Saturday Spotlight – Paul Melton (2/22/20)

Saturday Spotlight

Name: Paul Melton

Age: 41

Marital Status: Married 10 years

Children: Brianna (7 years) & John (6 months)

Pets: Black Lab Mix (Bailey)

Occupation: Senior Caseworker (Suffolk DSS)

Hobbies: Sports, gambling, and quoting Seinfeld too much.

Hometown: Middle Island

Current: Yaphank

I must start by saying thank you to Lou for asking me to be the WOTW, even though it took a few deferments. imagine that this will be a fairly boring one, but here we go…

I am youngest of three children (1 brother & 1 sister). My parents separated when I was about 6 years-old. Despite this, I would say that I had a very happy childhood. My patents did a great job with the children after the separation, never having said a bad word about the other to us and were always very active parents that worked together to raise us. Their strength, love, and support are examples of what I want to be for my kids.

Growing up, I was very active in sports. I played organized football and baseball for many years. When I was not at practice or games, I would likely be playing pick-up games with the neighborhood kids. I feel very lucky to may have grown up in the last generation where kids were given a lot of freedom…you were out most of the day, getting dirty, grass stains on your jeans, drinking from hoses, and would just have to be have to be home for dinner (when the street lights came on).

In school, I wasn’t in any particular clique, I was always just “me”. I never really tried to fit in but was not a rebel or a loner either. Now, I would be lying if I said that I was always good. I did my share of stupid things, and yada yada yada can tell you how it feels to be handcuffed at 3am (not in the good way ). I had a wide variety of friends with hugely different interests, experiencing the good and bad in life; but I wouldn’t take it back even if I could.

After high school I went to college and graduated from SUNY Oswego. Upon returning home I was introduced to my wife though a mutual friend at a bar. There was an instant connection, although we started out as friends and we kept growing closer until there was no stopping it, and we have been together ever since…She even was cool with dragging my feet to propose for about 5 years. We now have 2 wonderful children and feel blessed every day.

If you notice the gap in age of our children, we were only planning on having 1. Then on a day I will never forget, November 30, 2018, my father passed from heart failure. Me and my siblings were by his side when he left us. That was the hardest thing I ever had to deal but was grateful to have them. After that I gained a different perspective and realize how important family is. 2 weeks later my son was conceived, who is named after his grandfather.

On to running…I was never a “runner”. I would just do a few miles here and there get some cardio but never ran over 5 miles. Now, fast forward to 2016, a friend/co-worker wanted to get a group together for one of the events in the Suffolk Marathon that was being sponsored by our union. He e-mailed a bunch of us to gauge interest, which I later learned he was thinking about everyone doing the 5k, but I jokingly replied, “half marathon, right”. It spiraled from there and about a month or 2 later, with only a few practice runs, I did my first half marathon with a 2:28 (I have a few choices for the “what was I thinking” post about this one). With similar preparation, I did the half marathon again for the 2017 Suffolk Marathon with a similar result of about 2:26. I would probably have done the same thing for the 2018, except I was introduced to the Hills by Nancy Haddock. She asked me to run a trail race (Amazing Race) with her, however, the only catch was that I needed to be a member of her new running group. So, on a Sunday morning in March, 2018, I did my first classic. It only made it half way up Adirondack before thinking to myself that I would never do this again. (It took me a few runs before I stopped thinking that.) After this, I started to do the hills more and more, and ran my first sub 2 hour in October of the same year, which was mostly because of the hills training.

I am truly in awe of this amazing community and honored to be a member of it.

Hope this wasn’t too long