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Take a moment and look back on your past year. What have you accomplished? Did you set any goals in the beginning of the year, or did you delay in making a commitment? As we progress over the years and our priorities change, our lives begin to clutter up with stuff. But I have to remember to bet on me.

Where does health and fitness fit into the equation? I started out the year with a focus on running and walking but have slowly begun to realize that other forms of exercise can achieve the same results. No matter your program, there are two things you can count on: it will take time, and it will be work. There’s no pill to give you what you desire.

My goal is to influence your mindset and how you approach exercise. No, I don’t have any degrees. I learn as you learn—run too fast, and you tire quickly. Stretch the wrong way, and you get injured. I’m not providing advice but rather passing along information, some of which comes from members of the running community.

You evaluate its value.

Army Wife Network is the vehicle for me to communicate and share the stories from other athletes. The individuals you’ve read about over the years reached the personal goals they set, and many are now seeing their children following in their footsteps, maybe because of parents setting the example and providing the motivation.

Who or what is/was your motivation?

It isn’t the doctor’s responsibility to keep you healthy. You must take charge, while your doctors are there to assist. A pill isn’t going to motivate you to go for a run or walk.

As some of you may know, prior to July 10, 2017, my focus was on getting faster, but I eventually found myself on the operating table for a mitral heart valve repair.

Let me admit it hasn’t been easy, and I know that in order to be successful, I must find the right balance between what I want to do and what I’m capable of doing.

I want to run a 6:30 mile, but that isn’t a reasonable goal. What is reasonable is taking the watch off and running a mile. Who cares about the time? My goal is achieved.

Years ago, I stated that we aren’t training for the Olympics. We aren’t going for the “gold” of a successful fitness program. I bet on me, and you bet on you!

Here’s reality: You let your desk replace your treadmill. You have a passion and strong dedication for work, but do you have that for your exercise routine? You owe it to yourself to make a change.

I want to share the following passage from Dare to Lead by Brene Brown:

In sports, when you’re in the heat of play and under pressure, you have to be able to rely on the skills you have built to be able to execute, deliver, and perform. If you’ve flip-turned and sashayed enough times, the mechanics of those moves enter muscle memory. Having the grounded confidence to rely on the skills we’ve developed over time allows us to focus on higher-order objectives, challenges, and goals.

Wow! When I read that passage, I had to read it twice, and then I knew I had to share it. This has numerous applications. Close your eyes, and let your thoughts wonder. Embrace the words to think about making a change. None of you corner the market on having a busy schedule. Life is like a race—you don’t get faster, but you get smarter to find out what works best for you.

I’m going to bet on you! I know you can look at your schedule and make adjustments around work and family and still find that “me time.”

If you don’t, who will?

This is your call to action. For as long as Army Wife Network will give me the opportunity to reach out, I’ll continue, because I believe that someone is going to make a change in their lifestyle. I must warn you, there’s no gold watch or retirement after 20 years.

I bet on me because Oct. 27, 2019, was the 44th Marine Corps Marathon. I want the record books to reflect that I finished my 35th running and 115th marathon. Yes, with a repaired heart valve to keep from going too fast and winning. Dreams are free.

Let’s get moving!


  • George Banker

    George Banker was the Operations Manager for the Army Ten-Miler (US Army / MDW), one of the largest 10-mile road race in the United States. From 2003 through 2023, his responsibilities included the operational planning, logistics, community outreach, design of the course, volunteer recruitment, and support to medical and police jurisdictions. Prior to joining the Army Ten-Miler, he worked 25 years at IBM serving in administration and management within the federal marketing environment in Bethesda, Maryland. He is retired from the U.S. Air Force (enlisted grade Technical Sergeant), where his experience included ground refueling supervisor and cryogenic fluids production supervisor. He received 14 military decorations including the Air Force Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (1969-1989). Since 1983, he has worked as a freelance photographer and journalist, contributor for the Runner’s Gazette, and He is the author of “The Marine Corps Marathon: A Running Tradition”. He is an avid runner, with 136 marathons completed.


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The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

If you’ve read any of my blog submissions on Mission Milspouse lately, you’ll likely see a pattern where I have been mostly writing about what I’ve learned being a military spouse for the past twenty years but in presented in slightly different ways. In addition to...

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