When I think about Team In Training and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the first word that comes to mind is family. Five years ago my husband and I moved from Ontario, Canada all the way across the continent to San Jose, California. We both left behind our family and friends for a strange new world where it never snows and a house costs as much as a mansion. As a way to meet new people, run my first marathon and support my uncle who was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, I joined Team In Training. Unbeknownst to me, on a cold rainy day in February 2009, I met people who over the next 5 years would become my California family.
As they say in Team In Training, I “drank the purple cool-aid” and was hooked. To be honest, who wouldn’t be? I got to hang out with some amazing people who not only survived cancer but could kick my butt on the track. I met their families and heard about what they went through while they were supporting their loved ones. I shared stories of my family and my uncle who biked along with me when I did my first marathon in his hometown 1,000 miles away. I watched as perfect strangers fell in love on the track, got married and started families. I helped people achieve their fitness goals. I did all of this with my California family, who season after season dedicated themselves to LLS and their fitness goals.
In 2012, after years of putting up with my post-run smell and cheering on the sidelines, my husband was finally convinced to join the team. It was perfect timing since our own little family was about to grow. I coached the team and lead core workouts until the last month of my pregnancy. In December my beautiful son was born. The importance of the cause was brought even closer to my heart when we had to spend a month with him at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital over Christmas, right next to the cancer ward. I was so uplifted by the spirit of the children, some of who have never left the hospital and continue to fight for their life every day. I love spending time with my son but I knew I had to get back to my California family and raise money until the cancer ward no longer exists.
Just when I needed it the most, LLS was there for me again with an awesome new program called Moms In Training and an opportunity to coach the South Bay team. Moms In Training is an 9-week social workout program that culminates with the See Jane Run 5K Stroller Stride on June 22nd. Obviously I was hooked from the start and really excited to be part of the team that is bringing this new program to the South Bay for the first time ever. The best part is I get to coach the program and workout with my favorite little buddy and his orange stroller. How cool is it that I’m able to get out with my son, get some exercise, raise money for an awesome cause and meet other moms in the same sleepy zombie state as me?
We have a lot of exciting things planned for the inaugural Bay Area Moms In Training season, such as a park-to-park workout, yoga with the kids, and run/walk and play dates at various locations throughout the South Bay. It should be a blast and a great way to combine all my favorite things and continue to unite my little family with my LLS family. Training starts in April and we can’t wait for you and your family to join us!