Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

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July 9, 2013

A Marathon Goal

By Eric Larson

I had the pleasure of spending time with an inspiring IT-Ready graduate and her family recently. Linda is a graduate of the IT-Ready program operated by Per Scholas. 

Linda is a marathoner, but it took her a while to realize she had a talent for long races. She attended Ohio State on a golfing scholarship and only started running after becoming a mother.

Her sons were there again for her latest run, the 2013 Boston Marathon. It was her third Boston run (2007 and 2009 were the others). When the infamous bombs exploded, Linda had already finished but was still recovering in the family meet-and-greet area. She looked around for her sons but couldn't immediately find them. When she did find them unharmed, the family clung together for a while. They had a lot to feel thankful for, she told me, as they made their drive back home.

During her interview, Linda also talked about what it was like to embark on a career in information technology as A) a former English major and B) a woman. Though she knew that IT was mostly male, she also knew that she had some of the skills that would make her successful: an organized mind, the ability to problem-solve, and the ability to dedicate herself to a goal.

The way she talks about it, Linda's running way of life has become a metaphor for how she approaches other things, including her new career:

"Getting up and running at 5 a.m. when you really don't want to run, or going for a long run on the weekends when you think, 'Do I really want to spend the next two hours running when I could be doing so many other things?' But it all pays off. I have pictures in my mind of the finish line that I'll never forget."