Margaret Vimont, JCFS Assistant Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, is a fourth degree black belt. She began training in martial arts 20 years ago. After her mentor and instructor, Master Han, passed away, Margaret brought her training and the value of inclusivity that she learned from Master Han to the JCFS Group Homes, where she began to teach Tae Kwon Do. In 2010, building on the model of inclusivity, Margaret and a team of volunteers launched Family Commons, an inclusive family recreation program that offers sports, mind-body classes, therapeutic arts, healthy cooking, and life skills classes to children with and without disabilities and adults. Family Commons became so popular that it expanded to two evenings a week. It goes without saying that Margaret is running for Family Commons.
Although Margaret has never run a marathon, she has run many shorter races and participated in triathlons. Margaret trains with her friend, and fellow Team JCFS member, Susan Walter. They enjoy running outdoors in all types of weather. When not busy with work, Tae Kwon Do, or running, Margaret enjoys scuba diving with her husband in Chicago and on tropical islands, cooking, doing hot yoga, and teaching IMPACT Women's Self Defense courses.
Each year I try to do at least one thing that, when I think about it rationally, doesn’t seem really possible and that scares me a bit. This certainly qualifies. And, my friend Susan said, “Don’t you want to be able to brag about doing a marathon when we’re sitting on a porch someday, two uppity old ladies boring the young folks with tales from our past?”
What program are you running/walking for?
How does JCFS Redefine What’s Possible? or Describe one moment when you knew that your work with JCFS made a difference in someone’s life?
When I am teaching martial arts in the Family Commons program, we have promotion tests four times a year. Part of the test is showing that your techniques have power by breaking a board. There is a certain look that comes on the face of students, doubtful that the board is going to break, once they’ve gone through it. In that moment, what seemed impossible turned out to be possible, and you can see the wonder of that spread all over them. If this was possible, what else might be?
What will you be thinking about at mile 20?
That it is mostly a mental decision to finish this $%@#! thing, not a physical one.
What food will you hunt down after the race to replenish those 2600 calories?
Chocolate peanut butter milk shake.
What do you love about running/walking?
It metabolizes stress, cleans out my mind and detoxes my attitude so that I can take on the challenges life keeps bringing!