In assisted living communities, team members provide care and support for residents each day. What many don’t know, though, is that residents also serve as sources of life and inspiration for team members.
Linda is a regional Sunrise team member who works with several communities. She signed up this spring to run in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon, only her second time ever attempting the 13.1-mile distance.
Pam, a Brighton Gardens of Brentwood, TN, resident, overheard Linda talking at the community about how she had only six weeks to train for her upcoming race. An experienced runner herself, Pam knew she could help, and she jumped into action.
“She said I had to work really hard at training, because at that time I had only gotten a few training runs in,” said Linda. “She was so enthusiastic and basically told me I had to get myself in gear if I wanted to finish and be able to enjoy myself afterwards.”
Pam is a former member of the Nashville Striders, a running club in Middle Tennessee composed of around 1,000 members. She’s run the Nashville Marathon twice, at ages 47 and 49, so she knew what Linda would need to do to be ready.
Pam set Linda up on a rigorous training routine to prepare her for the race. She mapped out the best paths in the area for Linda to run, instructed her what food and hydration to bring, and even identified where restrooms would be available along the way.
“She put me onto a local hill run that really helped this Michigan gal train for the Tennessee hills,” said Linda. “While my legs were burning and I thought I was dying running up the Percy Warner loop, I thought she was trying to kill me.”
Every time Linda visited the community, she reported to Pam on the number of miles she had run in the previous week.
“When giving her the blow-by-blow after runs, she was so engaged in my experience and supportive, the pain was worth her reaction,” said Linda. “She was terrific and I took my training more seriously, as I didn’t want to disappoint her.”
On April 28, Linda successfully crossed the finish line and completed her second-ever half marathon. After the run, she and Pam posed together with the bib in recognition of their shared accomplishment. And to celebrate, Pam demonstrated another one of her talents by treating Linda to a special playing of the violin.
“Pam truly lived with anticipation, generosity, and purpose while I trained,” said Linda.
These two friends’ journey is far from over. Linda has signed up to run another half marathon in Cleveland this October, and plans to rely on Pam as a source of inspiration and mentorship once again.
“I’ll certainly have Pam pushing me through the training,” said Linda. “It’s good for her and good for me. She is one tough cookie, and won’t take any excuses.”
Live With Purpose at Sunrise
At Sunrise, our team members form personal connections with residents to help them live meaningful days. In our Live With Anticipation program, we offer opportunities to tap into existing talents and pursue new goals and interests. Watch this video to learn more!