Saturday Spotlight- Christine Hammer

Name : Christine Hanmer
Age: 46
Status: Single, 2 daughters 11 & 9
Hometown: Hauppauge
Pets: None now
Occupation: HR Manager at Ridgewoood Savings Bank
2nd Occupation: Beachbody Coach

So happy I could be the first Warrior of the Week of 2018.

I have only been running with the group since last March and I haven’t gone out in The Hills as much as I would have liked, due to scheduling and childcare conflicts, but hopefully you will see me a lot more this year. I signed up for a thousand mile club as one of my goals this year so I am determined to get in the miles.

I was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx until I was 12. I was active as a kid in the city, but not the typical Long Island sports. I played co-ed indoor soccer for one year and always got hurt, so that ended quickly. I played baseball in the park, rode by bike and would roller skate up and down the block. I also jumped double dutch rope, and was pretty good at it. When we moved to Long Island I found it to be so boring. Kids went to skate in a roller rink and I just didn’t get it. What’s wrong with the street?

My family moved Brentwood and I went to catholic elementary and high school. I never really participated in sports in high school. In 9th grade I was going to try out for cheerleading, I went to all the practices and prepared as best as I could and chickened out on the day of try outs. I had no confidence. This was a big regret for me for a long time, but I learned afterwards that it taught me to never give up. I tell that to my girls all the time. I started working in 10th grade in Captree Corners in the South Shore Mall. I worked in the salad bar. Then I moved on to bigger and better things at the deli in IGA, I’m sure many of you former Brentwood residents are familiar with it.
Once I started working, I never stopped, so I never really had time for any other extra curricular activities.

When I was in college I started working out and discovered aerobics at Golds Gym in Deer Park. I became a fanatic and loved it. It made me feel great! At one point I was even on one of Gold Gym’s commercials, and my dad taped it for me, but then later recorded over it with his VCR. 😕. I would have loved to have seen it now and get a good laugh. I did think about pursuing a career in fitness at that time, but the student loans started rolling in and I finally joined the professional working world and I gradually let it slip away.

When I was 38 my younger sister did a half marathon and I couldn’t understand how someone could run 13.1 miles and not stop. I promised myself I would complete a half when I was 40. If my kid sister could do it, so could I.

I was over weight, unhappy and started going through a divorce. I started working out and taking some Zumba classes and dropped a few pounds. In Feb 2012, I said that was it, I am registering for the Long Island Half Marathon, mind you I hadn’t even started running at this point. Next, I went online and found a program “How to train for a Half in 12 weeks”, because that was all the time I had, the race was in May. I told my boss I was doing this and I needed to take extended lunches so that I could run. Luckily they were very accommodating. I joined Lucille Roberts in midtown where I worked and ran 4 miles a day, 3 days a week and did my long run on the weekends. I started losing weight and was so excited. In March I found a local 5k in Selden near Suffolk Community College. I wanted to experience what it was even like to race before the half. It was awesome! I don’t recommend necessarily preparing for a half in such a short period, I had some knee issues a few weeks before the race, but I said there was no way I wasn’t doing this race. I was determined!!
I took it easy the last few weeks and I did it! I struggled the last 2 miles, and was in pain. In the end, it was such an amazing experience and I wouldn’t have changed a thing!!

This is how I began my love for running!

Since May 2012 I have completed many 5ks, 10ks,7 Half Marathons , 2 NYC Marathons and one Triathlon Sprint. The triathlon was a big challenge because I’m a terrible swimmer, but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I like challenges and pushing myself to see what I am really capable of. It’s the only way you will ever know!!

I look forward to the rest of the week and I hope I don’t put anyone to sleep.