Saturday Spotlight – Meg Catapano (4/25/20)

Name: Meg Catapano

Age: 32

Marital Status: Married to Joe Catapano

Kids: 1 Son, Brooklyn Kennedy.

Occupation: Talent Engagement Officer and Adjunct Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Hobbies: Running, Decorating, Boating, Spending time outdoors with my family and working.

Hometown: Stony Brook, New York.Current Town: Setauket, New York.

College: Fashion Institute of Technology

Favorite Race: Hamptons Half Marathon

Frequent Running Spots: You can always find me on Old Field Road (anytime- day or night) or running through Strongs Neck.

It’s true, I called an Uber to bring me back to my car on my first hills run.Hi, I’m Meg!It’s a pleasure to be here and I am very grateful for the opportunity to share some short stories with you this week. SHW has made such an impact on my life in such a short amount of time.

I grew up in Stony Brook where I attended Ward Melville High School. Throughout High School I played Field Hockey, but never really pinned myself as the “athletic” type. I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology where I studied both Design and Marketing. For 12 years I lived in the city, just recently moving back to Setauket to raise a family.

After graduating from FIT I had the opportunity to work in PR and Events within the Fashion Industry and then the Hospitality industry. During my time in the hospitality industry I had the outstanding opportunity to become an owner/investor in a bar located in Midtown. For the past five years I have worked for an incredible organization where I’ve had the opportunity to lead their Talent Engagement department. Our team is a fusion of Events, Employee Engagement and Wellness.

I have the ability to integrate all of my passions into one career. Last spring I had the incredible opportunity to go back to FIT to start teaching their spring/summer courses for Special Events. During my 12 years in Manhattan, I worked a lot. I always ran but a mile here, or a mile there. My relaxation used to be running through Times Square at 1, 2 or 3 in the morning. It wasn’t until 2012 when I was asked to run a 10K race that my interest, err, fear was piqued.

I vividly remember running on the treadmill in our building overlooking the East River wondering how I could ever finish that long of a race. That initial race lit the fire for my passion of running that would be fueled by intrinsic motivation and just a little bit of craziness.I had heard about the hills a few times but it wasn’t until this past July that I texted a good friend and asked her if she would be interested in running them with me. I figured “What’s the big deal”? I’ve run hills before…how hard could it be? Reached Rosemont. Called an Uber.

Pride Took Over. Canceled Uber. Walked back to the car in shame. Feaverish texts were sent to my guides letting them know I was “just fine”. Err, lies. Something you should know about me, I am a quintessential A type individual. It haunted me (and I’m talking haunted me) for days and weeks that I couldn’t run that course perfectly. The morning of my 32nd birthday I woke up at 4 AM destined to prove something to someone and showed up for my very first Vampire Run. Cue the addiction.

Truth be told, anytime I run with a group I suffer from imposter syndrome, hence why I am so quiet when I run. I’m consistently so impressed by everyone’s skills and abilities. However, the group on the hills taught me it’s a lot more than being a fast runner or running it perfectly every time it’s about getting out there. The Hills helped me overcome some really wild times this past year. I look forward to sharing those stories with you this week and hearing from each of you! Thank you again for this opportunity!