Saturday Spotlight- Nancy Haddock

Name: Nancy Haddock
Age: 43
Hometown: Selden
Current town: Selden
Family: married to my high school sweetheart Andrew;
2 children: Justin (7); Brendan (3)
Occupation: Casework supervisor (Suffolk County DSS)
Favorite song: pretty much anything Dave Matthews

Ok let’s get this started. To begin, thanks Lou for asking me to be WOTW! I recall answering very enthusiastically “yes”! And then the nerves set in and I kept thinking “what the heck am I going to write about”? So here it goes…

I was raised in a pretty “typical” household. My dad owned a deli and my mom was a registered nurse who worked part time until my youngest brother was in school. I am the oldest of 3 with a sister Colleen and brother Michael. I lived in West Babylon until I was 11 when my parents moved us to Selden. The transition to a new school at that age was tough. Kids already had their core group and I had to make my way in. Thankfully I’m not overly shy and eventually the girls in my classroom became friendly to me. It helped that I liked Bon Jovi LoL. In hindsight those few months of trying to fit in with new people were brief. But just like any phase we go through, it feels like an eternity when you’re in the thick of it.

Growing up I wasn’t involved in organized sports. Well unless you count dance (ballet, tap, jazz) as a sport. Some do, some don’t. I danced from age 3 until I was 16. I loved it and I am forever grateful that my parents were willing to spend their hard earned money for me to dance several days a week. And those costumes and dance recital tickets! I wasn’t a great dancer so they knew it wouldn’t be a career for me, but being a parent now, I am sure they just wanted me involved in something good and positive. I also did gymnastics briefly but when given the choice to continue dance or stay with gymnastics, I chose dance.

In 8th grade I had a rough year. Middle school in general can be so hard for kids to navigate. And girls can be so mean. This next part ended up being a blessing though it won’t sound like it. A girl pushed me from behind and this rage came out of me. I turned around and slugged her. Yep, that’s right. Little 4’11” me…hit someone. We brawled right there in the hallway. I laugh about it now because it’s not something anyone would picture from me! I remember the school social worker having us sit in different offices while they called both of our parents to the school. I am quite sure my mother thought they must have had the wrong kid. But she arrived and there I was…with tear stains on my cheeks feeling ashamed. I was not that kid….ever! I was the kid my parents didn’t have to worry about. I was the responsible one. The one who got good grades and followed the rules. In case you’re wondering, after that incident I went back to being the responsible one. And the school had this bright idea to put me and the girl I fought in the same room to talk. While we didn’t say a word at first, eventually we did talk. We sorted out the issue that put us in the situation we were in and all seemed right with the world after that. See…blessing 😊

The following school year was high school and I was enrolled in Mercy High School in Riverhead. I was raised Catholic and we attended church every Sunday so going to a catholic school really wasn’t a big deal to me. It was much smaller than the public high school. My graduating class was 106 students. I loved high school despite taking a bus for nearly an hour to get there lol. In my sophomore year I was fortunate enough to make friends with some upper class men and once they started driving I’d get rides to school. I also tried out for cheerleading and made the team. I had no interest in other sports for whatever reason. I’d see people running track, playing soccer, field hockey, etc. and coming back to the locker room all sweaty and always thought “yuck, why would anyone do that”? Seems I was perhaps too vain to even consider playing actual sports where people run around. So cheerleading was my thing. I was always the small kid in school so I spent a lot of time at the top of a pyramid or waving pom poms while cheering for the basketball and football teams.

Fast forward a bit to around 2007ish. By this time I was married and had completed college and grad school and was working for the county. Ultimately not my goal (I went to school to be a reading teacher) but things happened and that goal of being a teacher didn’t pan out. My sister had joined a gym in Selden called Koga Fitness and talked a lot about this “Koga” workout that I had to try. I went and since I had never done any type of class other than step aerobics in my house (haha remember that?) I was so sore the next day. I actually found the warmup to be a challenge 😳. But I went back and joined the gym. I became hooked very quickly. I absolutely loved pushing myself harder and that feeling of accomplishment when the class was over. Just like any exercise routine though, the body plateaus. I needed more. As I left the class one night I decided to stop at a treadmill and run a bit. I had no idea how to run. I know that sounds dumb, but really there’s a lot more to it than I ever knew. So I basically ran as far as I could and tried to increase my speed as I much as I could. I would run for 30 minutes after each class 3-4 days a week. I was losing weight I didn’t have to lose and never knew enough to increase my caloric intake. Some friends and family thought I had a problem. I didn’t. I just really enjoyed the classes and running. And by this time in life, I didn’t mind getting sweaty!
I ran my first 5k, the Bellport Clipper Classic, I think in 2008. Sad I don’t recall the year for sure. I ran it alone with no one waiting at the finish line. It was a weird feeling because I saw people all around me high fiving each other as they crossed the finish line and there was me. Alone. I went home right after after the race feeling accomplished to some degree. I completed an actual race against other people. At that point I had only run on the treadmill because I felt running on the road was intimidating. I mean, people would see me running…. So ridiculous I know.

I’ve been running on and off since then (on the road!) I joined the SHW to challenge myself. I had seen the red shirts at various races and was curious. I had no idea people ran those hills that my dad used to drive as if it were a roller coaster ride in his little Datsun. He’d even let one of us kids sit on his lap as he cruised over Adirondack. Mom would not have approved 🙈. There were no stop signs at the top of any hill back then and we (my dad included) failed to see the inherent risk in what we were doing.
When I sent a request on FB to join, I got a message from Lou saying quite simply, you just have to run the 10k course and you’re in! He told me about the group run on Sunday morning. This was on like a Friday and I was thinking no way that’s just too soon! I needed to mentally prepare myself right?! He messaged me the following week to remind me about Sunday and for whatever reason I felt like I couldn’t let him down LOL! So I went. On a rainy, chilly November morning. And a Sunday no less! As I pulled out of my driveway I kept thinking I was insane for doing this. I was never one to run in any type of “weather”. But I did it and got my sticker. The rest they say is history. I have made the leaderboard every month this year and I do hope to continue that. This past year I’ve been running more consistently and have no plans to stop any time soon. I also usually take Koga classes 2 days a week. It’s great cross training. I’m thinking that’s enough of me rambling for now. I’m looking forward to sharing more with all of you this week. Thanks for reading