Sunday, January 26, 2014


Ice Skating in Alamosa

Today I want to share the story of two of our girls from ITA.  Both girls have been members of ITA since its beginning (2006).  Both of them are 8th graders now. Last year, I did not see much of them at the tutoring program. Little by little they started to distance themselves. They made a few appearances during the year.  In many occasions, they came to me mainly for personal advise. We have had those women to women conversations. We would laugh about my teenager stories and doubts. I love the fact they have me as someone they could trust. Yet, I missed their presence as the past six moths were not the same. I only saw them a few times. Part of me, understands it is the age, the phase and only hoped they were heading into the right direction. I also realized teenagers are harder convince, to talk into. All the sudden, my little girls had a voice, a plan, a strategy. They knew what was better for them and joining us in some of our activities was not as exciting anymore.

Well, being a rebellious teenager myself, finally came in handy. I knew that giving up on them was not going to work. So, even when I knew they would deny an invitation, I would go ahead and invite them to our activities again and again. Every time, I see them around I acknowledge them and ask how life, school, family is going. I would say something like: "Im watching" and smile. Two weeks ago, after I came from a long Sunday run I saw my two girls and their friends hanging out at the playground. I approached them and asked " What are you guys up to?" their response "Nothing, bored" Then I proceeded to invite them ice skating. I told them I would leave in 45 minutes and that they were welcome to join. They seemed excited about the invitation, yet no one was to be found 45 minutes later. My heart broke. Then, I had to remind myself that at least they know Im around and I would be happy to take them ice skating some other time.

A week later, I hear the best news of all. Our two ITA teenager girls have joined the basketball team at Ortega Midle Schools and one of them even scored at the game. My heart was full of joy. After my rebellious years as a teenager, I joined the basketball team in middle school and I know that set me up for life. Im so proud and happy for my girls. I know they are on the right direction and I am so happy for them. This situation re-assured me that we should never ever give up on our youth, family, friends, dreams, etc. Even if they only show up one time to our ITA events that is already a WIN. I look forward to continue following their journey and support them the best I can. I am a very PROUD Mentor! I am very PROUD  of our girls. Never give up!

Sunday, January 12, 2014


 The after school tutoring program: This program has been a complete success thanks to the partnership and help of volunteers. To Immigrant Resource Center, Tierra Nueva Apartments, Norma Gomez, Beatriz Garcia Waddell, Roxanne Reimer, Cristina Mace and 3rd grade retired teacher Minnie Lopez.  This was our third year with the program. The highlight, our children. They have become more social, responsible and independent which had led to better grades. We are very proud of our In The Arena kids in Alamosa.

Run With US and ITA!: Kids really enjoyed the Run with US and ITA! summer program. The kids averaged 3km of running or walking per session. They enjoyed walking, biking or jogging to the playground at the elementary school which was 1km away.  Sprints, playing tag and monkey bars became their favorites. Definitely, we all are looking forward to do this again in this upcoming summer.

                                                                            New Programs: This year Roxane idea came alive. We added the reading and crafting programs along with the Girls Circle and Boys Council.  Roxane was able to meet with 5th and 6th graders once a week to have a discussion on a series of books they read over the summer.

Individual and Group Mentoring: The get
aways with a few kids over the year were amazing. This year, on my  free weekends I always had a group of kids joining me on an adventure. We either had an indoor meet or biked around town. Tour the Adams State University Campus or enjoyed the airplane show. I cheered our middle school and high school athletes at some of their meets or just had that serious talk. We celebrated our moms and could not help having an all out  party on Halloween.

Apperances and Speaking Engagements: 

Mile Fun Run: Always a blast to watch and support  our elementary school kids during their Mile Fun Run. This always gives me an opportunity to socialize with them and their teachers.

High Valley Community Center: This year I was able to visit the Center in two occacions. The first one was to share my athletic story with kids and the second one was to teach kids about my life and traditions in Mexico. For the second one, my sister Norma and my nephews came along. Norma explained how to make tamales and show how to make tortillas. At the end of our presentation, we treat them with fresh tortillas, homemade tamales and rice. I loved it when while eating kids would come up and say: "You are the famous athlete right"

Adams State High School Camp: Another year speaking at the High Altittude Cross Country High School Camp. I love sharing my running story with our youth. Athletes come from all over the USA and like years in the past, their reaction notes were so moving. Its my hope that all of them accomplished their goals.

Boys and Girls Club: Spoke at the annual fundraiser breakfast for Boys and Girls Club in Alamosa. I also spend some time with kids from Boys and Girls Club in
Birmingham, Alabama at the Division II Indoor National Championships.

Training: 2013 has been good to me.  I've been able to run  consistently and pain free since August.  My goal is to build a strong base to be able to compete again at the highest level.  I'm happy I can train. It feels amazing to lace your shoes and run.Today I run 14 miles, my longest run since the trials in 2012. By far, the best therapy out there. Work schedule permitting, I want  to start doing some small 5km and 10km races in the coming months.

Special Guest: 

We had Polish Olympic Marathoner, Karolina Jarzynska.
Adams State Graduate and Runner from France, Vanessa Roy
Adams State Graduate, Div II Champion, College Proffesor, Janelle Olson

For more pictures click HERE

Getting to know Polish Olympian Marathoner, KaKarolina Jarzinska