Love of Running Passed Down from Father to Daughter
June 23, 2016 by Kavita Sherman, writer
Children learn a lot from their parents, especially those habits and actions they practice consistently.
It’s little wonder then that Betsy Kendrick, an advanced practice nurse in Children’s pain center, has been a regular runner for more than 35 years. After all, for as long as her dad was alive, he ran 4 days a week in all kinds of weather.
“My dad started running in his 20s and ran until he was 86,” Betsy said. “I got the fitness habit from him. So did my sisters. One of them is a runner like me and the other one participates in CrossFit.”
Betsy started running in college as a way to handle the stress of classes.
“At the time, I smoked cigarettes − something I tried to quit several times,” she said. “After I got into running, I decided I liked running better than smoking, and was finally able to quit.”
Running influenced Betsy’s other lifestyle choices, too. For instance, she tended to socialize with people she met through running events or who worked out, too.
“Early on, I was a daily runner,” she said. “I ran through all 4 of my pregnancies.”
In the past, Betsy ran 5K and 10K races. Ten years ago, she ran the Akron Marathon, an event she participated in a few times over the years. As recently as 3 years ago, she ran on a marathon relay teams.
Nowadays, she runs purely for fitness, interspersing 3 or 4 days of running outside with regular sessions at a gym.
On gym days, Betsy does other kinds of cardiovascular exercise, such as a stair-stepping machine or indoor bicycling. Regardless of which form of exercise she does, she’s consistent about working out first thing in the morning.
“I’m a morning person, so I like to exercise early,” she said. “It sets the tone for the whole day for me. It’s my dedicated time to myself and allows me to work through what’s on my mind.”
Over the years, Betsy has learned to listen to her body.
“I found out the hard way that it’s important to take time off when I’m injured or not feeling well,” Betsy said. “I know that I’ll aggravate an injury even more if I keep going and may have to sit out longer. Now, I stop what I’m doing and I don’t beat myself up about not exercising.”
For Betsy, practicing good habits is something she does consistently. Even on vacation, she’ll run.
“I’ve embraced the whole fitness lifestyle,” she said. “I eat well, get good sleep, and don’t drink because I want to feel good when I wake up. I don’t think my weight has changed since college.”
Just as Betsy watched and learned from her father, her love of running has rubbed off on her children. So far, the fitness legacy lives on in 3 of Betsy’s 4 kids.
“I like that they’re developing good fitness habits, too,” she said.
Learn more about the 2016 Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series.
This story is part of a series called Mile in My Shoes that features Akron Children’s Hospital employees who are participating in the Akron Marathon Race Series.