May Local Athlete Spotlight: Ginna Goodenow
Each of you knows one or two people that are seemingly packed full of life and energy. Do you remember those Energizer bunny commercials from the 90s? “They keep going and going and going and going.” I first met Ginna Goodenow about 10 years ago. My wife was doing a lot of training in the martial arts at the time, and Ginna was involved with an organization called Kicking For Kids Who Can’t. KFKWC supported amputee children and helped to educate our Veterans. Ginna was this firecracker of a woman that was both busy but calm, spread thin but well-supported. Much of what I learned about Ginna that first day is a true representation of her personality today.
These days, Ginna is still marginally involved with KFKWC; the Amputee Coalition of America was gifted the project in 2012. Ginna’s profession is in helping nonprofits with succession/sustainability planning and working with them through senior executive transitions. On the weekends, you might find her serving the homeless in the DC region, as well as supporting food programs internationally through Stop Hunger Now. This past weekend, she was out working with her church youth on a build with Rebuilding Together. Talk about a true dedication to service, right? Did I mention that she’s also a pretty legit athlete?
Ginna has turned in some seriously good race results this past year. After the Army 10-Miler in October, she raced every weekend in November to an astonishing PR in the 10K, 15K, 5K, ½ Marathon, and 8K. Talk about a month of racing! I asked her if she’d done something different with her training to yield those results, or was it just a matter of consistency? She told me, “I came to your running workshop and learned about my form. I began training with running partners of all speeds.” Ginna focused on staying consistent in her training while working on speed and her form when running uphill. Through this process, she has found a lot of support from her training partners.
There is something special when you get a bunch of like-minded people together. “I find that we are able to push and support each other, and we also meet each other where we are – no judgement,” she notes. Ginna has several consistent running and workout partners of various ability. She says, “There is a camaraderie that builds when you train and workout with people. I believe it helps to keep me accountable and focused, and I am grateful for it.” For as much as she finds support in others, she also tries to give it back.
Ginna has been sober for over 19 years, and she really enjoys helping women with the various challenges of life. “I enjoy spiritual, physical, and emotional support, and I really am a workout fanatic.” That combination makes her a great mentor and training partner. Ginna is involved in many aspects of fitness: teaching a few women how to run and train, assisting in a joint personal training program, and helping a close friend prepare for a Tough Mudder. She admits, “I have such a blast.” Ginna also has two kids that she tries to promote healthy living to.
With two young kids myself, I was curious to see what this fitness fanatic had to say about teaching children. Ginna encouraged me to keep taking my kids to the races I participate in. “Show them how to do pushups, situps, pullups, squats…the basics…and try to make it fun. Have races with them,” she suggests. She stresses teaching kids the difference between healthy snacks and “treats,” and to give them both. Ginna feels like her healthy eating and exercise routine models good behavior for her kids. They see it, they know all her training partners, and they have worked out with her. However, she notes that her kids are polar opposites when it comes to exercise. Her son is her carbon-copy. He is into basketball, soccer, and karate. He walks the neighbor’s dog and rides his bike or skateboard to school every day; he is always on the move. He loves to encourage Ginna in her training and is great for motivation. Ginna’s daughter is more on the introverted side and enjoys reading books. Her pediatrician doesn’t believe that our PE programs count as exercise and has been a great teammate of Ginna in promoting healthy living to her daughter. He suggested that her daughter spend an allotted amount of time on the treadmill five days per week. She is allowed to listen to music or watch a TV show while walking, and she always feels better after stepping off the treadmill.
The future looks to be a busy blur for Ginna and her crew. She’s the type of person I think of when I say to myself, “Man, I’m so busy right now. I don’t know if I have the time for this or that.” Ginna seems to find time to squeeze everything. She’s not making excuses…neither should you.