Lynne Lentz and I ran 22 miles yesterday, and thankfully she brought her camera!! We took a new route and found all kinds of interesting things along the way……
I went back afterwards and got a pizza!!!!
As Lynne and I were running our 20 miler yesterday, she mentioned something amazing, “ It was exactly four years ago today that I went on my first run.” WOW!!!!! She has since completed numerous 5Ks and 10Ks, 3 half marathons, 3 Riverbank Runs, and is now training for her second marathon.
But she certainly didn’t start with marathons. On her first run four years ago, she ran 60 seconds, walked 90 seconds, and did this for 20 minutes. Oh my! Has she come a long way??? Lynne has learned what many of us try to teach our kids- persistence, dedication, and hard work really pays off!!! (We hope our kids are watching and learning.)
Lynne and I met in a Ladies Bible Study about 5 years ago. I was training for an Ironman and talking about running. She thought I was a little crazy at the time, but has now joined the ranks of people who have learned to love running too. Maybe it’s not the actual exercise that we love, but the chance to go outside in all kinds of weather and enjoy God’s beautiful world in a way people indoors just can’t. Maybe it’s the chance to get away from our jobs, our kids, our pressures, and just “BE” for a little while. But Lynne and I are hooked, so we join up every week for our long runs. We both have races the same weekend in September and run about the same pace. She loves to plan our routes with killer hills, but thankfully sets out water bottles along the route so we can refill along the way. We’ve shared hundreds of miles of great bonding, interesting conversations, and sharing cold water and Gu gels together. She loves my constant chatter that distracts both of us from the pain. I especially love telling her funny stories, making her laugh as we run up a hill.
I’ve learned to love Lynne as I’ve seen her love and dedication for God, her family, her friends, her horse, and of course… running.
I remember with great fondness lying in bed at night as a child while my mom read the stories of James Harriot, the famous English veterinarian. “All Creatures Great and Small” was the first of his many books that captured my heart and developed in me a great love for animals. My mom and I laughed together and cried together as we experienced the adventures of all God’s creatures.
A few years ago, I heard about a lady who, before walking outside every day, says, “OK, God, just bless me with something!” I’ve prayed this short prayer many times before runs and bikes in the great outdoors. I’ve seen deer, baby raccoons, herons, a mother duck with ducklings, and even a turkey that almost knocked me off my bike.
Today, Lynne and I headed out for an 11 mile run in the country close to Greenville. I forgot to ask God to bless me, but He did anyway!!! About 6 miles into our run, Lynne needed to stop and lean against a mail box to get some stones out of her shoe. We didn’t realize that we were very close to a wren’s next until she jumped down on a branch next to us and started squawking at the top of her lungs. Wow, can that little bird make a huge noise!!! She was fearlessly protecting her little ones and it delighted my soul!
Only a few miles later, we spotted one of God’s GREAT creatures- a bald eagle! We first saw the nest high in the tree with two young ones, heads not white yet, standing on the edge. Then we saw the mom or dad in a nearby tree peering down into a little lake, hoping to find some yummy lunch. It was breathtaking to say the least! From the smallest of little birds, to the great eagle, both were doing what they were meant to do, taking care of their young.
All of my long runs with Lynne are fun. We’re both training for a marathon in September, so we’re on the same schedule of a long run ( that gets longer and longer) each week. But today, was especially delightful!!! 11 miles of lovely company, great conversation, and two creatures, great and small.
Meet Mary Walinder! She currently lives in the suburbs of Chicago, and when she isn’t training she is working for HP’s user group for a digital printing technology called Dscoop! But every morning, she is at the gym for her daily workout, and now that the summer sunshine is here, she enjoys taking her dog for a walk a few times a day while working from home! And on occasion she will take a walk in the evening with her neighbors! When I asked her about what one of her biggest motivators is in her training, she replied, “I love my FitBit and the weekly challenges because it keeps me motivated to keep moving”. Mary is a truly motivated athlete, and someone who thinks of everyone in her training. In fact, the person who took this picture deserves much needed credit- Denny Gillen. Denny was a wonderful Team Orphans athlete that raised over $30,000 for the organization. However, just this last year he passed away… He lived a life that was fulfilling and wholesome and his contributions to the Team Orphans organization will never go unnoticed. Each Virtual Ironman competitor are tremendous athletes that deserve so many accolades. So keep working hard, and having fun, and like Mary proclaimed to me, “Let’s all hit our goal in this Virtual Ironman!”
Just look at this teammate bonding! Pictured below is Lynn Benson, with her triathlon partner, daughter Sarah, and her kids. Just last year Lynn and her teammate trained and did the Luddington sprint triathlon, AND Reeds like sprint triathlon together! The athleticism doesn’t stop with just her though… All three of her children did the Rockford kids triathlon- with her youngest, Abby, being only two years old! WOW, “Amazing” runs in the Benson household! So you wouldn’t be too surprised if I told you that Lynn was also a Physical Education teacher as well! Today, Lynn is currently training by completing another Double Ironman with the Team Orphans virtual event- We’re all rooting for you Lynn! In Lynn’s free time, when she isn’t sweating it out with her athletically amazing family, she is a volunteer cookie baker for Clara Cookies! I’d say Lynn Benson is the perfect training partner- Just look at those happy smiles!
Sister 2 Rita Moeckel lives in Bradenton, Florida. “I was excited to learn about the Virtual Ironman opportunity, supporting Team Orphans. It was great that my dear sister, Rosalie, in Michigan, and I could participate even though 1200 miles separate us. We each use DVD workouts for our exercise, but this challenge will push us to the next level. Phone calls and texts connect us, so we can spur on each other, not only in our physical exercise but also in our minds and hearts. A verse states, “…physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things.” Rosalie and I memorize scripture to keep our aging minds sharp and our hearts listening to God.
I am a wife of 31 years, mother of four grown children, one granddaughter, 30 piano students and 10 homes which I clean and maintain. My life revolves around the calendar and clock, but I’m making time for this Virtual Ironman, knowing that it is supporting a greater good in helping orphans.”
Would you like to join our Virtual Ironman? More information and sign up here:
https://www.teamorphans.com/virtualiron/ Already on the Virtual Ironman team? Email me some info about yourself for our next blog! email@example.com
an inspiring story by Jeff Osterink, a Team Orphans Virtual Ironman member
My dad died just over a year ago. April 1.
One of the tangible things that I was able to do to help out my mom, was to clean out the garage and my dad’s workshop. I paid for a large dumpster to be dropped off at the house. I was in a throwing away mood. I think we all were. In my dad’s shop, I found his old bike- a 1970’s Fuji 10 speed.
I picked it up and walked towards the dumpster. I was going to throw it away, but then I stopped and decided that I would restore it and keep it. I brought it home with me that day and put it in my living room. I took it completely apart and over the next couple of weeks brought it back to working order.
Then started riding it around……a lot
At some point I had an idea that I would like to do something sort of epic with the bike.
I wanted to go on a trip with it. I started adding bags and storage on the bike.
Then I reached out to a close friend and invited him to share this vision with me.
We decided to bike from a cabin in Kalkaska, MI up to pictured rocks in the Upper Peninsula.
He bought a super old bike and fixed it up.
We slept in the woods one night, cheap hotels the other nights. We carried all of our gear and food with us. So many stories and memories.
My only super bright shirt was my Team Orphans Virtual Ironman shirt.
Kind of gross, but I wore it every day of the trip. I washed it a couple of times in sinks along the way.
But that was the interesting part– lots of people asked me about my shirt and what it was all about. It was fun to talk about it. My most memorable experience was hiking the trail from the Lower Falls to the Upper Falls at Taquamenon. A younger couple crossed paths with us and asked a lot of questions about my shirt. They were looking into adoption, and talked to me about it.
Thank you, Jeff, for your story. We’d love to hear from other Virtual Ironman members about something in your life! There’s still plenty of time to join the 2017 Virtual Ironman Team. Sign up at https://www.teamorphans.com/virtualiron/
It’s been 10 months since Clara Cookies started. In that time, we’ve sold over 18,000 cookies and now have our cookies in over 30 locations in Michigan and one in Indiana. Cookie lovers all over the country have been buying cookies online at www.claracookies.com, but only when they happened to hear about us! We’ve been using Facebook and Instagram to help spread the word (#claraproteincookies). But I kept hoping for a BIG BREAK!
We have it! Starting April 1, a peanut butter chocolate chip protein Clara Cookie will be in every Runner Box going around the US and Canada. Runner Box https://www.therunnerbox.com/ is a bi-monthly subscription box of “athletic awesomeness” that is delivered to over 1,300 runners!!! That means that in April and May, over 1,300 runners all around the country will get to try a peanut butter Clara Cookie and read about 100% of our profits being donated to Team Orphans adoption grants! The top 10 states include California, Texas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, but not Michigan. I hope this will increase our online orders as the word keeps spreading and people keep trying our awesome cookies for an awesome cause!
We’ve had some great exposure here in Grand Rapids- a free booth at the Women’s Expo where 1,000 ladies sampled our cookies for the first time!
We also had a WZZM Channel 13 interview!!!
Watch our interview here: http://www.claracookies.com/about.html
I spoke a the Hudsonville Eagle 5K last weekend in front of about 700 people, telling them about Team Orphans, Clara Cookies, and our local stores.
Things are getting EXCITING!!!!!! Stay tuned……….
Every day is better with a Clara Cookie!
In the quaint little town of Rockford, just a block from the dam and park where families gather for picnics, lies my favorite little store. It’s my “Shop Around the Corner” called She Active Boutique. Actually, it’s just around the corner from where it used to be, now in a bigger store with more windows to show off the adorable clothes. And to make my sweet tooth happy, the new store is conveniently located next to Sweetlands.
A year and a half ago, I met Priscilla, the store owner who is just as cute and adorable as her clothes. Since then, I’ve enjoyed getting to know her as I shop and chat. We share a love for athleisure clothes, a love for running, and a love for our fluffy dogs who by the way are welcome to come in the store while you shop. She even has doggy treats just inside the front door.
Tom and I, along with several other of Priscilla’s friends, had a blast helping her move to her new location- painting, putting in retro lights, hanging display fixtures, and of course moving all of the sporty clothes around the corner.
Much to my delight, in the move I found a few more shirts I just had to try on- including my new favorite Oiselle hoodie. It’s the softest material I have ever put on my body, just perfect for a windy day at Ludington beach.
After working in insurance for seventeen years, Priscilla is finally living her dream. She opened She Active in Rockford because her family lives there and it’s such an active town. She also saw the need for athletic clothing in the north end of Grand Rapids, and being in Rockford, she can be closed on Sunday. She Active opened in September 2014 and has continued to expand with unique clothing. She carries smaller, specialty brands that can’t be found anywhere else in the Grand Rapids area. She supports companies who value ethical manufacturing practices, most from here in the United States.
Now that the trees in are full color, maybe it’s time to take a trip up to Rockford. Stop into She Active, say hi to Priscilla, and check out her cute clothes, purses, and socks. While you’re there, you can also buy a Clara Cookie and support Team Orphans.