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Bikini season is on top of us like the hot fudge on that sundae we should probably put down right about now. Assorted quarter life crises are leading to us ponder life questions that should be reserved for Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. We constantly remind ourselves that we need to “give back” but we just keep giving to our shoe collection…

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m making these statements without an inkling of judgement. These are facts of life. Often, I get so caught up in the day-to-day that I fail to realize a week, a month and then a year have passed, all without my doing anything significant. Setting goals and reaching them is challenging, that is why life coaches, personal trainers and therapists are in business.

However, now is as good of a time as any to take up a new hobby, set yourself up to reach a new goal or cross an item off of your bucket list and I can recommend an excellent place to start your journey – Team in Training (TNT).

TNT is a national organization with local chapters that helps people reach their goals of completing an endurance event (read: Marathons, half-marathons, cycling and triathlons) while raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) to fight blood cancers. TNT provides participants with training resources for sponsored endurance events and, in turn, participants commit to a raise a specified fundraising goal. The fundraising goal can be between $500 – $3,000, depending on the event, and the TNT staff assists participants with fundraising, making it even less intimidating to reach your goal. To break it down, it is a change to feel good, look good and do good, in one fell swoop!

Feeling Good + Looking Good

The thought of a marathon or a triathlon might strike fear into the hearts of anyone, but TNT is committed to help you train appropriately, safely and sanely for an event. You don’t have to have any prior experience and the programs are designed for all levels of fitness acumen. The regimented training will whip you right into shape and the steady stream of endorphins will keep a smile on your face.  The added bonus? You’ll meet tons of people, some just like you and others who are radically different, but all who are working together for a common goal, supporting one another and having a good time. You’ll have an entire team to rely on every Saturday morning and I would wager a bet that you’ll walk away with at least one new friend.

If you think a marathon should be reserved for that crazy Greek guy, then try for a 10 miler or a half! You don’t know what you are capable of until you try, I promise you! If you had asked me a few years ago if I would ever run one, I would have laughed in your face, loudly and obnoxiously. Yet, here I am currently training for my third marathon with Team in Training. I even managed to convince one of my best friends to do it too.

Doing Good

TNT-ers reasons for participating might all be different, but the single best part about Team in Training is knowing the impact you are making on the lives of those who are suffering. Each week, you will hear stories from cancer patients, survivors and their family members. Sometimes the stories have happy endings and sometimes they don’t. I’ve shed a tear more than once and I’m sure I will again this season, but I can wake up every day with the confidence that I am doing what I can to help people survive. That is sure to make anyone feel pretty darn good.

And, if you are still doing some soul searching and life questioning, consider this:

Understanding that you have the power to save another life is all you really need to find the meaning in your own. 

Yours truly post Marathon in my Team in Training Gear! See, I’m still alive, and smiling!

If you’re still hesitant, I recommend attending one of their information meetings. The National Capital Chapter is hosting meetings for the Winter Season all over the DC Metro area. There is sure to be one that fits your schedule:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m. @ Hyattsville Library: 6530 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville, MD
  • Thursday, Aug. 16, 7:00 p.m. @ Potomac River Running: 115 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD
  • Saturday, Aug. 18, 10:00 a.m. @ Marriott Wardman Park: 2660 Woodley Road, Washington D.C.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 21, 7:00 p.m. @ Potomac River Running: 20630 Ashburn Road, Ashburn, VA
  • Wednesday, Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m. @ Marymount University, Lee Center: 2807 North Glebe Road, Honors Classroom, Arlington, VA
  • Thursday, Aug. 23, 7:00 p.m. @ Chevy Chase Running Company: 4461 Willard Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD
  • Saturday, Aug. 25, 10:00 a.m. @ Hyatt Regency: 7400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD
  • Tuesday, Aug. 28, 7:00 p.m. @ Road Runner Sports: 1120 West Broad Street, Falls Church, VA
  • Wednesday, Aug. 29, 7:00 p.m. @ Fleet Feet: 255 Kentlands Boulevard, Gaithersburg, MD
  • Thursday, Aug. 30, 7:00 p.m. @ Residence Inn Old Town: 1456 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA
  • Wednesday, Sept. 5, 7:00 p.m. @ Woolly Mammoth Theater Company: 641 D Street NW, D.C.
  • Thursday, Sept. 6, 7:00 p.m. @ Marymount University, Lee Center: 2807 North Glebe Road, Honors Classroom, Arlington, VA
  • Saturday, Sept. 11, 10:00 a.m. @ Silver Spring Courtyard Marriott: 8506 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, MD