U.S. Veteran & Marathon Kids Coach Alan Rodriguez Models the Way
Marathon Kids is one of the only evidence-based physical activity programs for children in the United States. We work with coaches in schools and community organizations to provide a simple and effective running program that is built on six evidence-based pillars.
Our six pillars help structure the program to build community around physical activity, establish healthy habits and provide a sense of belonging for participants. They guide our Marathon Kids coaches to create positive experiences for their participants, as children need positive role models in their lives to inspire them and to help them build long-term healthy behaviors.
One of our Marathon Kids coaches, Alan Rodriguez, is a key example of Modeling the Way and exhibits the pillar with dedication and service. He modeled the way during his time in the United States Marine Corps, and continues to do so for his students at Oak Springs Elementary School in Austin, Texas. We are thankful to Coach Rodriguez for his service and for leading by example whether in fatigues or a pair of running shoes.
At an early age, Rodriguez knew he would pursue a service-oriented career. He understood service could take shape in a variety of careers and in a variety of uniforms, and took note of those he saw serving effectively and efficiently in their respective fields. He valued discipline and a strong work ethic, especially in teachers, coaches, military workers and first responders; and paid attention to the leadership styles of those around him.
He recalls one Marines sergeant in particular who made a lasting impact on him; one who would encourage his platoon by shouting “I’ve done everything I am asking of you, keep going” from the front of the pack. When Rodriguez found himself as Sergeant in the Reserves, he took this experience in stride and emulated it in his own platoon.
As his time in the Reserves came to a close, he found himself an opportunity to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and a desire to continue serving.
Rodriguez knew teaching was a special calling and knew he could impact future leaders in positive ways. In his current role as an educator and running coach at Oak Springs Elementary School, he continues to lead the pack. He chose physical education with a goal of instilling tactful leadership skills in his students and to “be the teacher he wants his students to remember.”
When he asks his students to run during Marathon Kids running days, he runs. When he asks his students to listen, he makes it a point to listen in turn. He knows the ways in which running and training fine-tuned his leadership skills and chooses to provide this opportunity for his students daily.
Veteran and coach, Alan Rodriguez, is a servant by nature and is building future leaders. Thank you, Coach, for your service to your country and to your students. Marathon Kids is lucky to have a coach who leads from the front of the pack. We appreciate all you do.
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