Friday, April 10, 2009

Local Realtor Goes Extra Mile for Kids

By Patrick Truscott, Desert REALTOR® Editor
C.D.A.R. REALTOR® Member Jon Caruana, himself originally from Boston, is planning a return to Beantown this month to compete in the Boston Marathon. Jon’s marathon motivation isn’t just exercise: It’s an effort to raise a healthy sum for the HOPSports program, a very timely cause that “endeavors to improve children’s health and fitness,” says Jon.
“It’s hard to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” says the already-fit Jon of his upcoming 26 mile run. “Not everybody’s accepted and it helps (in qualifying) to be involved in a charity.” And, with 1 out of 3 American kids now overweight, the endeavor Jon’s volunteering for is particularly timely: “The HOPSports program is a unique sports program in that it travels to inner cities and provides kids with healthy activities, helping their self esteem and keeping them out of trouble. These kids are our future caregivers, firefighters, and police. The program is a smart investment.”
The innovative HOPSports program goes beyond just encourages physical activity in today’s youth. Through its innovative blend of activates such as dance, sport, tumbling and martial arts, it endeavors to educate kids on energy and nutrition. And more than a sports program, HOPSports also uses athletes and celebrities to motivate and educate kids while relaying positive societal messaging.
Running a marathon requires gobs of commitment: “I’ve been preparing for a long time,” says Jon of his marathon training efforts. “I ran in the recent Palm Springs Half Marathon and I’ve been trying to run at least 50-60 miles a week.” A typical run? Just a little jaunt, say, “from Bermuda Dunes to Rancho Mirage.” And, while there in Rancho Mirage, this marathoner figures he may as well “hike the Bump and Grind.”
The biggest challenge in training for a 26 mile run? “Keeping your mind motivated while running. Your mind is telling you to give up; you’ve got to focus in the moment, don’t think ahead and to get through it. I’m not trying to break records.” When asked if there’s anything more exhausting than running 26 straight miles, Jon laughs “Sure. Being a REALTOR®. Showing property can be more exhausting than running 15 miles.”
For Jon Caruana, C.D.A.R.’s running REALTOR® whose post-marathon plans simply include returning to the desert “with its relaxed atmosphere and weather,” today’s planning, training, and fundraising isn’t labor so much as a mission: “To run in the Boston Marathon and do it for a good cause; that’s the icing on the cake.”