Why I Return Guest Blog Column – Jennette Sison

I return season after season to Portland2014Team In Training (TNT) because TNT provides me with my running family. My teammates and coaches, especially Coach Al and Coach Rudy, keep me accountable with my training and are VERY motivating yet sensitive to any issues I may have.

Before TNT I used to just run, but with TNT I run with a cause! I never realized that without a cause to run, I also lacked motivation. It was once I decided to train for a full marathon with TNT that I realized I could challenge myself, my mind and my body. The fact that my efforts with TNT aren’t just for myself but for cancer honorees – patients, survivors, their families and MeNCoachAlresearchers – gives me the drive and inspiration to push past any negative thoughts and realize that I can actually make a difference.

My biggest motivation to return to TNT season after season is Coach Alphonzo Jackson, known in Team In Training as Coach Al. His enthusiasm for running and genuine care for cancer patients and survivors is contagious. I return, not only as a participant, but as a mentor and captain because I truly enjoy watching new TNT participants evolve from tentative individuals to team members who have gained the mental strength and willpower they need to cross the finish line.

When I first joined Team In Training, I hadNike_pic2011_1 no personal connection to blood cancer but along the way I’ve met so many inspiring people who have allowed me to run in their honor. It’s been an amazing ride for me, season after season, and I’ve witnessed how the researched funded by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has helped cancer survivors. Unfortunately, I have also shed many tears when treatment just wasn’t enough, which always ignites that ember in me to sign up for yet another season to help raise funds and continue to hope that someday will be today!

Jennette Sison is a Team In Training East Bay Run Team participant and alumni. Jennette has participated with TNT for eight seasons and counting, and has served as a mentor or captain for many of those seasons. She most recently ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco in October.

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