About Chris Alexander
1. Name: Chris Alexander
2. Age: 41
3. City: Brandon
4. Occupation: Full-time Editorial Assistant for Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi/ Part-time Special Projects Coordinator for StinkyFeet Athletics
5. When did you start running? May of 2014
6. Why did you start running? 4 years and 40 pounds ago, a very good friend of mine asked me to come walk a 5k with her. She was, at the time, morbidly obese by at least 250 pounds. She had made some major lifestyle changes, which included nutrition, medication and meeting with a personal trainer several times a week. She had lost maybe 75 or 100 pounds and to say I was proud would be an understatement. So even though walking THREE WHOLE MILES sounded like cruel and unusual punishment at the time, I really wanted to support my friend. I submitted my registration and promptly went to Kohl’s and bought a pair of Nike’s. (I did not even OWN athletic shoes, that was just how NON-athletic I was!) The day of the race came, and we had an absolute blast. We walked, we talked; we cut up with the policeman who was nudging us along as he “swept the course.” See, we were bringing up the rear. But we didn’t care; not one bit. It took us 2 ½ hours to finish and when we did, my friend just bawled. She cried happy tears at her accomplishment and that has always stuck with me. It isn’t often you see someone cry because they’re overwhelmed with joy, and it’s really touching to witness that kind of raw emotion. To see the pride she felt; it was truly inspiring. Everyone around us had been so encouraging throughout the race. She had a huge group of supporters: friends, coworkers, family members, all who had come out to cheer her on, most participating in the 5k themselves.Seeing all that positivity and experiencing that unique situation awoke something inside of me that day. I thought to myself: your sweet friend is 250 pounds overweight and she is out here doing THIS. What’s your excuse? What have you accomplished lately? What are you doing that you’re proud of? When is the last time you cried happy tears??? And the rest, my friends, is, as they say, history. I was teaching at the time, and conveniently class was about to dismiss for summer which meant I had a nice break coming up. So, the next day, I woke up early and I put those Nike’s from Kohl’s on, and I ran to my neighbor’s mailbox. And the day after that, I woke up early, and I put those Nike’s from Kohl’s on, and I ran to my neighbor’s neighbor’s mailbox, and so on and so forth. Run, rest, repeat. And by the end of that summer, I had graduated to a pair of Asics, lost 20 pounds, and could run THREE WHOLE MILES without stopping. And I’m still running… still LOVING how it makes me feel so accomplished and proud, and how every now and then, there *are* happy tears. I encourage you all to find YOUR “running.” It could be swimming, lifting, tennis, walking. Heck, I suppose it could be ANYTHING really, even something NON-fitness related. (GASP!) But take my word for it. Life is too short not to. (Cliff notes version – a friend of mine invited me to a 5k and I was inspired to start running myself after seeing first hand the joy she felt at her accomplishment. I don’t know if you need/want/have room for my long winded-ness! :))
7. Why did you join Eat & Run MS? I *LOVE* running and do so regularly. I thought this would be a wonderful way to put some meaning (other than my own enjoyment) behind EVERY mile. The Lily Pad is such an amazing cause!
8. What is your favorite local place to run? Anywhere near water or nature. I frequent the Reservoir “Loop,” as it’s called. That’s the trail around Pelahatchie Bay that crosses the Northshore Causeway Bridge over the Rez.
9. What is your favorite distance to run? Any distance really. Last year I participated in 23 races: 10 5ks, 2 8ks, 1 5-Miler, 1 7-Miler, 2 10ks, 1 12k, 2 15ks and 4 Half Marathons.
10. What is your favorite race to run? The Run Up for Downs 5k and The Run Thru History 10k in Vicksburg are both at the top of my list. The MS Blues Marathon (half) is another of my favorites. It gives me so much pride to run the Blues and meet people from all over the country who’ve traveled to our great state to participate in such an awesome event!
11. What is your next running goal? PR my 5k and my HM
12. What is your goal mileage for 2020? No real mileage goal – I just want to keep running, racing, and remain injury free.
To donate for Chris’s miles, click here and choose her name in the “Donate for” section