Print page

Racing Toward His Dream

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rod Crowley RunningWith a burning desire to fulfill his athletic potential, Rod Crowley decided it was time to passionately embrace a healthier, stronger and more meaningful life. So he charged ahead, taking control of his destiny like never before. And with his participation in Polk State College Foundation’s third annual Joggin’ for the Noggin 5k, Rod is gratified that he will be running, in spirit, alongside students who are also chasing their dreams of a bright future.

It’s the knowledge that this exciting event will benefit Polk State scholarships and programs on the Lakeland campus, transforming the lives of so many, that drove this seasoned runner to literally sprint to the Polk State College Foundation website and become the first person to secure a slot at the October 24th Halloween-themed, family friendly evening.

Crowley, who works at Southern Wine & Spirits in Lakeland, couldn’t wait to dive in and become part of the fun for the third year in a row.

“I think that it’s a wonderful cause to support Polk State College students, combined with the fact that it’s such an enjoyable event, with so many people in fun costumes having a great time. And it’s so well-organized – one of the best-organized events I’ve seen,” said Rod.

Rod’s passion for supporting education goes hand-in-hand with his own journey of chasing after his goals. He recalls how, with iron-willed determination and sweat, he mastered the task of training to become a runner, evolving from the beginning stages to becoming an accomplished marathon participant.

“I originally started running back in college just to get in shape and lose some weight,” he explained.

“Over the years, I participated in various runs for fun. I’ve always had ability and aptitude for running, but I never really reached my full potential,” he added.

Then in 2007, Rod found out that his cholesterol level was abnormally high. He realized it was time to make a major and permanent life change that would transform both his physical shape and his overall health.

“I decided it was time to really take back control of my life, get serious about it and start to train. I went from every once in awhile maybe placing in a race to fairly regularly doing that just as a result of the success that I had,” he said.

And as those successes kept building, Rod’s determination grew stronger, and he discovered the exhilaration of pushing himself to higher and higher levels of ability. He experienced the physical and emotional well-being that came from shedding sixty pounds, reducing his cholesterol level to normal, and vastly improving his physical fitness.

“I really love that feeling of running, and I have an inner motivation to do well in competition and races, so that’s really the driving force for me, as well as just generally feeling better, keeping in shape and maintaining my weight loss,” he said.

Rod is passionate about encouraging people of all ages and abilities to discover the glowing feeling of well-being and accomplishment – and pure fun — that running, jogging and walking can bring. “The local running community and the host of charitable causes that you can donate towards or ways you can help out as a result of being involved is just huge. I really find that it’s second to none in the quality of the running community, and in the support that is out there for anyone looking to become connected and get started,” said Rod.

What keeps Rod charging ahead towards that finish line, time and time again?

“When I have a competition on the calendar and I’m looking forward to that excitement of running, it really motivates me to go out there and prepare and achieve my goal!” he said.

That anticipation to join others in the fun of the run is contagious for the hundreds of enthusiastic participants who have enjoyed Joggin’ for the Noggin 5k for the last couple of years.

Please join Rod and many other of your community members on Friday, October 24, 2014 for this joyous occasion that you won’t want to miss!

To register, please click here for printable registration form, complete and bring it with you to the event!

— Race Starts – 6:30pm
— Monster Mash and Awards – immediately following race until 8:00pm.

Description: The 3rd Annual Joggin’ for the Noggin! 5k presented by Regal Automotive Group benefits Polk State College students and promises to be a fun and SCARY, Halloween themed race – because Polk County would be a SCARY place without Polk State. Run, jog, walk – this 3.1 mile race or 1 mile walk includes gravel road, grass and a trek on the Fort Fraser Trail. This race will be chip timed and awards will be presented to the top 3 in standard 5-year age groups, overall male and female, masters and grand masters. Runners are encouraged to wear costumes. Be prepared to be SCARED. The run will feature zombies on the trail to add pep to your steps. This is a family friendly race and will include spooky and fun activities for all ages.  Great food for race participants.  Adult and children’s costume contest will take place during the Monster Mash. Proceeds from Joggin’ for the Noggin! 5k will benefit student scholarships and programs on the Lakeland campus.

• Packet Pickup at FITniche Lakeside Village on 10/23/2014 from 10:00am – 8:00pm.
• Day of Registration is from 5:30 – 6:15pm and day of packet pickup.
• Race begins promptly at 6:30pm.  Entrances to the college will be closed by 6:25pm.
• Monster Mash and Awards following race.