Run Lolo Run

A ways back I was invited to a benefit breakfast to celebrate the kickoff of the, “Lolo Jones Foundation,” a charity founded by Olympic athlete Lolo Jones.  Lolo had some difficulties growing up as a child in central Iowa and she founded the charity to focus on:

1. Single Mothers
2. Family’s of incarcerated loved ones
3. Poverty stricken communities and youth

I had not been much aware of Lolo Jones before the 2012 Summer Olympics. I had heard her name in passing, but didn’t know anything about her. She caught my attention when upon watching the start of the 100 meter hurdles the camera panned her saying, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” a quote from the Bible in the book of Philippians, chapter 4, verse 13. It struck a chord with me, and I’ve been following her here and there ever since. If you’re not familiar with her, she’s developed quite a bit of news and controversy from time to time and keeps a pretty active twitter account.

Overall what I’ve been impressed with as I’ve followed her a bit over the past year and a half is the openness and honesty she displays. She talks candidly about her personal life, relationships, successes and struggles. She doesn’t mince words and doesn’t seem concerned with appearing to be blameless or without fault. Her drive and ambition is evident as well and it’s an incredibly endearing personality trait.

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No this isn’t me. This is an associate of mine, Marty. I don’t typically try to get pictures with guests or speakers or celebrities. During the morning, I mainly just wanted the opportunity to hear what she had to say, though I did get the opportunity to shake her hand and tell her I thought the cause she had chosen was quite worthwhile. I also got a very brief opportunity to talk with her sister, who had accompanied her to the event.

The breakfast served as the kickoff for the foundation with an event in Lolo’s hometown, Des Moines. The previous day they had given out over 600 pairs of shoes to children in local schools. The breakfast was a brief discussion of the foundation, a speech from Miss Jones and awards given to those in the community. For some reason the thing that most stood out to me from the event was how it seemed she walked a bit gingerly in her high heels. I mean this as a compliment.

It seemed to me that she wasn’t too comfortable wearing heels, (which I’m sure is the case for many women as I can’t imagine having to wear them consistently.) It was something that impressed me actually, as I thought it gave a bit more credence to her persona as a down to earth individual who felt more comfortable in running shoes and shorts than in business suits and heels. In my head I’m thinking, “She doesn’t look too comfortable in those shoes… I bet she doesn’t wear them that often…. that’s cool, I like that.” I’m not sure why the way she walked made me more impressed with her but for some reason it stood out. It seemed while she was dressing for the occasion yet she wasn’t trying to be something she was not. If you’re considering a charity that would be worthy of a gift, I’d encourage you to check out the Lolo Jones Foundation.

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