Joe Schippani - McKirdy Trained
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Joe Schippani

My grandfather had M.S. For the ten short years that I knew him, I had never seen him move his body without aid or assistance. His life (as I observed it) transpired as an oscillation between his bed and a wheelchair with time outdoors reduced to a luxury steeped with limitations. It was never easy seeing him so helpless and imprisoned. To this day the memory of his misfortune and lack of mobility motivate me to keep moving forward both as a runner and as a person.

As for my running, I began when I was a sixth grader.  My parents were very adamant about getting me to participate in some extracurricular activities and like most kids who try to make their parents proud, I wanted to appease them.  Choosing an activity rather quickly I joined the cross-country team and ran for the next three seasons.  Truthfully, I wasn’t ecstatic about being on the team.  I was a “back-of-the-packer.”  I spent most cross country meets coming in close to last with my teammates waiting for me at the finish cheering wildly so I could make the final push.  As I entered high school I was left a bit discouraged by my lack of speed and ability that many others seemed to have.  I walked away from running and chose volleyball and tennis as new outlets.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that those early years of endurance would plant the seed for an admirable work ethic and an unparalleled commitment to running.

Fast forward to freshman year of college. I had gained a good amount of weight, ate very unhealthy and exercised sporadically at best. My mom began running herself and was shattering her self-doubt in the process. After she signed up for a half marathon, I had experienced a bout of inspiration and felt compelled to do the same. I paid tribute to my running roots as I trained for my very first half marathon using a magazine plan. My first race was just under 2 hours and it was a fantastic experience. Thinking back to my middle school days and motivated by my grandfather’s disease I decided to furtively take control of my well-being by running consistently. I began to race more often and saw my times getting faster.

Things were progressing swiftly until 2015 when I found myself stuck. Running was a huge part of my world and nothing short of a passion, but I found my fitness no longer improving and my race times plateauing. I met James at a running store over the summer and shortly thereafter, I decided to hire him as a coach to help me improve once again. After merely six months of training with Coach James, I saw my half drop from a 1:29:52 to a 1:22:37. My 5k also dropped from a 19:32 to a 17:44. I am grateful to have experienced such growth and development over the years as a runner. Now I’m ready to give others the same opportunity to expound upon capability.

As a coach for McKirdy Trained, I am excited to connect with like-minded athletes who are ready to crush their goals. Coaching here is very personable and communicative. This is key for helping all athletes achieve their true potential and differentiates this program from any old online training plan or simply saying “Here’s the next three months of workouts. Good luck.” I will be there every step of the way throughout the process and a quick call, text or email away for everything in between. With some consistent training, hard work, patience and fun, anything is possible. Together we will commence on a lifetime journey towards greatness.

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