Friend­ship a perk of Java Jog­gers group

The Covington News - - The second front - DANIELLE EVER­SON deverson@cov­news.com

What started off as a morn­ing work­out turned into a friend­ship for two mem­bers of the Cov­ing­ton Y.

Loy Turner and Donna McDaniel said they be­came friends while run­ning with a group called Java Jog­gers.

Java Jog­gers was started by Ja­son Wil­liams, an em­ployee at the Y, in Jan­uary. The group would meet early on Tues­day and Thurs­day morn­ings at the Y and then go for a run. That’s where Turner and McDaniel said they met each other for the first time.

“We started off as a group of about five or six,” Turner said. “Some peo­ple in our group, their jobs changed and Ja­son [had other du­ties with] the Na­tional Guard. So it was just me and Donna who con­tin­ued on through the sum­mer.”

McDaniel said she has been run­ning for about 30 years — run­ning on her lunch breaks at her job, but had got­ten lack­adaisi­cal about run­ning un­til she dis­cov­ered Java Jog­gers.

“I wasn’t do­ing it as much as I wanted to or I use to. One morn­ing I saw this poster at the Y and it said they ran early in the morn­ings,” McDaniel said. “My hus­band, [who] passed away a few months ago, was hav­ing a lot of health prob­lems and I knew I didn’t like to be away from home that much,” she said. “I thought that if I joined them, [it] would make me go run more.”

The two ladies have been run­ning ever since. They both said they de­pend on each other to keep go­ing and meet­ing each other has been a great for their work­out.

“She’s my ac­count­abil­ity part­ner when it comes to run­ning,” Turner said. “I think that’s so im­por­tant be­cause some­times you have those days that you don’t want to go to the gym, you don’t want to take that walk or run. It’s nice that there is some­one wait­ing on you [and] count­ing on you to be there for them and vice versa.”

McDaniel said when Wil­liams left to ful­fill du­ties with the Na­tional Guard, Turner quickly stepped up as a leader and it has al­lowed her to get to know Turner bet­ter.

“It kind of got down to just the two of us. As we ran, we started talk­ing and I knew I’ve known her par­ents and I knew her in-laws through my job I use to work on, but I re­ally didn’t get to know her. I have got­ten to know her and I’m old enough to be her mother. I have en­joyed run­ning with her. She’s just been a de­light,” McDaniel said.

Turner said she has also en­joyed build­ing a friend­ship with McDaniel. She said she thinks McDaniel is more of a leader than she is.

“She’s an in­spi­ra­tion to me. I’m 37 and she started run­ning when she was my age. She’s a men­tor and a friend and I re­ally look to her a lot. I don’t think about run­ning with­out think­ing about her,” Turner said.

Turner said it is im­por­tant to have a part­ner or friend while run­ning or do­ing any ex­er­cise, while McDaniel said ex­er­cis­ing it­self is im­por­tant be­cause it helps you get through life.

“It keeps you go­ing,” Turner said. It’s the ac­count­abil­ity and the sup­port that you get from work­ing out with some­body. It’s like you’ve got your own cheer­leader right be­side you be­cause they’re try­ing to ac­com­plish the same thing and you kind of feed off each other.”

“The ex­er­cise does help you men­tally as well as phys­i­cally,” McDaniel said. “Not only did I need that phys­i­cal ex­er­cise af­ter [my hus­band] died I need that men­tal ex­er­cise too. I think it’s just re­ally helped me make the ad­just­ment. Ex­er­cise does not take care of any prob­lem but it makes you more able to take care of any­thing.”

Turner said she hopes more peo­ple join the Y and be­come a part of Java Jog­gers. She said if she did not join, she would have never met McDaniel, which she de­scribed as “a good thing.”

pho­tos sub­mit­ted by Ka­cie Brown of the Y

The Y is a place for peo­ple to get in shape and make friends. (Above) Loy Turner and Donna McDaniel met through the morn­ing run­ning group Java Jog­gers.

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