Christmas is Coming! A Speech for the Women’s 4-Miler Training Program







This was my talk this morning at the Women’s 4-Miler Training Program.

DENISE:  I say “early” you say “often”.  Early!


I have amazing news:  Christmas is Coming!

In fact…it’s exactly 6 months away from today.  I guess it’s more like a reminder because you already knew that.  You don’t need me to tell you that Christmas is coming and I could never talk you into believing that it wasn’t coming — because you know what you know and you don’t wake up in the middle of the night worrying about whether Christmas is coming.

The only reason Christmas CAN happen nationally and internationally exactly when it does is that we all agree.  We agree that it’s going to happen.  It’s not random like a storm.  It’s a social agreement.  That’s not dramatic.

We know from watching A Christmas Carol or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas or It’s a Wonderful Life that it’s not about the event…it’s about the attitude.  It’s about beliefs deepening.  It’s about the heart growing three times.  It’s about the attitude of Cindy Lou Hoo.

Let me talk about some people who love Christmas:  KINDERGARTNERS.  They get it.  They remember it.  They’re not afraid to ASK FOR STUFF.

I have a feeling you enrolled in this program because you wanted something. Something about it sounded good, maybe for the simple help of having an appointment to exercise.

For almost three years I was a kindergarten assistant.  I want to share a few stories:

Schuyler grabbed my upper arm with both her hands and squeezed.  Pressing the side of her face into my arm she said, “Ms. Stewart, I love your arms!  They feel like jelly.”  She didn’t know she was supposed to hate my arms like I did, and in her big squeeze she gave my arms more love then I had ever been able to muster.  If you are looking for a safe place for all kinds of bodies, and IF you are looking for self-confidence and support, then click it and put it on your Amazon wish list because this program is Christmas come early — and often.  That’s the catch.  You have to come downstairs on Christmas morning to get your present and you need to come here early…

AUDIENCE:  and often!

Anna was in our class, too.  At this school, the classrooms were connected side-to-side with doors, and teachers roamed freely from classroom to classroom.  Anna watched Mrs. Carrington coming in and out of the connecting door and one day (around the middle of the year) she yelled out, “Hey, I know you!  You’re the lady who lives in the closet!”  That was her story.  That was how she made sense of Mrs. Carrington.  Anna had fresh eyes…ain’t that a great thing to have?

People will say and maybe you have — that weight loss is hard, that consistency with exercise is hard — that eating less flour and sugar is hard — but that’ s an old story and you’re going to need FRESH eyes to see a new story, to make a different connection.  When I saw myself with new eyes, I got serious about exercise, I got serious about eating less, eating healthier and eating with dignity.  I’ve been keeping off 60 lbs. for over 5 years.  If you want a new story — a new beginning, middle and end, then Christmas has come early…

AUDIENCE:  and often.

Nick was smart and impulsive.  He kept getting out of his seat.  I asked him to do the right thing.  I said, “Nick, you need to do the right thing.”  He said, “How do I know what the right thing is?”  I said, “Listen to your heart.” (yes, because I said stupid stuff like that).  He stopped and squinted.  He was really trying.  He looked at me, “My heart is telling me one thing and my head is telling me something TOTALLY different.”  We are fickle like the weather.  Christmas sometimes marks the beginning of bad weather.  We watch the news and we want to know is it going to stick?  Is this going to change my day, my week, my life?  If you want THIS program to change your day, your week, your life…if you’re asking me, “Is is going to stick?” then I tell you that it’s a question of attitude.  Line up your head and your heart.  There’s the drama.  Have you ever been disappointed in a gift?  You know that was all about you and your old stories.

Drew was running all over the room during orientation and like a fool, I was chasing him.  I thought this one is going to be a handful.  I tried to distract him.  “Drew, do you know all the days of the week?”  He stopped cold, turned and said (with a little Tennessee growl) “I know about payday.”  Then I thought oh, I like this kidHe’s going to make me laugh.  This is going to be a good year.  You will have to make each other laugh.  You will have to be loyal to each other and yourself.  You will show up early…

AUDIENCE:  and often!

I love your arms whether they feel like Jello or a box of ammo.  I know you’re just like the teacher in the closet — you have a whole new story if you can see and be seen with fresh eyes, and I know you know what payday is.  I know you know how good it feels when you get what you want.

Yes, Central Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Thank you.

About the Race (registration opened this morning for the event…please click here to go to the race website)

Virginia’s largest all-women’s event is a Charlottesville tradition due to its hospitality to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. The race is along a scenic stretch of Albemarle countryside and is considered by many women to be their favorite event of the year.

  • 3,500 Runners and Walkers
  • 4-Mile Course
  • Garth Road @ Foxfield
  • Labor Day Weekend –
    September 3, 2011 at 8:00 am

What's your best running story?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *