mom and raising my babies, I was also a High School Cross Country Coach!
Funny story, I wasn’t even a teacher at Liberty High School at the time, but was referred to the Athletic Director at the time, Stewart Grant. I got a call asking if I wanted to be the Cross Country Coach for the upcoming season and I said, “sure it sounds like a fun new adventure.” I am all about a challenge so the rest is history! I also knew that I had my husbands knowledge of running to help guide the program we created. My husband ran Cross Country at Virginia Tech, so he had the knowledge of what would work. Another cool fact, my hubby was a Top 20 runner in the United States during his High School Years at Woodbridge High!! He’s the beast in the family for sure! He is so humble you would never ever know that! Whoops sorry honey if your reading this the cats out of the bag!
We dove in head first and at the time I had Hunter who was a toddler and during my five years coaching I was also pregnant with Haley. I loved every single minute of it, from the amazing children I had the privilege of coaching, to even our bus driver Ellis and the parents I grew to love!
Some of my runners went on to run at college and have had a successful running career, while others are running just for fun! This brings joy to my heart, when I think back on the times we spent together! Running is one of those sports that is about mental toughness and endurance, while also dedication to the team when your running cross country. Kennedy Flynn, Abbey May, Kim Nowlin, Hannah & Eli White, Jordan Overstreet, Cat Padgett, Lindsay Washington, Watts & Kate Burks, Drew Padgett, Ryan Bollinger and all my other runners, if your out there and reading this. I would enjoy hearing what you loved about our time running together and what it taught you!
I catch myself daydreaming all the time about running and what if I ran in High school at Loudoun Valley. All of my teachers and coaches were begging me to run track! I could kick myself, because who knows maybe I would have gotten a full scholarship. The choices we make determine our destiny and I am just glad I was able to get my college education from Virginia Tech!! I fell in love with running when my husband made me sign up for my very first 5K in Blacksburg, VA. I was hooked the very minute I finished the race!! Maybe one day I will coach again, when my girls start running, because I have a feeling we have two running legends in the making!
Photos Taken by the Talented Janine Enold www.jaestudios.com