FIT CHALLENGE: Wessels to run with track team in honor of Chris Smith

Jun 12, 2012


This past week began the last month of the FIT Challenge.  As soon as I’ve sent in this blog, I’ll be hopping onto my treadmill for my second workout of the day. 

As I’m not teaching summer school this year, I’ve made the decision that I’m going to do my best to work out twice a day at least three days a week.  Monday morning, I did all of my lifting, and will attempt to knock out a bit of running Monday night.

I had something very unique happen this morning while at the gym.  While I have had countless people stop me and talk to me about my progress, offering me encouragement, today was different.  After I finished my 10 sets of stairs (with 35-lb plates) a gentleman stopped me and struck up a short conversation.  He told me that he had been struggling with his weight, and that he had been following my progress in the paper, and that I had become an “inspiration” to him.  We chatted for a few more minutes, and headed upstairs to get some walking in to finish out my morning.

I’m hoping that he, nor anyone else, saw me tearing up as I headed for the steps.  I was thinking of someone else that had been such an inspiration to the young men and women that he had coached.

As most of you know by now, Mr. Chris Smith, the Perkins cross-country coach (along with track and junior high basketball) was killed in a tragic accident on Sunday.  Chris touched the lives of hundreds of student-athletes at Perkins.  He was a fantastic coach, and a wonderful role model for the young men and women he coached. 

Fortunately, my son was one of those young men, getting a chance to run for Coach Smith this past season.  He truly inspired his runners to greatness, and he will be sorely missed.   I saw him almost every week, as he pulled into the parking lot after school on his way to track practice.  Since I started the FIT Challenge, Chris would ask me how my progress was going, and would try to convince me to get out and run with the team.  I wasn’t ready to do it at that time, but I think I’ll work towards that now.  Please keep his family in your thoughts as you go about your day.
“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
― John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent