Member Spotlight: Jon Deitchman

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Where do you live?
Fairfax, VA

What event are your running with Team for Kids?
2016 TCS New York City Marathon.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I think that giving back to a cause such as giving kids the ability to run and be active is one of the most important causes out there. We have all seen how a lack of activity leads to numerous health issues later in life, and I want to do what I can to help kids either get through a current hardship, or not deal with a hardship at all.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is downtown in Washington, DC. I only live about 15 mins from downtown, and being able to run amongst all the gorgeous monuments and history is inspiring for me.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I must admit that for me, music is a must have for my runs. And I usually have to go with upbeat songs that give me some energy when it’s lacking. Most of my playlist includes hip hop or classic hard rock. It’s a combination of Jimmy Hendricks and Eminem.. Ha.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Sometimes there’s nothing better than a Cobb salad from Chopt, a restaurant that predominantly focuses on healthy salads. I won’t lie though; after some of my long training runs, I’ve been see going to Chipotle as well.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began when I was in elementary school. I was a sprinter, and participated in a lot of baton relays, mile runs, and short distance events, all the way through high school. For me, it was a release. That said, tragedy struck when I was 16, and my mother died of a massive heart attack. Not two months later, during a basketball game, my heart stopped on the court. Fortunately the wonderful doctors at Faifax Hospital saved my life, but I was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.

I was petrified of running again, but one day I just laced up and went outside. I was used to running a mile here and there; that day, I ran 5 miles. And it was love from there. I wasn’t afraid anymore; it was freedom for me. It was a way for me to forget I had just lost my mother; I had almost just lost myself; but now at least I could hold onto something nobody could take from me; the ability to run.

Running to me symbolized not running from my problems, but running with me in an effort to minimize them. Weird, I know. But I’ve never wanted to be seen as someone running from my problems because that doesn’t work. I run with them and allow them to energize me in a positive way. They’re my fuel for finishing, first or last.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explains?
I always write the distance of my race on my right hand; and I write the date of my mom’s death on my left hand. Intermittently throughout the race, should I get tired and begin looking at the distance on my right hand wondering why I’m doing this, I look at my left hand and understand that as hard as anything is in life, it’ll never be harder than the day I lost my mom.

Why did you choose to run this event with Team for Kids?
You always hear, the children are our future. Well that truly says it all I think. We obviously have an issue in this country, and around the world really, with childhood obesity, which then leads to other diseases, such as heart disease. I was lucky enough to never suffer with obesity, but I know what it feels like to be a kid and diagnosed with a life altering health issue. I want to prevent other kids from getting the same talk I got from doctors when I was a kid.

Tell us more about yourself.
Well, I’m 34 years old but still maintain the mindset of being a kid sometimes. I love life and enjoy living it. One of my passions is volunteerism; I spent quite a while in Kenya and Tanzania after college volunteering with multiple organizations. I also love to travel obviously and become immersed in culture. Sports is a huge part of my life, from basketball, football, baseball; you name it, I’ll watch or play it. I live right outside of Washington, DC, but most of my family is from NYC.

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