A real home­town hero

New­ton High grad run­ning with pur­pose “W

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - By Rachel Oswald

He­roes are all around us. Take a mo­ment and get to know your neigh­bor if you don’t al­ready, you might be sur­prised at what you find.

Take Me­lanie Jones for ex­am­ple. Be­ly­ing her pe­tite frame, this New­ton High School Class of 1998 grad­u­ate has more nerve and vigor in her than a man twice her size.

At the age of 27 she has al­ready com­pleted three full­marathons (26.2 miles) and five half- marathons ( 13.1) miles. She com­pleted her fifth half-marathon yes­ter­day, run­ning in the At­lanta Half-

e’re chang­ing lives all the time, our own and the peo­ple we’ll never meet. I think that’s the neat­est part of the pro­gram.”

Me­lanie Jones

Marathon Run­ner

ed to fund­ing blood can­cer re­search, ed­u­ca­tion and pa­tient ser­vices. Since it was founded in 1949, the so­ci­ety has raised more than $550.8 mil­lion for blood can­cer re­search.

Team In Train­ing is one of the world’s largest en­durance sports train­ing pro­grams. Par­tic­i­pants take part in half­marathons, marathons, triathlons and cen­tury (100-mile) bike rides. Ev­ery year Team In Train­ing trains 1,000 ath­letes through­out Ge­or­gia ac­cord­ing to Jones. Marathon with her hus­band Jeremy.

Most of the marathons Jones — who now lives in Vir­ginia High­lands — has com­pleted have been for char­ity. A Team In Train­ing Co­or­di­na­tor for The Leukemia & Lym­phoma So­ci­ety, Jones works with novice and ex­pe­ri­enced marathon run­ners who are run­ning to raise fund­ing and aware­ness for blood can­cer re­search.

Ac­cord­ing to the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s Web site, The Leukemia & Lym­phoma So­ci­ety is the world’s largest vol­un­tary health or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cat-

She and her hus­band re­cently bought and in­stalled a tank-less hot wa­ter heater, which con­serves wa­ter by heat­ing it on-de­mand — or when­ever the faucet runs.

Like Ve­li­o­tis, Waller saves wa­ter by plac­ing buck­ets in her shower as well as plac­ing a bowl in her sink to catch run-off from rins­ing dishes or veg­eta­bles with which she wa­ters her plants.

Even cooled wa­ter from steam­ing veg­etable for din­ner goes into the gar­den.

Waller and her hus­band have also be­gun tak­ing “navy show­ers” — or wet­ting one’s hair and body, turn­ing off the wa­ter to soap up and then rins­ing.

“We’ve started tim­ing our­selves,” Waller said, “and we have the wa­ter run­ning in the shower for about two min­utes.”

She said she finds it fun to try to beat her record.

Ve­li­o­tis sug­gested only wash­ing the re­ally dirty parts in the shower.

Un­til a cou­ple of weeks ago, Robert Floyd of New­born did not know the def­i­ni­tion of a “navy shower.”

Af­ter speak­ing with some­one about how his well is cur­rently dry­ing up, he was asked if he knew what the term meant — to which he replied no.

When the per­son told him what the term meant, he just laughed and shook his head.

“We’ve been do­ing that for years,” Floyd said. “That’s our nor­mal rou­tine.”

As a fa­ther of five, Floyd has al­ways known his well’s lim­i­ta­tions.

His fam­ily takes short show­ers, no one washes a car at the home and they find the wa­ter pres­sure at ho­tels amaz­ing and a lux­ury.

The Floyd fam­ily too has been con­serv­ing wa­ter long be­fore Gov. Sonny Per­due de­clared the north­ern third of the state in a level 4 drought and man­dat­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties cut wa­ter us­age by 10 per­cent from this time last year.

“The wa­ter ta­ble has re­ally been go­ing down,” Floyd said, “and that’s not some­thing that’s hap­pened in the last six months. It’s re­ally been go­ing on for about two years.”

Waller said her or­ga­ni­za­tion’s po­si­tion has be­come in­te­gral in mak­ing peo­ple aware of what they can do to save wa­ter. She said small ef­forts in ev­ery home will make a big dif­fer­ence

“It has al­ways been our ef­fort to ed­u­cate peo­ple,” Waller said, “but in this wa­ter sit­u­a­tion it’s gone be­yond per­sonal choice be­cause when one of us runs out of wa­ter, we’re all go­ing to run out of wa­ter.

“So, I’m hop­ing peo­ple will take the tips to heart.”

Ve­li­o­tis said cit­i­zens should prac­tice wa­ter con­ser­va­tion even if the drought ends and it rains all win­ter be­cause there could al­ways be a next time.

She said it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber both the Earth and the hu­man body are ap­prox­i­mately 70 per­cent wa­ter. She thinks there is some­thing fas­ci­nat­ing and beau­ti­ful in that par­al­lel and ev­ery­thing should be done to main­tain it.

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

The gold: Cov­ing­ton na­tive Me­lanie Jones proudly shows off her medals from the 2007 New York Marathon, the 2007 ING Ge­or­gia Marathon and the 2006 Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.