Sara N. Phillips,
AGTS Public Relations Coordinator (1998-2003)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw
off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with
perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1 (NIV).
Sweat, pain, sacrifice, and discipline depicts the perseverance 22 AGTS students, faculty,
staff, and administrators endured while training for several months in preparation for
their first 5K race as a team on May 11.
waiting in anticipation as almost 600 runners made their way towards the starting line,
Team AGTS, dressed in navy-blue team t-shirts, was ready for the race. BAM! The gun went
off and the race was on.
Whether walking, running, or pushing a baby-stroller, Team AGTS had determination to
finish the race marked out for them. Several months prior to the race a few AGTS employees
began preparing for the annual Kitchen 5K Fun Run, which benefits the Kitchen Inc., a
not-for-profit organization for the homeless and poverty-stricken people of Springfield.
The word quickly spread like wildfire as interest arose in the AGTS community about the
5K run. Every Tuesday evening after work, many students, staff, faculty, and administrators
joined together at the Evangel University track next door to AGTS to do a 2-3 mile run/walk.
The Tuesday practices did more than prepare us to physically complete a 5K. I feel
it accomplished several things, said AGTS CAMS manager David Godzwa. First,
it helped to facilitate a true team spirit that made the race more fulfilling. We were truly
representing the school as we ran the 3.1 miles. Second, it brought together the disparate
sections of the AGTS community into a cohesive unit with a common goal. That enabled us
to see administrators, faculty, staff and students in a new, positive light. Finally, the
training for the 5K has served as a launching point for several members of the team to begin
to think of fitness as a lifetime achievement. As they pursue this goal, the confidence
gained and the lessons learned can help to make them better employees and students and,
perhaps, better people.
The weekly practice made a solid statement to employees and students that the seminary
is committed not only to academic and spiritual growth, but also to healthy living,
said AGTS business director David Willemsen. I think it helped bolster confidence
in some employees in their physical abilities and also helped others to start changing
The AGTS Board of Administration made a commitment this year to provide fitness incentives
and to encourage employees to live healthier lifestyles.
This was a real incentive to start getting into shape, Willemsen said. For
me personally, it enhanced my love for running. For many years I had no commitment to
a healthy lifestyle and my 300+ pound body demonstrated that neglect.
As Willemsen changed his habits over the years, his health began to improve. I
began to feel great and to do things I was never able to do before. So, now I am intrinsically
motivated and want to share this message with others. Our bodies are the only things God
has to build His Kingdom. The healthier we are, the better equipped we are for service.
Willemsen said he would like to see a couple chapel services devoted to physical health
and wellness and the link between physical fitness and spirituality.
Some members of Team AGTS were avid walkers before training for the 5K. Walking
outside has increased my energy level, helped me shed a few pounds, and given me an opportunity
to enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons for the past three years, said AGTS
Admissions director Dorothea Lotter who walks 15 miles per week. With no intentions of
running, she joined the team on Tuesdays at the track. She began to jog and her endurance
strengthened. During the Kitchen 5K Fun Run Lotter not only ran most of the race, but
she beat the recorded times of close to half of the 5K participants.
It was great fun, Lotter said. I would absolutely do it again. It
was rewarding knowing we were making a difference for a good cause. Over $59,000
was raised for the Kitchen Inc. to help after-school and summer programs for children.
For many, like Lotter, this was the first time to run/walk a 5K. And for several, the goal
was to simply finish the race. Godzwa, who has recently completed a marathon, took initiative,
to help coordinate team practices on Tuesdays and to send weekly email tips about health,
wellness, and running. The motivational tips from Godzwa encouraged many not to give up.
Numerous students and employees who participated in the 5K said their overall performance
was better than they predicted.
Godzwa said, The experience has been extremely fulfilling. It has been neat to
see how Team AGTS has taken on an importance and a success that is bigger than I could
have imagined. It is a benefit that reaches beyond the Kitchen Run. The excitement that
has been generated and the community that has been built, constantly reminds me of the
quality people that work and study here at AGTS. Its a great thing to be a part
Team AGTS continues to run/walk together every Tuesday and plans to prepare for the
Sunshine 10K race in October.
Thursday, August 12, 2010 11:00 AM