Jackson Tegan is a 7th grader at Linus
Pauling Middle School. At first glance he is a normal guy, albeit a
Duck fan in Beaver County. But once you start talking to him you
realize he is not a normal guy, he is quite amazing. While talking
to him, there were moments I wanted to either bow to him or
interrupt him and get his autograph. I wouldn't say he is shy, but
rather he is humble and modest. When talking about his amazing
accomplishments, he is so nonchalant. After the conversation with
him, I was truly inspired.
On January 1, 2011 at the Heart of the Valley Running Club's
(HOTV) Resolution Run Jackson decided to run every day in 2011.
Why might you ask? His answer: to challenge himself and see if he
could accomplish a long term goal. So with the support of his
parents he came up with a plan. The plan at first was to run at
least two miles every day. But after talking with his cross county
coach, the plan was revised to at least 1 mile a day. Since he was
on the cross country team, his coach felt that it was important to
give his body recovery days after hard workouts or races.
But why this goal? Why running?
When Jackson was in 4th grade his family moved to
Corvallis and he started attending Adams Elementary. Thanks to
amazing parents, teachers, community members, local businesses and
local non-profits Adams
Elementary had recently started a program called
Adams In Motion (AIM). AIM is a running and walking program at
the elementary where children are given the opportunity and
encouraged to run or walk a 1/5 mile lap on their recess three days
a week. Each lap is recorded and awards are given when certain
amounts of miles are reached (10, 20, 30, 40, 50...).
With his mother's encouragement, Jackson started participating
in the AIM program. At every opportunity he would log in AIM miles.
By the end of the year he had run 113 miles. As a 4th
Then in 5th grade, he decided to blow his own record
out of the water with a goal of 200 miles. However, he didn't get
200 miles. He got 215 miles! Now a year later, he still holds the
record at Adams Elementary for the most miles run in a school year
through the AIM program.
So that is how he got started running. But what kept him running
every day of 2011? When I asked him this his answer was simple, "I
would just say to myself, 'Well I've gone this far, I might as well
Jackson was able to make it through the year without any major
injuries that prohibited him from running, but once he got
really sick and had a high fever. His grandfather, who is a
pediatrician, tried to persuade him to not run. But Jackson wasn't
having it. With intense supervision from his mother, who controlled
a slow pace on the treadmill, Jackson was able to run a mile on the
treadmill to keep the streak alive!
A few times when life got busy, or it slipped his mind to run
that day, he would come running out of his room late at night and
say, "I forgot to run today!" He would put on his reflective vest
and head lamp and head out the door. For safety, his parents would
follow behind him in the car with the headlights and taillights
flashing. Rain or shine, day or night, Jackson ran his miles.
I have met very few people who are as self motivated as
Jackson. His first goal in 5th
grade was to run 200 miles during the year in the Adams in
Motion program. Done! So he had to up the ante. His goal for 2011
was to run every day of the year. Done! And his next goal? Run
every day in 2012, keeping his running streak alive for 2 years in
a row! And his long term goal? To run track and cross country at U
of O. (He was even wearing his U of O shorts during the interview!)
With that kind of self motivation and passion, anything is
As a follow up, Jackson was recently
awarded the 2011 Junior Achievement Award from the Heart of the Valley Running
Club. Nice job Jackson!
If you are like me, you probably have a billion race
shirts. Some fit perfect, but some aren't the right size or
they are just too dorky. A few are sentimental (the race I
PR'd, the one I ran with my sister, my first marathon) but don't
fit. I wanted to find a way to save the sentimental ones and
figure out what to do with the rest.
Here are some ideas I found...
What do you do with all your race shirts?
Yesterday Fauja Singh earned himself the title in the Guinness
World Records as the oldest person to complete a marathon. At
100 years old he finished the Toronto Marathon in 8 hours and 11
minutes. When you watch him run you wouldn't believe he is
100 years old. He still has a spring in his step. He
proves you are never too old to run!