Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting to Know You, Part 4

Posted By: Kim Sterritt

::Drum roll Please::..........Jennifer Latino!

Jennifer Latino

Location, Columbia, SC

Are you a NEW New Kid or a New Kid With Experience?

I'm a veteran kid! I was fortunate to be part of the inaugural New Kid team in 2009 and was crazy enough to sign up and do it again!

What made you decide to take the plunge and sign up for the 2010 3 Day?

I was awestruck at the impact my participation in the 2009 event had on my family, friends, and co workers. Not only did our team make a significant financial contribution to finding a cure for Breast Cancer, we made Beating Breast Cancer the talk of the town! There was a significant following on our blog site, my training became the talk of our office lunch chats, friends and neighbors were supporting me by joining me for training walks, and even the youngest members of my family showed their enthusiasm by cheering us on with signs.
The purpose of the 3-Day event is to bring attention to this terrible disease and by training, fund raising, and participating in this event, beating breast cancer became part of the daily conversations in every facet of my life. There was no doubt in my mind that mile 60 would not be my last!! (Okay, maybe I did have some doubt around mile 44 but, I bounced back!)

How did you get suckered into joining, I mean, get connected with Team New Kids?
You can just add this to the list of "Situations I have found myself in, because of Kimberly Sterritt!" Kim put the bug in my ear about the 3-Day and told me how much she enjoyed supporting Jenn Dooley during the 2008 walk. Kim really made it sound like fun, and I hate to miss a good time, so I took the plunge. I really didn't understand the size and scope of the event until it was too late to turn back. I have Captain Kim to blame--eh, I mean, thank!

What is your favorite snack?
There are so many! I love pineapple and watermelon. Since these are prime summer fruits, they keep me going during the long and hot training days. My favorite junk food snack is Brach's Orange Slices-the gummy, sugar coated kind! And, I am a self proclaimed Cake Critic! I will taste any cake (pound cake, cheese cake, wedding cake, cup cake, bundt cake, carrot cake, angel food cake, red velvet cake, short cake/tall cake) and provide a rating and full critique. If you are into making em’, I’m into eatin’ em.’

What is your favorite walking/workout jam (song)?

I usually kick off a training walk with Melissa Etheridge's "I Run for Life" because it reminds me of my purpose but no workout playlist is complete without a little BOOM BOOM POW! Fergie and Will-I-Am really put the pep in my step.

Fundraising for the 3-Day walk is challenging. What is your strategy?

Last year I relied soley on donations. I emailed a list of family and friends each week asking them to read my blog and inviting them to join me in the fight by making a donation. It worked! I had donations from 62 individuals and families and raised a total of $3051.00! This year I hope to be a bit more active in my fundraising so that more people will be aware of the impact that breast cancer has on men and women of all ages. I plan to partner with a few local restaurants for a % of the proceeds evening and am also pledging to donate 50% of my winnings from my April Las Vegas trip to the cause! (That outa give me some good gambling karma!)

What are you plans for training?
WALK WALK WALK! I follow the training schedule to the mile! If the schedule says walk 6 miles on Tuesday, I do it! If it says walk 15 miles on Saturday, I do it! I subscribe to the longest training schedule (24 weeks) and I walk on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. I walk in the rain, the heat, the wind. I walk in Columbia, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Atlanta...last year I had to travel a bit during the training season so I logged miles in 7 cities! I trust the program (and I am a rule follower) so I do whatever the 3-Day trainers tell me!

Why do you walk? What inspires you?
My team inspires me! Even though we all walk in different cities, face different challenges, are motivated for different reasons, we have a common purpose: To Raise Awareness and Find a Cure for Breast Cancer! It’s amazingly motivating to be part of a community (not only the 8 New Kids but the 2,000 + Atlanta walkers and the participants in 14 other cities) who share a desire to live in a world free of breast cancer.
I’m also incredibly inspired by cake! See response to #4.

What was your favorite 2009 3-Day moment?
There are so many moments from the 2009 event that stick out as “Favorites!” Any time Jenn Dooley broke into a dance, especially if she was sporting leg warmers, I was entertained! Pitching a tent with Meredith was a scream! We had no idea what we were doing-even though we had practice at the Expo. I laugh every time I think of our team huddled under a tree, using our raincoats as shields to keep our lunch sandwiches from getting soggy when a surprise storm joined us on Day 1. Our team gathering at the 1-mile marker was the most motivating moment of the journey. Just when you think you can’t go on-a little pink sign that read “1 mile” put the pep in our step. That mile led to my most emotional memory: the Victory Lap! When the announcer fired up the bullhorn to let everyone know that “Team New Kids on the Walk has arrived!” I knew that we would never forget the 72 hours we spent together.
I’m looking forward to more moments like these with the 2010 team.

What is one piece of advice you would give a first time walker this year?
There will be times when you have doubts! PUSH THROUGH! The training program is designed to help you prepare, no matter what your fitness level. There will be times when your body tells you that 10 miles on a Saturday is just too much. It’s okay! Try for 8! If 8 is too much, try for 6! Your body will do amazing things if you keep your eye on your goal and remember the motivation you first felt when you decided to register for the event. Our reasons for doing this are selfless-we want to create a world where breast cancer isn’t a life taker! However, the benefits go far beyond just helping others. During my training season, I learned more about myself, developed confidence in myself, and saw changes in myself that I never anticipated! The summer of 2009 will remain one of the most impactful times of my life. I hope you will look back on the summer of 2010 with the same fondness and “I can’t believe I did THAT!” memories that I have.

If you had dinner with Nancy Brinker, the founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, what would you say to her or ask her?
I have a sister so I can understand Nancy’s anger at this terrible disease and her commitment to wanting to prohibit other women from having to watch the lives of their sisters, mothers, fathers, friends, end too early because of breast cancer. I would like to know more about the conversations that Nancy and Susan had as Susan was fighting this disease. I would like to know about the quiet moments they shared, the times of laugher and celebration, and the support that Nancy offered to Susan so that I can support the women in my life who are also on a journey to overcome breast cancer.

Please feel free to add anything else you’d like to share about yourself or the 3-Day.
I AM PUMPED ABOUT THE 2010 3-DAY EVENT! I have my news shoes ready to go-my backpack loaded with Nuun tablets, my blister pads are trimmed and ready, and my iPod is loaded with great podcasts, some new tunes (and some old favorites), and a couple audio books. BRING IT ON, ATLANTA 2010! October 22-24 can’t get here soon enough!

Rev. Dr. Jennifer Latino (another story for another post!) is working her way toward her fundraising goal! Help her hit her $2300 mark by clicking here!

Up next week: Meredith Perlman!

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