Get to know Lisa Krejcik, longtime Dare2tri volunteer, guide, and handler as she provides answers for the Q&A below:
1. What’s your story/background?
I was born in New York, grew up in Michigan, and moved to Chicago in 2000 for a corporate job. In 2004, I quit my job to become an inner-city teacher. I've now been a teacher for nine years and changing careers was one of the best decisions of my life. When I moved here in 2000, I was a marathoner. I've completed three Chicago marathons and one Dublin marathon. In 2007, Chicago's craziest marathon due to the humidity, people passing out, etc - my friends asked me to find a new hobby. So, I came up with triathlons. I joined the Chicago Triathlon Club about four years ago and at one of the club's first meetings, I heard about a new group called dare2tri. It sounded like an amazing opportunity to get involved especially since it was brand new and needed new volunteers. The rest is history!
2. What is your specific involvement with dare2tri?
My most significant involvement with dare2tri has been the opportunity to guide many different dare2tri athletes. I usually complete the whole race with the athlete. I have been a handler at times, a volunteer speaker, and other various roles. My experience as a guide though has brought me great joy and honor.
3. How long have you been involved with dare2tri?
I have been involved since its beginning.
4. Why did you get involved with dare2tri?
I got involved with dare2tri because its mission spoke to me. While I love to do triathlons, I couldn't wait for the chance to help someone else fall in love with the sport, too. From the instant I met Keri, I knew this was going to be the 'place for me.' The dare2tri gang has become like a family to me - Keri, Melissa and Dan, to the athletes, and to the other volunteers. I feel like I'm surrounded by people that truly put other people first all the time.
5. Is there a specific moment while with dare2tri that sticks out in your mind? If so, what is it?
Wow, I've had so many incredible moments with different athletes, it's very difficult to pick out just one. For me, I think what's more important than just one moment are the friendships that I've built with the athletes I've guided. I trust Keri, Dan, and Melissa to pair me up with an athlete who they think needs me for a race. However, each time the coaches pair me up with a new athlete - it seems I gain a new friend, a new phone number in my contact list, and a new workout partner.
6. What would you like others to know about dare2tri?
I would like others to know that it's okay to ask questions and learn more about our dare2tri athletes. I think some people get intimidated or get nervous about saying the wrong thing to our athletes. The amazing athletes I've had the pleasure of working with or guiding are always willing to educate me on their needs, their history, and overall the commonalities that are shared.
7. What does dare2tri mean to you?
I can't begin to put into words my feelings for dare2tri and our family of athletes and volunteers. Our dare2tri community means so much to me. I may not see them everyday or every weekend, but when I do, I'm always greeted with a hug, a smile and positive energy. I've never met a more inspiring, loving and welcoming family.
8. Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am so proud to see how much dare2tri has grown! As one of their first volunteers, its been amazing to watch the growth of our group and to see the Chicago community become more familiar with our team.