Every journey is impacted by the people you meet along the way. My journey is no different. Having met some amazing people who give back to the fitness community, I want to say THANK YOU on Thursdays. I won’t always tell the person beforehand and sometimes I’ll do a quick interview. But without further ado:
The first person I want to say thanks for giving back is Alissa Palladino.
She is one of the many runners I know who are giving back to the running community by raising money for charity while training for a marathon. (If you have ever trained for a marathon or raised money for charity, you know that combining the two is a feature reserved for the truly crazy special… [moves up on my bucket list.])
Before she tells you about her charity of choice and her why let me introduce you to Alissa.
Internet meet Alissa Palladino! She is a transplant from New York that helps educate Atlanta as a Registered Dietitian at Good Measure Meals. She is a runner who loves to read. Alissa told me that she is always in the middle of a novel on her Kindle. (Hey me too…I know y’all have a shocked face right now that I surround myself with people who like the same things as me…haha).
I asked Alissa why she runs.
She says, “It’s the best therapy. For me, the benefits are as much mental as they are physical. Running is the only time my head is free from anxiety and racing thoughts and leaves me feeling calm and confident. Those endorphins are real!” You are likely to see her crossing at the front of the pack in a race or training with her weekday run buddy and Atlanta Track Club In-Training programs on the weekend.
Alissa didn’t start running fast. She describes the beginning of her running journey as one of getting fit. She says, “I was a little out of shape and wanted an efficient way to get in a cardio workout. I started with a make-shift walk/run interval program to build up to being able to run for 30 minutes straight. At first, it was torture, but soon I was hooked. 30 minutes became 35, then 40, 45. Once I could easily run for 60 minutes I signed up for my first 10k, then took on a half-marathon, and then a full marathon (I ran NYC in 2011, which has been my only full until now.)”
I love that her story is similar to so many people’s. It makes her such a great advocate for runners and a great addition to the Atlanta running community.
So as we fast forward to 2017…
She is training to return to the scene of her first marathon, the New York City Marathon. Alissa ran for herself the first time and now is running to support Atlanta Track Club’s Kilometer Kids Program. Atlanta Track Club’s free, community-based youth running program serves over 8,000 kids across metro Atlanta each year. The aims to promote a healthy, active lifestyle starting at a young age and combat childhood obesity by making fitness fun.
I love her response when asked, why are you raising money for the program?
Alissa wanted to get more involved with Atlanta Track Club. She further explains, “Supporting Kilometer Kids was such a natural next step for me because its mission is aligned with my most core values and beliefs.” While she typically works with adults, “[a]s a dietitian and personal trainer… [she] strongly believe[s] that healthy habits can and should start in childhood. Regular exercise is key…” As many in her profession believe, viewing exercise “as a chore or an enjoyable part of their lifestyle is often influenced by early experiences with physical activity.”
Speedwork makes the dream work🏃🏻♀️🥇Great morning at @atlantabeltline Westside 5k with @goodmeasuremeals. Thanks @bigpeachrunningco for the gift card – can't wait to gear up! #runATL . . . . . #5k #amworkout #run #runner #running #runnersofinstagram #runnerscommunity #instarunners #runningcommunity #irunthisbody #training #cardio #exercise #fitness #fuel #goodmeasurelife #race #atl
“…[P]rograms like Kilometer Kids  make fitness fun and promote physical activity and other healthy lifestyle habits in a positive, supportive, community environment…. Especially with limited physical education in schools, increased screen time and sedentary leisure activities, and a food environment full of nutrient-poor, calorie-dense snacks and beverages, childhood obesity is a major issue and can lead to lifelong health problems. By fostering a positive relationship with health and fitness, Kilometer Kids helps break that cycle and sets kids up for success.”
If you want to support Alissa’s efforts and learn more about Kilometer Kids, you can click here!
I want to say THANK YOU again to Alissa!
Each person that stands up and says, “Yes, I support the fitness community!” with actions to help others makes me grateful to be apart of this caring and supportive community. If you want to give back, look for the volunteer opportunities in your area. Or you can support your friends running, squatting, or doing push-ups to raise money for a great cause.
Telling you to give back to your community #onestepatatime,
P.S. One last fun fact: Alissa placed 1st in her age group in the 2016 Jeff Galloway Half Marathon!
P.P.S. With so many deserving people, I think you will have some inspirational stories to give you a push! If you don’t want to miss a profile sign-up for email updates!
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TJ Tells It | COPYRIGHT © 2017 · TJ Hadley