Debby Dearest

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True Life: Debby Jolissaint — "Life is like a Marathon"


My mother once told me, “Life is like a marathon. You can either give up, or face the obstacles.” After years of using this quote at the most uncalled for of times, this piece of advice was literally put to the test.

My mother, at the young age of 53, decided to run her first 1/2 marathon. The official date of the marathon took place on October 1, 2005. At the time, she worked as a Nurse Case Manager in Fort Eustis, Virginia. Being a natural runner, training for this seemed like a walk in the park. Having a fit, energetic, and upbeat/active mother is always a plus. On the other hand, it’s sad when your mother is more in shape than you are.

The motivation behind her insane midlife crisis was an injury that kept her from enjoying her favorite past time since the age of 50. My mother said, “I was a runner for most of my life. In 2002, while moving out of our home in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, a large landscaping timber fell on my foot and broke my right big toe. I didn’t think I would ever run again. I literally couldn’t run for almost 3 years. In the summer of 2005, my pain suddenly disappeared. At the drop of a hat, I began to run again! I had something to look forward to everyday; something to build goals upon. By October of that year, I ran my first 1/2 marathon.”

Her time was Time 1 hour and 58 minutes. My mom joked about almost giving up at mile 9, even after running all that time. “My legs and feet were cramping. I saw the bus behind me to pick up the stragglers. I did not pay my $25 DOLLARS TO RIDE THE BUS HOME,” said the Cat Whisperer. “I DETERMINED THAT I WOULD RUN AGAIN . I RAN IN UNDER 2 HOURS!” The second ½ marathon was Thanksgiving Day in 2005. It was the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Fun Run. She won for her age group (senior citizens – joking ?) and she didn’t even know it until they gave her a medal. Being an amazing mother, she left right after the race was over to cook Thanksgiving Dinner for the family (which was amazing as always). She joking said, “I was so old that I did not have much competition. One of my friends, Debbie Hendricks, saved the trophy for me since I left, assuming I’d won nothing.”

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