Thursday, September 1, 2011

End of Season Address at the Celebration & Awards Dinner

Welcome! Thank you so much for making it out on the night before your big race. I’m going to get my little speech out of the way right away, and then we can get to the carbs! This is so exciting tonight. It’s always fun for me to have you all together. A night like this in celebration of a 4th season certainly wasn’t in my imagination 3 years ago when a group of us gathered at Mansetti’s in Forest Lake the night before our race in 2008. Some of you are here tonight.

It was your excitement and dedication that inspired me to pursue the thought of bringing this chance at fitness to women all around the Twin Cities area. At the time I was building a pretty nice personal training business, but isn’t it funny how God seems to have this way of laughing at our plans, and turning them upside down… to make something even better!

The funnest part of my job this summer was getting out to the classes to meet you all. I don’t get RoxAnn and Rodell mixed up any more, the sisters from White Bear Lake…and I no longer call Melissa from Blaine Kristen! I regret that I was NOT able to learn everyone’s name this year, but I guess I have to be okay with that. I loved being anonymous and surprising people who had no idea who I was by being this over-friendly stranger introducing myself to everyone on the trail. I was asked often if I was visiting from another class. I got a good laugh at myself too, because in my personal life I am quite the opposite – the shy one who never says a word in a group setting.

I especially loved running an entire class anonymously even in my home location of Forest Lake…When noting how many friends I had in the class, someone asked me about my spotty attendance record and said she hadn’t seen me in a couple months.

I love to hear the stories about your kids and their encouragement for your running, or their excitement when they see another Mom in a pink shirt. Some of them are starting to figure out that Mom is happier when she runs. I enjoyed running into Christy once from White Bear to learn how her daughter Ella has been training like mad in a local park for the Daisy Dash tomorrow. I love the comedy of a 9 year old boy who asked why our logo is a stick woman, to which his mom Melinda replied “Because we all want to be skinny.”

I’m questioning now if we need a new logo – a strong mom with a baby on her hip, a smart phone in her hand, her to-do list spiraling out of her head, and her running shoes ON.

Thank you for working hard this season. For not giving up when it was 100 degrees. For running in rain, and hanging out in shelters waiting for lightening to pass. You inspire me every day. I love to get your encouraging emails and your fun notes about your excitement in the mail when I get your checks.

You keep me going on the hard days. There have been a lot of growing pains this season. Next year I will not be opening any new locations myself, but focusing on creating a better experience for our participants in our existing location. A franchise opportunity has been created to help women start their own program and in certain cities we have a customer base ready to go when the right person comes along. I have hired more help for all of this, just yesterday in fact. Angela, will you please stand. As a team, the three of us, Melinda, Angela and I will be able to better meet the needs of our growing group of women.

I know that those of you who are here tonight are some of the most enthusiastic in the bunch. I thank you for your support of this program, and your contagious excitement that helps it to flourish. Tomorrow many of you will be accomplishing new goals and breaking old records. Many of you will be running a 5k race for the first time. If tomorrow will be your first race, or you experienced your first race during this season of Moms On The Run, will you please stand? {We had DOZENS of women standing!!} Yes, they definitely deserve that round of applause.

With that, we have a race to get ready for, so let’s get to those carbs!

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