President’s Weekly Messages to Students

On your mark, get set, go.....

On the mark, Get set, Go Achieve!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Dear Kingsborough Students,

Did I ever tell you about the time when I was supposed to run a 5K (3.1 miles) but ended up completing a half marathon (13.1 miles)? No? Well then, it’s story time. Here’s what happened: 

It was July 2012 when my friend encouraged me to join her in running a marathon.  She said it would be fun.  I thought it over.  I never ran a marathon before and I was up for new experiences, so I said yes. I knew I would need to get in shape so I started a training program.  I downloaded an app to my iPod that promised to get me from my couch to a 5K.  I trained 5-6 days a week in the gym( lifting weights, doing intervals on the treadmill) and I even got a personal painer—I mean trainer. I wanted to build my stamina and he suggested I do some bike riding, so I purchased a bike and started riding.  

I would load my bike into my car, park at 96th Street or 125th Street and ride along the Hudson River Greenway to 23rd Street.  When I first started riding, I would make many, many, many (did I say many?) breaks along the way.  But the more I rode (every weekend) the better my stamina.  Eventually, I stopped loading my bike into the car and I would ride from the Bronx, to the Staten Island Ferry or over the Brooklyn Bridge to NYC Tech.  And then one day, I was able to ride all the way to Brooklyn without taking a break.  At the same time, I was running for longer periods on the treadmill.   

After 4 months of marathon training, I was excited the day was here. I met my friends and we went to the registration area to check in.  I was excited to pick up my bib #3001.  But I wasn’t excited when I realized that I was signed up for a half marathon and not a 5K.  (What in the what!!😳)  At this point, I had two choices, run and quit when I finished 3.1 miles, or complete the half marathon, 13.1 miles. I chose the latter, because I mean how hard could it be? 

So, we made our way to the starting line, with what seemed like thousands of other women. I was hyped and it was exhilarating.  At the two-mile mark, my friend that encouraged me to run the marathon, decided she had enough.  I wasn’t ready to quit and I was fortunate that my other friend wasn’t ready to quit either.  We decided to go the distance.

Let me tell you, for this first-time marathon runner it was quite a distance and it didn’t help that my knees, ankles and even my toes hurt.  I jogged, ran, walked and limped along (mostly limped).  After quite some time (I think it was 4 hours-- yes I took that long), we rounded the bend and there in the distance was the finish line. Because we took longer than expected there weren’t that many people around, but my friend who quit at the 2-mile mark and my niece was there cheering us on.  I crossed that line with all the determination I could muster. I have never been so exhausted and so happy. 

KCC students, there are many lessons in my story that you can apply to your own journey.  I hope there is one that resonates with you. (You can email me and let me know).   

I want to leave you with one of the lessons that resonates with me during those times I start doubting myself and I share it with you as a word of advice: You can do anything you set your mind to because you have what it takes.

Finish the semester strong.  Know that we are on the side lines cheering you on and will also be at the finish line waiting to celebrate you and all your accomplishments.  

President Schrader