At Fleet Feet Sports Training, running is considered a team sport. Yes, we understand that individuals have their own race bibs to be individually tracked and timed. However, the success of crossing a finish line isn’t a solo feat, it’s shared by the many others we train with along the way. Without our teammates, we might not be able to accomplish the challenging goals we’ve set, or reach great milestones along the way. Our team cheers us on whether we are rocking a workout or struggling during a long run.
No one does this better than Della Pierson. A year ago she joined the Fleet Feet team and has since become an integral part of this big family. She started in our 5K program, completed her first half marathon last fall, and “drank the koolaid” that convinced her to train for a full marathon in 2016. She is the most energetic, motivating, uplifting person you will ever meet and her teammates look forward to running 18 miles on a Sunday just to hang out with her the whole time.
While training alongside 75 other marathoners this summer, Della and her infectious spirit leads our team week after week with high fives, silly Snapchats, and post long run celebrations. Even though she has done these long runs once before, she makes it a point to celebrate the new individuals running miles they only dreamed of before. This weekend it was golf hats, flags and scorecards for our 18 miler. Last week was a “Sweet 16” party with fancy tiaras and a photo booth.
Della’s ultimate goal is to train hard and have a ton of fun doing it. Don’t worry, she isn’t one of those annoying super human types that doesn’t show any sign of pain or discomfort. She is honest about her success as a runner and her struggles, and openly admits that “running is hard” sometimes. After a hot and humid long run on Sunday morning, she finished exhausted and in tears, admitting that it was her hardest run yet. Seconds later the tears were wiped away with her sweat and she moved on to what she knows how to do best – celebrating with her teammates.
So if you see this special person at your next local race or running miles around Green Lakes, give her a high five and introduce yourself. If you are having a bad day, running a few minutes with her will instantly change your mood. If you are having a good day, it will get even better with stories and impressions in her famous Canadian accent. Bottle up some of that love you get from Miss Della and pass it along to the next runner. Go team!