By Emily Williams
Dana Stephens Travis – a Vestavia Hills resident, wife to a “super dad,” mother to three spunky kids and vice president of account services at blr | further – is on a mission to add another job to her full schedule: running.
As the new year rolled around, Travis began a training sched- ule with Resolute Running in Homewood, where she has set a goal to run in the Village2Village Run, a 10K set for March 10.
Before beginning her career, Travis studied dance for more than 20 years. But somewhere along the way she traded in regular exercise for a juggling act: tossing her time between her executive-level job; mothering a 10-, 8- and 5-year-old, and taking care of her mother, her best friend, who is battling Alzheimer’s.
“I have preferred and chosen to focus all of myself on the ones I love most, without making room to take care of myself,” she said, “which doesn’t help me stay around long enough to keep taking care of these precious lives I adore so much.”
A true novice in the running game, she never had a 5K or a marathon on her bucket list.
“I don’t have a relationship with running … . I only run when or if I’m being chased,” Travis said.
Her hope is that the regular training ahead and the accomplishment of finishing her first race will spark a love of running and lead to more healthy choices in her life.
“At the finish line, I’d love to say that I have a newfound love of running, but most of all, I want desperately for this to be my kick-start into a healthier, lighter weight, stronger, physical and mental self,” she said. “It’s what I know my mom wants for me, if she could tell me.”
Now, onto the logistics.
To fit running into her already packed schedule, Travis is going to have to start using a word she doesn’t often find herself saying: no. She’s going to have to start turning down commitments that she has been saying yes to for the past decade.
“One thing I’ve learned as a caregiver, mother and marketing executive is that no good plan happens without being nimble and willing to shift your priorities at any moment to make something happen,” she said.
She’s hoping that making time to fit training into her everyday life, though a big commitment, will serve as an example for her kids of how important it is to maintain personal health and wellness.
After her first run with Resolute, Travis said she was just proud that she didn’t throw up.
But it isn’t just her physical limitations that Travis will have to overcome. “(The) first obstacle is to say ‘help me’ as many times as needed to my family and friends so that I make my training happen,” Travis said. “My husband has been a huge motivator, and I am so appreciative of his unconditional love and motivation.”
OTMJ will be keeping up with Travis as she continues her training for V2V, providing updates on her progress as she works toward a healthier self.