Saturday Spotlight (I think it’s my turn)
Name: Christine Ross
Current Town: Farmingville New York
Marital Status: My husband will tell you I’m married Kids: 2 kids; Son Hunter 16 yo (fka my daughter Brianna), Daughter Amaya 11 yo PET: Zeus (Pitbull/Bulldog mix)
Education: AAS ASL Interpretation for the Deaf; BA Mathematics; MA Special EducationCertification: Interpreter for the Deaf; Math/Special Ed Teacher 7-12Occupation: Math Teacher grades 7-12 at Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf
Hobbies: Running, strength training, reading, playing the piano, crocheting, drawing, painting.
I lived in Ronkonkoma with my mom, sister, step-dad and army of animals including 9 dogs, 2 rabbits, a chinchilla, 2 geckos, 2 parrots, and a moluccan cockatoo, till I was 19. I have one real sister Stephanie (32 yo) and a handful of half/step brothers and sisters out there I never talk to. I don’t really have much to say about growing up.
I was a miserable teenager who hated mostly everything. I participated in nothing at school. I cut class and smoked a lot of weed. I worked at McDonald’s part time after school. That’s where I met my husband Isaac when I was 17. I somehow managed to graduate HS with a Regents diploma and immediately got myself pregnant the following year at 19. When I was 19 and pregnant, my mom sold our house in Ronkonkoma and we moved in with my grandmother in Farmingville because her mental health had started to fail. It was during this time that my step-dad filled me in on how bad at life I was and how failure was my destiny. Disagreeing with his opinion, I set out to prove him wrong. After the birth of my daughter Brianna (who has now transitioned into my son Hunter) I enrolled at Suffolk Community College and studied American Sign Language.
By 22 years old I graduated with my AA and got a job working as a Sign Language Interpreter. I continued my education at St. Joseph’s College getting my BA in Mathematics and my MA in Special Education (had my second child Amaya, and a wedding, in between degrees). When I was set to graduate from St. Joe’s with my MA in 2011 I was diagnosed with Primary Peritoneal Cancer. I had surgery to remove the massive tumor and de-bulking surgery to remove any pro creational and unnecessary surrounding organs where it could potentially re manifest its ugly self. I underwent 6 months of chemo. I was allergic to it. They kept me on steroids for the duration of the treatments to minimize my reaction to the poison. This effectively helped me to pack on quite a bit of weight. I was also in a lot of pain and given a steady supply of Percocet, which became a problem (although I kicked that habit it still tempts me to this day). Running came into my life after my last chemo treatment. I was heading back in to life, a new job at Syosset as a Math Tutor, now interpreting only part time. I was fat and having my painkiller supply cut off was causing me severe agitation.
Looking for a way to burn off the weight and the urge for Percs, my friend invited me to run in the Summer Run Series (Tier 2), in 2013. I was slow. I walked most of the races. I loved it immediately. I started running on my own occasionally. I shed the weight. I ran a little more. Five years later, now working full time as a Math Teacher at Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf, I ran into an old friend at the Run for the Farm in Centereach. We immediately reconnected and registered for basically every race we could find thereafter. I dropped from a 13 minute mile to a sub 9. I started running longer distances. After running the Port Jeff 15k for the 3rd time, Lou reached out to me and invited me to run the Selden Hills. Being that I live on Berkshire and see people running past my house all the time, I should have known about the group much earlier, but here I am anyway.