Lynn started running in the 9th grade. She went to a very small high school and the only two choices for sports were girl's field hockey or the boy's cross country team. She tried field hockey but once she realized she had to wear a skirt and the field hockey stick continuously hit you in the shins she decided to approach the boy's cross country coach and ask to run with them. The coach was more than happy to have her. She showed up the first day of practice and was sent out on a distance run that she promptly finished dead last. The next day she walked the mile home and got her dog, Otis so she would have someone to run with since she couldn't keep up with the boys. Otis praticed with her every single day of the season. She went to the meets and finished dead last at every single one. After the season ended she kept training and came back to the cross country team the next season and again she had to go home and get Otis but this time it was because she was faster than all the boys and she again found herself with no one to run with! She continued to tell us her story. There were many highs as well as lows which helped her realize her dream of an Olympic Medal. If you ever have the chance to listen to her speak, I highly recommend it! After the staff meeting, I stayed and listened to her talk with the cross country team. During the two presentations she showed videos of her running. All I can say is wow does she have an amazing kick and she always ran it through the finish line! If she hadn't run through the finish in Barcelona in 1992 she wouldn't have made the podium. Fourth place was less than two seconds behind her!
After the first two presentations, I left to meet Jenn for dinner. I had texted her Wednesday to invite her to listen to Lynn speak and I was thrilled that she would be able to make it! Jenn and I had a great dinner and then headed back to the school for the final presentation of the night. We walked right up to the front of the auditorium and I happened to sit in the exact seat I had sat in earlier in the day. Lynn walked in and said hello and introduced herself to Jenn and then pointed out to me that I was in fact sitting in the same spot I had been in earlier. Lynn Jennings had paid attention to where I was during the presentation. WOW!! She gave yet another amazing speech and answered questions and gave advice. Jenn asked her how you get past the mental part of running because she is currently struggling with that. Lynn's cut and dry advice...don't "fall asleep" while you are running but "turn your mind off". Jenn and I waited for a final picture with Lynn.
With Lynn's final speech given, E invited both Jenn and I to join them and a few others at the Wine Bar. It was amazing. Sitting at a table with Lynn Jennings just talking like we were old friends! Yesterday's events can only be summed up as amazing and awe inspiring. With the marathon less than 25 days away, this opportunity couldn't have come at a better time.
E mentioned Lynn's running camp several times. It takes place July 10-16th in Vermont. I may have to look into it. Afterall, the kids will be with my mom and stepdad that week. They say everything happens for a reason. Maybe, just maybe I am supposed to be trained by an Olympic athlete in my quest to get that sub 4 marathon!?!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and there is no doubt about it...Lynn Jennings totally inspired me!!!