I ran into a friend, yesterday, who asked how the training is going. The question reminded me that I've haven't posted anything about the marathon plan since just after the New York City Triathlon. She also reminded me, with that simple question, what a support group can do to help keep my training on track, my goals in focus, and my reporting current. In fact, one of the reasons for going public with my marathon goal is to keep it in the open so I'm responsible to you - my family and friends - rather than just me.
As I've mentioned before, a caring support group is a great thing for training. Some people have talked about the fact that they could never do this. Considering my couch potato (or "potatoe" for the Indiania crowd) past, I know that if I can do it, most of them/you can also. Many MCC students are fortunate to have similar support groups: families, friends, neighbors, clergy, who just post the simple question, "how's training going," or "how's the job going?" Not wanting to disappoint their supporters is a great motivator for some students. Unfortunately, other students do not have such groups. In some cases, the people in their lives become students' detractors, discouraging them from breaking the mold, from getting out of the system, or when you get down to it, doing what their families or friends think they can't - moving forward on the path to self-sufficiency.
And speaking of support groups, the folks at MCC have demonstrated the real value of their support over the past couple of months. At the end of July, I left MCC for a new job, working with a similar population but with a different method of assistance. MCC has continued to support my marathon plan, and my efforts to raise some money for MCC's work. When I run into staff on the street (my new office is literally around the corner from MCC), they ask about my training and my races. And when I swing by the MCC office, it's like old-school week. That's just the culture there: former students get enthusiastic welcomes - OK, big hugs - when they come back in to talk to their former instructors about their jobs, or when they're back in job search mode.
Your donation will help keep MCC ready to support current and former students, especially those who do not have supportive families and friends.