March 22, 2013
FitWit Nation – You need to know what happened on Saturday morning. This was the morning of the Tour DeCatur where 2500 people were slated to run in support of the Decatur City Schools. However, with heavy rain, thunder and lightening, only a few hundred actually showed up to run the race. And you know who was part of that group who braved the elements? Six of our FitTeens participants! Six students who had never previously run a race. Six students who could have very easily went back to bed like nearly every other person signed up to run. Six students who, 4 weeks ago, would not have even considered showing up to volunteer or watch, much less to run the race. And, this wasn’t even the best part!
After Kevin led a FitWit warm-up in the crammed cafeteria, the FitTeens, (Saundra, Emily, Kristen, Dominik, Manal, and Faetia) all paired with FitWitters (Michele Rothstein, Sinead Younge, and Collen Beard), headed to the start line. The gun went off and our six students slogged through the cold, wet Decatur streets without stopping. No one quit, no one complained. But here’s what did happen:
With great determination, Dominik (running with Michele R.) crushed the race finishing 3rd in her age group (ages 15-19). That is the high-school age group that included several varsity athletes who also ran in the race.
Very quietly, Kristen raised her hand that she wanted to run. Shocked by her independent interest, her dad joined her and ran the entire race next to her. He said the workouts she shares about each day are a motivation to him to keep in shape.
Manal (a 4-year FitTeens participant) ran her first race. She previously volunteered at the race for the last three years, but vowed that she would run it one day. This past Saturday she completed it with her elementary-age sister by her side.
Pretending to be in Hawaii rather than the rain, Saundra pushed through the three miles and completed her first American race. As a foreign exchange student from Germany, her parents enjoy seeing what she is up to through the Foundation Facebook posts.
With a nervous stomach, Emily ran next to a friend who was encouraging her through the first 2 miles. But in the last mile, Emily said, “I think I can go faster” and the friend said to go on without her because she couldn’t keep up. In that last mile, Emily kept repeating, “I’m going to finish. I can’t believe I’m actually doing it.”
Faetia, a very polite and mild manner girl, never thought she would be able to complete one mile, let alone three, when she began FitTeens.
The coolest part was at the end, seeing the six girls high-fiving and hugging. Being all different ages and grade levels, none of these ladies chose to do the race “because their friends were doing it.” They all chose to take on a challenge they never thought they would be able to do. They all left the race with a gained sense of self-efficacy and accomplishment and they made a pact to wear their Tour DeCatur t-shirts to school on Monday. They also continued to talk about how they wanted to meet up to work out each week once the FitTeens program was complete.
Part of the vision of The FitWit Foundation is encouraging young people to believe in themselves and strive for success and on Saturday morning this was on full display. So – yes, you NEED to know about this. Your commitment to FitWit, not only gets you in great shape, but it helped make these magical moments possible. This is why FitWit exists. It’s why we do what we do, and we’re grateful to share these moments with the whole FitWit Nation. Thank you!
Live Fit, Give Fit.