I’m involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, primarily through Team in Training. It’s a long story as to why, but I love the program, I love the people, I love meeting on Saturday Mornings to push and pull each other along on a grueling “long run” as part of marathon or half-marathon training. I love the social aspects, I love the feeling that I’m using running for a greater good, I love that if I’m having problems, that I have a coach that I can go to and that we can work through the issues to keep me moving forward.Yesterday, I was invited to take part in a conference call between volunteers (like myself) the Utah branch office and the national headquarters. The subject was the “exciting” changes that are happening with Team in Training in Utah. The “exciting” change is that we will no longer have a local team. That we are going to a Flex Only model. Now I’ve heard about the flex model of Team in Training. Basically all the meetings are held online. Coaches, mentors, tracking, the whole enchilada is all done through email, and conference calls.
That’s not good enough for me! I love having a coach that can watch me run so that he can tell me why my right knee may be hurting. I love standing in a circle of runners at 6 in the morning, talking about our training, our purpose, fundraising. I even love the hands in “Go Team!” before we head out.I hate, communicating via email, or text, (unless it’s with someone I’m trying to avoid.)
Also… I loved that I could do local races. Events here around my house, where I could feasibly take care of all of the added expenses that are tacked onto your fundraising totals so that my friends and family were not paying for my event in some exotic place; So that all of their donations were going to fight cancer.So… Team in Training is gone… for me at least.
It was funny (well not really), after the coordinators and managers finished telling us how “exciting” these changes were going to be, they opened it up to questions of comments from the volunteers who were on the call, and… nothing. We had nothing to say. It was crickets on the other end of each of our phone lines. I’m sure that the rest of the volunteers were feeling the same way that I was; Like we just got dumped on.Tonight I will run. And since it’s raining right now, I will most likely run in the rain. I will don one of my TnT training shirts, and my TnT visor, and I will run as best as I can in the wet streets, and think about where I go from here.