This month’s featured Runit Mom is Janet Dickey, AKA Janny, AKA Coach, AKA Mom. I’m pretty sure I have referred to her by each of these names at some point over the past nineteen years. As my high school field hockey coach, Janet was engaging, enthusiastic, and tough. As one of the first women I really got to see become a mom and integrate all the different parts of her life (by working hard to find balance), she rocked it. As a friend, she is someone who I will always affectionately admire for her loyalty…and contagious sense of crazy fun.
Janet’s Runitlikeamom Run-Down:
* I have 3 children…Geoffrey 20, Lili 18 and Kevin 15 (turns 16 on 10/17!)
* I have been a stay at home mom but did do some substitute teaching at Westbrook High. I am in my 26th season of coaching the field hockey team at Westbrook.
* I stay active by coaching, running, playing tennis, doing yoga, weight training and Pilates.
* What are my short-term and long-term fitness goals? My short term goal is to finally get back to my pre-children weight, but mostly I’d like to be able to continue to be active for a very long time.
* My daughter and I are very close and I was watching her college game online when Kevin needed some first day of school things signed. I told him to put it on the counter for me to look at later and he muttered under his breath “she isn’t even here and she is still getting more attention!”
* If stranded on an island with my family I would want something to play music on, a deck of cards, and a whistle to stop the bickering!
* Favorite indulgence…Sitting on the dock at our rental house in Lake George and enjoying the slow pace of the lake.
I imagine coaching high school girls can be tough (I mean that with love). How and why did you start coaching field hockey?
I started when I first moved back to Westbrook in 1988 and there was an ad for a JV coach. I had loved playing and was excited to be a part of something that was one of the best parts of my high school years.
When I was lucky enough to be on your team, one of the things I loved most was that you participated with us- whether it was running/conditioning, drills, etc. What is your motivation for doing that?
I like to show the girls that if you love to do something it is contagious. Also if I expect the girls to work hard and push themselves through things that may be difficult I think I should help set a good example. Plus, I actually push myself harder so I don’t look like an epic fail in front of the girls so I get a better workout!
After coaching your daughter for four years, this will be your first back to being a coach and not “mom.” Is this bittersweet?
Yes bittersweet, but at the same time I am happy for her to be pursuing her dream of playing in college and that I was able to prepare her properly for that next step. I have a very young team and they are energetic and eager to learn so it has not made me dwell on the fact that Lili isn’t there. Plus, there were four other seniors last year who I miss just as much.
I know you try to run one race each month- some of them are even the crazy events like Ragnar. What inspired you to make that commitment?
My friend Kate Russell has been doing all the crazy 5k’s with me for about five years. We decided to challenge ourselves to do something new this year and in addition to the ones we always run, we added in the others so we had one a month.
What would you say to someone who is interested in becoming more active- maybe by running or joining an adult league of some sort? Words of encouragement for those first steps and/or setting goals?
Just go for it!!! The only one holding you back is you. Set small, attainable goals and celebrate each one by setting a slightly bigger one. Before you know it the first small goal will seem like nothing!
Thank you Janet for taking the time to answer our questions, and for showing me what hard work can help you accomplish…all those years ago 😉
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