it runs in the family

Deanne Schweitzer and daughter Jordan

Sometimes you just have to trust that mother knows best. That trust may be hard to find when she wakes you up at the crack of dawn to go running. Since she began running seriously two years ago, Jordan Gardner- the daughter of our uber-fit VP of Global Brand, Deanne - has come to appreciate her mom's early morning ritual.  (Apparently Grandma has something to do with it too.)

running together

Until recently, running together wasn't Deanne's and Jordan's forté. When Jordan was 12 years old, Deanne, Jordan and her younger brother ran the Vancouver Sun Run 'together'.  "I ran maybe the first kilometre with them, before I took off," says Deanne, "I said, 'okay guys, I can't run at this pace. See you at the end'."

"Saying that Deanne is competitive is like saying that Ryan Reynolds is 'ok looking'."

Now Jordan’s pace is more in step with her mom’s. When she isn’t swamped with school commitments, they run together twice a week through Vancouver’s Endowment Lands. The forest runs give the awesome twosome time to catch up. They chat about everything from their daily lives to their respective goals and what they want to cook for dinner. (They love to cook and bake as much as they love to sweat it off together.)

three generations of go-getters

Deanne learned about the mechanics of running from her mother who is also responsible for her competitive edge.   "Compared to normal people I have a little bit of competition," says Jordan, "but not against my mom." (Editor’s note: A cursory glance at their personal bests is all it takes to see how they love to push themselves – and each other. At a recent half marathon, both finished second in their age class. Deanne finished eight minutes before her daughter.)  Jordan definitely exhibits her mom's drive, "I want to do a half again and, like, beat her. Eventually." No doubt both women would love to claim Grandma's title.  "My mother was a great runner." Deanne says, "her best time was a 1:28 for a half. She was quick."

lessons learned

If Jordan could have one attribute of her mom’s, it would be Deanne's determination. "She’s a pretty determined woman," says Jordan, "She wakes up rain or shine, any weather, and she’ll just go." [case in point: when we caught up with them, they were running in the sleet] "So, you can’t really have an excuse to not do it. It’s always going to feel good. Some days I have to drag myself out there but when it’s done you feel so much better."

How has your mother motivated you and kicked your butt into gear? Or does she still kick your butt?

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My mum got me into yoga. She kept asking me to come, and telling me how good it was, I kept making excuses. One day I couldn’t find any more excuses so I went, and I fell in love. I now practice every day and kick her butt a little to get on the mat more! Apart from all the love, and giving birth to me etc, yoga was the best gift my mother could ever have given me. It is my home, and we connect together on the mat, there is nothing quite as special as savasana with your fingers curled lightly around your mum’s! We now have our wonderful teachers bugging us to do our teacher training together!

Comment by Lou — April 27, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

I wasnt feeling so healthy and started running. It was a slow process where initially I could barely make it a few blocks. I am proud to say a year later, I am down forty pounds but this is now a family affair. My youngest comes along for the ride in his stroller and my older children run or ride their bike alongside. Its a great way to stay fit together and I hope I create a love of this activity for my children!

Comment by Tannis — April 28, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

Determination is key. Just 3months ago my mom was going through breast cancer and a mastectomy and I was going through a molar pregnancy. Two very difficult things. The great part is that the strength of my mother is what got me through my ordeal. Strange we went through life changing times at the same time. Thank God for my mom!
Suzanne Williams

Comment by Suzanne Williams — April 28, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

wow. so awesome. really inspiring to see three generations of women focused on running. to me, it’s a metaphor for strength, determination, tenacity, and will. very admirable.

Comment by Nancy — April 28, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

I can’t relate to this more. This is my Mom and I together! My Mom ahas inspired me to start running and keep up my goals and set new ones. She too has this competitive edge, and it has also rubbed off on me also! Great article!

Comment by Lindsay — May 3, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

My dad got me into running, but it was my mom who encouraged me to compete! She taught me to set goals and push boundaries, and I learned best from emulating her. Brian Andreas has a great sketch that sums it up “She taught me to run proud and remember that you are alive.”

Comment by Cait — May 20, 2011 @ 7:49 am

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