Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Madison Maniacs

A year or so ago my sister decided to enter a program called No Boundaries.  This program is sponsored by New Balance and organized by our local Fleet Feet store.  The goal of this program is to train new runners and walkers to complete a 5k.

Julie (my sis) loved the program.  She told me all about it, and I even joined her for some of the afternoon runs.  When the program came around again, we volunteered to be coaches.  Our first team was The Bobcats and we absolutely loved them.  We made a ton of good friends and enjoyed helping them all reach their 5k goals.  Our second team was called Inspiration and once again we made some wonderful friendships and enjoyed being a part of their running journey. 

We took a few months off, but missed the program too much and now we are back.  This time instead of coaching one of the Huntsville teams, we have our OWN Madison No Boundaries branch.  I have named us the Madison Maniacs and our first training run will be next Tuesday, August 3. 

I cannot WAIT to get started.  I met several of our runners last night at the kick-off meeting and they are excited and hopeful.  Some expressed nervousness, but I told them we would ease them into it and before they knew it, they'd be running 3 miles. 

As a runner, I cannot adequately express how much I love helping others find and embrace their own running goals.  The sport of running has brought so much to my life.  From amazing, wild, crazy, hilarious, unbelievable experiences and accomplishments, to the enrichment of relationships such as that with my mom, my husband, my sis, and so many dear running friends (who will get their own blog post eventually). 

Running has also given me a sense of self that I might not otherwise have.  With my running goals and accomplishments comes a feeling of empowerment and the unwavering belief that I can do anything I set my mind to do.  With that grows the desire to do more than what I have done before. 

With the changes time brings, I find myself needing a way to figure it all out.  Running provides a way to do that.  It provides a calm consistency in my life.  It keeps me fit.  It makes me happy.  It fulfills bits of me that long for more.  When I run alone I allow my imagination to wander anywhere it wishes to go, and my prayers usually center around thankfulness.  How could one NOT be thankful when outside, witnessing a beautiful sunrise while the lungs and legs and arms and heart do what I believe they were intended to do. 

The reason I love the No Boundaries program is because I get to share the joy of running with people who want something running provides, but are not quite sure they can do it.  This program uses coaches like me to show them that they can.  Being a part of their journey and congratulating them at that 5k finish line is a truly wonderful, amazing, humbling feeling.  I am blessed to be a part of it and I hope to continue acting as a coach as long as they will let me.

So if you, dear reader, are one of those people who desire to run but are unsure how to get started, find a local No Boundaries program or something like it.  I believe you will find that you can and it will open up an whole new world of fun, friendship, accomplishment and strength. 

And watch out for the Madison Maniacs.  We are wild running fiends out to conquer the 5k and then, of course, the world. 

The Maniacal Coaches of the No Boundaries Madison Maniacs


  1. Cute picture! I didn't know Julia was helping you! And great job giving back to such a good cause. I know you will inspire your group, and I hope to read more about it!

    Also, good luck to day on your first day of your new job!

  2. WOW - so maniacal!!!