Name: Victor Pajonas
Hometowns: Elmont/Valley Stream
Current Town: Seaford (22 years)
Marital Status: Married (Suzy)
Children: Samantha (21) & Victor (20)
Occupation: Title Insurance
I just got back from an easy 10k run in Merrick at Levy – the dump.
It was very nice to spend an hour with two very good friends that I would never have known if I didn’t run. Lou gave me many months notice for today, but here I am writing this up fresh and still sweaty.
I am the oldest in the family and there’s 7 of us now. You would think my parents would have stopped after my birth. When I was two years old, a surgeon removed and transplanted a few of my neck muscles. They tell me I was in a body cast during that whole summer. Throughout my life I have looked at this procedure as both absolutely nothing & a major event.
Growing up I was told to go outside and play. I rode my bicycle all over town and played baseball in the street. My parents convinced the Little League to allow me on the team with my classmates in second grade despite some strange birthday cutoff that I missed. This is where I first began to run! There’s an old motivational tactic in baseball fielding practice called TAKE A LAP. They hit the ball to you and if you catch it, you throw it back. If you missplay the ball, you TAKE A LAP. I became a runner by way of baseball, taking many laps. When my family moved I started playing soccer. This also helped me to run. Eventually I joined the JH track team. I ran winter indoor track and spring outdoor track. It was a very small team and the coach had me running the 880. This is a long time ago folks as the 880 yards would become the 800 meters around this same time. There were usually two people in each race and I would either win or lose. There was nobody in third place.
The next 10 years of my life can be summed up as follows: Work & College
My wife & I met when we were 27 – she’s 17 days older which is kinda cute. By 1998 we had our two kids and Suzy suggested we join the local gym so she could shake the baby weight. Great idea! It was difficult for me carrying two kids at the same time and I wanted to lift some weights. We would go to the gym and spend about 20-30 minutes on cardio and 20-30 minutes weight training. I was hoping to become a big strong guy instead of the weakling that I always saw myself as. To grow muscle you need to eat! Eventually I reached my life goal of weighing 200 pounds! Yes! No! All of my clothes were getting tight.
For the first time in my life I wanted to lose weight. I’m not sure anyone loses weight playing golf, but it’s a beautiful frustrating sport. Next up was kickboxing. Wow. I lost weight and was getting stronger, but there were just too many injuries. At the same time, a group of people at my job in the city started running the JPM Corporate Challenge. It was a fun night out – we would go out to dinner afterwards! With a few months notice I set to work running. I could run maybe half of a mile, but then I would walk – and then run some more. In 2011 a few people suggested we run the 2012 Long Island Half Marathon. Wow! That’s crazy. We had about 8 months to train….I had better get started. So that’s my story. None of the people at my job ran the half marathon except me that year. At some point I forgot what the goal was and just became a runner…and a triathlete…and then I ran the Selden Hills, but that’s a story for another day…