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<b><span style="font-family:Arial;">1. Why do you run?</span></b><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I run because I can. I started running in 2001 when I stopped teaching aerobics part time and wanted to keep from becoming another typical female in my family – overweight and sedentary. But running has turned into a passion. I love it. It’s been great physically and emotionally for me. I was a pack a day smoker for nearly 10 years and never athletic. I quit when I found out I was pregnant with my son and didn’t smoke for a few years, but always wanted one. I started smoking again when I’d go out, and then just at the end of the day (yes, even as an aerobics instructor, I was having a few a day). When I started running I realized I didn’t want to smoke anymore. I was just done. Running cured me!</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>2. What is your greatest accomplishment?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Being a mom is the number one greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life. All else pales in comparison. My son is 12 now, and I still look at him in amazement. He has made me a better person than I was before having him.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>3. What is your motto/theme song?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Motto: “Life is short, make sure you are happy” – which was one of the last things my father said to me before his death in 1989.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Theme song: “If I only had a brain” (usually sung while running long or on rough trails)</span> <span style="font-family:Wingdings;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>4. How do you deal with bad runs?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Get over them, knowing there will be bad ones with good ones. They can’t all be good.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>5. Do you reward yourself for good runs? How?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">The exhilaration of a good run is reward enough.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>6. Who do you admire most?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">My in-laws. They are amazing people. I use their example to be the best parent I can be.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>7. What is the greatest advice you have ever received?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">“Never pass up the opportunity to pee.” Seriously, it’s damn good advice.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>8. What do wish you had learned younger?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I wish I’d learned that I was OK just as who I am. It took me a long time to stop trying to be someone I wasn’t. I did a lot of stupid things trying to fit in somewhere. I really am lucky I'm alive and healthy.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>9. What do you wish you could do but can't?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Make everyone get along. It sounds sappy, but I wish everyone could agree to disagree and just move on without having to go to war. I don’t understand the fighting & hostility in the world and it saddens me that people still kill others over differences.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>10. How would your friends describe your personality?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Intense, fun, friendly, sincere, driven, & caring.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>11. What do you wear running? favorite outfit?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">What I wear depends on the weather. I love when I can wear a long sleeve top and shorts, because that’s when it’s my favorite running weather (@50*F). Whatever I wear is wicking. No cotton for this gal.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>12. What has been your favorite race?</b><br>
Reach the Beach Relay. I love the camaraderie, I love the challenge of many miles & lack of sleep, and I love the adventure.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>13. Do you have a goal race right now?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Probably the New Bedford Half Marathon in March. I decided before my last marathon that there would be no marathons for me in 2008, so the pressure is off and it feels great!</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>14. What makes you happy?</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Moments like sitting around the dinner table with DH & DS and just laughing over nothing. My friends, the mountains, and the ocean. Making people smile. Meeting my running goals.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>15. Tell us one interesting thing about you that you haven't said (at least not often) on this forum in the past.</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I have a 2” scar on my left inner ankle from where they fed me through a tube in my leg when I was a baby. When I was a month old I had spinal meningitis and was in an incubator for over 4 weeks and nearly died.</span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><br><b>16. Tell us one interesting thing about another user of this forum that has not been posted (at least not often) on this forum in the past (make sure the other person will not object to posting the info!).</b></span><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Arrojo loves long hair!</span> <span style="font-family:Wingdings;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"></span> <span style="font-family:Arial;">Seriously though … I don’t think I feel comfortable sharing anything about anyone that they haven’t already on their own.<br></span><br><br>
Now you have the DIRT! Any questions? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Very nice post!<br><br>
I like your advice about peeing and I'm very happy you didn't die when you were a baby <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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thank you for your POTD, jensparks<br><br>
running helped me stay of those smokes as well. I am glad you chose running over smoking
 

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I usually don't reply in the POTD threads (I just can't keep up with 'em all!) but I simply had to:<br><br>
The advice about peeing whenever you can, is sooo important.<br><br>
Yes. My momma taught me that.
 

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The advice about peeing made me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
I have found that advice to be even more true as I get older.<br><br>
A very nice POTD jensparks ! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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8. What do wish you had learned younger?<br>
I wish I’d learned that I was OK just as who I am. It took me a long time to stop trying to be someone I wasn’t. I did a lot of stupid things trying to fit in somewhere. I really am lucky I'm alive and healthy.<br><br><br>
I cannot tell you how much this resonates with me. I was exactly the same way and many days I think about how lucky I am that I survived my youth.<br><br>
My son is very comfortable with himself. I wish I'd had that characteristic when I was younger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've met a lot of people recently who share the same experience. I've really tried to impress upon my son that he is awesome just as he is and to celebrate his individuality. So far, he seems to be happy in his own skin. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Too bad you got a weekend POTD - weekend POTDers get fewer viewers, unfortunately. But...<br><br>
Jen, I am so, so glad you decided to become a runner for many reasons. One of which is that it gave me a chance to know you!<br><br>
You are a fun, great friend and runner, not to mention an amazing Mom and running club Webmaster. I am proud to know you. Your long hair is merely a bonus. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Hey,<br><br>
That was a great POTD and I completely agree with the peeing advice!!!<br><br>
Good luck with Bedford!
 

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Jen Sparks is a ROCKSTAR!<br><br>
I never pass up the opportunity to pee either! I learnt if from my Dad...I keep asking him to get his prostate checked<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cool">
 

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Thanks jensparks for your POTD! I really enjoyed meeting you and Mr jensparks at Chicago a couple of years ago. You two are hilarious. I really hope we cross paths again at another race!
 

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Lucky you didn't die as a baby. That could have pretty much ruined what appears to be a really good life.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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jen, I've admired your running and your "persona" for several years now, and it was great to know a little more about you from your POTD. I hope we get a chance to run or hike together in the future, and am looking forward to meeting you in April.<br><br>
Your dad's advice is well worth remembering. Good advice on the peeing, too, as others have said.
 

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I totally agree! Come on everyone, group hug. <img alt="" src="http://www.millan.net/minimations/smileys/grouphugg.gif" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Great POTD post, Jen -- I hope to meet you @RTB in '08!!!
 

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Right there with y'all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 
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