Saturday Spotlight- Jeff Littwin

Name: Jeff Littwin AKA Ali’s Husband, Gear Boy, Team Photographer, Bag Boy, and Team Boyfriend (I think I got all my titles out there)
Age: 45
Occupation: English teacher 7-12, Adjunct Professor, Soccer/Bowling/Baseball Coach for Roosevelt HS – Go Rough Riders! Certified Administrator but I love the classroom too much.
Married to Gear Girl Ali Ali Delwin
Children: Aidan (First Child Warrior) 11 on Tuesday 10/11/16
So I guess we have run out (see the pun) of “Real” Warriors and now we are on to support staff and walkers! I want to thank Lou, for giving me this opportunity to clog up the page for the next few days with my stories, and self-deprecating (SAT word) humor. I am sure Alicia, yes that is Ali’s real name is cringing at the fact that I am WOTW because I have little to no filter! As a matter of fact, I hesitated even doing this because I stand in awe of you Warriors that actually run the Hills…I walk them and force/push Aidan to do them…but Alicia convinced me that I am a warrior especially since this summer I made the leaderboard in back to back months. As an English teacher, with a Master’s in Creative Writing, I will try not to be too wordy, or verbose (another SAT word) but if I am, I apologize in advance.
Backstory: I was born on Earth Day (4/22) 1971. (I share my birthday with fellow warrior Jenipher Quintanilla my wife’s PIC how coincidental is that!). My mother was an administrative assistant, same as my wife (Oedipal Complex much?) and my father was in the military, so I was toilet trained at gun point, just kidding, (stolen from Danny DeVito in Renaissance Man). Life was good in Queens, Glen Oaks was a great place to live, everything was accessible and friends were at a premium. I excelled at Baseball and Bowling, which I did both in college, but my damn bad genetics left me at 5’6”, which hurt my chances of becoming my dad’s idol Roy Campanella, which is why I always have #39 on all my jerseys, no matter what sport.
I was a pretty smart kid always reading above grade level, doing well in school, being the good sibling (my sister is rotten) and then tragedy struck in the summer of 1985. I was out delivering newspapers (I loved earning my own money) and came home to find my mother passed out and bleeding from a head wound on the bathroom floor. Apparently, she suffered from a brain aneurysm that burst due to her high blood pressure (she was morbidly obese). We got her to the hospital, where she lingered for nearly 6 weeks because they could not operate (the technology just wasn’t there yet) and she continued to get worse suffering a heart attack and a stroke while there. We were nearly forced with the decision to take her off life support, but luckily for lack of a better term, she passed 10/5/1985. After that, I stopped doing well in school and got by on my brains with little to no effort, graduating high school with a 77 average…and wasting a great deal of potential according to many people.
I was not ready to go to college so I tried bowling professionally. I made a little money, but not enough to sustain a livelihood; in addition, my dad was then called up to go to Operation Desert Storm in 1990. I returned home, and helped raise my younger sister while my dad was off fighting. He returned home from the war, but to quote the movie Rambo, “He got himself killed there, and didn’t even know it.” He developed renal cancer, which went undiagnosed by the VA. Hence, why the only race I have run to date is the Northport VA race every year around Veteran’s Day…I do not believe that we do enough in this country to support our vets. In fact, I feel we treat convicts better than they treat our returning soldiers…but I will try not to go off on a tangent and make this political. I eventually finished Nassau CC and returned to bowling part time, working in a pro shop drilling bowling balls, and in the summer time I started working at a day camp, which I would go on to do for the next 25 summers! Then in 1996, my life was about to get a wake up call!
I began a new job as a DJ in an Adult Entertainment Club, which was fun for a while, but like everything else, it became a job. I still only had my AA and really had no direction in my life. Then my friend Neil, whom I met while working at the day camp, introduced me to this new invention called the “Internet”. I went on to AOL in a chat room and started speaking to a young lady who was a nanny for a family in Westchester. We decided to meet, she drove down to me (I guess she was crazy to do that), but it all worked out, as that girl became our beloved gear girl, and my beautiful wife. Our first date was the movie Jerry McGuire, I ate a tuna melt after the movie, and she still kissed me goodnight.
Now, not all was smooth, but how can you not love a woman who trusted you enough to go work with beautiful strippers every night, and would kiss you after eating tuna? However, as we got more serious she said that the life I was leading was not conducive (another SAT word) to raising a family, but I still did not know what to do. Alicia said, “Every year you go back to camp, you love kids, go be a teacher!” My reply, “Those people don’t make any money!” However, Alicia and I moved in, she worked full-time and I went to school to finish up, and became a teacher. She has sacrificed so much for our family and always supported my goals. Things were good, we were engaged, and were going to marry as soon as I got tenure.
However, I did three leave replacements in a row and was in a bad car accident in my second year of teaching. When I finally got my second year in a row in Roosevelt we got married in 2003, not waiting for tenure. We had Aidan in 2005. However, we had both become morbidly obese. We had developed poor eating habits, and a very sedate lifestyle. Alicia realized this bad road we were on, and what had to be done for us to be around for our son. She called me while I was away with the camp in Boston. I was literally sitting on the Green Monster in Fenway when she called and said, “I am going on this journey, I will love you whether you do this with me or not, but I think together is better.” I agreed. Alicia has always taken up what I loved, she asked me to teach her how to bowl, and she became an All-American, I taught her to play poker, she can play with any one. I have never seen anyone pick up stuff so easily. So when she set out our weight loss plans I was “all-in”. She took me to the hills and convinced me to finally do them by saying, “I have always done what you liked…I want you to try this!” How could I say “no”? I will not ever say I love running, or even like it. However, there is a great sense of accomplishment every time I complete them; and even greater pride when Aidan does them. However, my biggest pride comes from watching the woman who saved my life, and that is not hyperbole (Literary device), finish every run, meet every new challenge, and inspire Aidan and I to be better than even we think we can be. In addition, she has inspired so many others.
Well, that is a brief glimpse into the man behind the camera and Ali’s husband. I could have prattled on much more, but if you made it this far, I will not torture you any more…today! I hope you enjoy my week!

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