Stories And Inspiration

Transformation Tuesday: Teacher starts running with kids, quits smoking

Submitted by Anonymous on Sep 24th 2013 - 11:00AM. | Perma Link

Gina D and Kiser runners

"Coach Di": Gina DiFrancesco (in purple hat) with her Kiser Middle School runners

Meet Gina DiFrancesco, a physical education teacher and GO FAR Coordinator at Kiser Middle School in Greensboro, NC. You may recognize Gina's name as winner of our second 10th anniversary drawing for a free curriculum/student race kits. In entering the contest, she told us about bringing GO FAR to her middle school running club — but also about her own story.

Here, in Gina's words:
"GO FAR inspired me and helped me to conquer quitting smoking. Smoking was something I was always ashamed of, especially being a teacher. I decided three years ago in the summer before I came back to school that I would use the program to help me quit by running twice a week with the students. I was always a runner but I felt bad about my habit. I decided if I could give of my time and do something I love, I would greatly benefit myself as well as the kids. It truly helped me overcome my craving, improve my health and inspire the kids. I never let them know, but they helped me more than they ever know. I am proud to say I never smoked after I made up my mind, and this summer it has been three years of being smoke-free! GO FAR has always been a win-win!"

Congratulations, Gina! And thanks for your work with Kiser students. At such a vulnerable time in their lives, those young runners are learning about true self-confidence, goal-setting, and a fun sport they can take part in all of their lives.

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