Once upon a time, the phone rang. It was a woman named Monica with one request: “I’m going to half time with work this January, and I would like to know if you would teach me how to run?” I said, “Sure.”
The day arrived. When Monica appeared, I handed her a heart rate monitor, saying, “Here, put this on. We are going to get you in shape according to your numbers.”
From there she turned into a triathlete. (The whole story, including bike riding, will be in the book, we promise!) Monica remained one of my work-out buddies for the past 13 years.
We go in and out of fitness like everyone else, and we are best served if we are training for a race that is the distance that has just the right amount of challenge to it. Last year we trained for three ½ marathons. Last year we were training with heavy hearts and purpose. Last Year Monica’s son Franklin was murdered, and Team Franklin sprouted up immediately, out of shock, grief, and survival, organically surrounding Monica and her grieving family.
This year Team Franklin has a purpose. It is to say to the next generation, “We give a damn. I am tired of listening to the news and all the gloom and doom headed our way. I want to spend my time planting trees of hope, and the Franklin Micah Wood Endowment is hope for artistic students in the future.” I hope you take time to browse the website for the team’s fundraising efforts, www.teamfranklin.org.
We invite all kinds of athletes to Team Franklin: walkers, joggers, and runners, and our race even has a duathlon event. I’ll be there, so if you want to learn how to use a heart rate monitor I can teach you. I love beginners and people getting back in shape. Actually, it’s all fun to me. If you can’t join us tomorrow at the kickoff event you can catch up to us, because we have several weeks between Kick-off and the September 24th Magnuson Series, and we’ll be working out several times a week.
Team Franklin is a local training team that will be raising funds for the Franklin Micah Wood Endowment at Seattle Central Community College. Getting in shape and telling the future we still care: What could be better?
I think I’m going to love this part of the rest of my summer. You will be hearing more, I’m sure.
Photos by Cilla Trush, M.L. Daniel, and Allen Welsch.