Store News

Life is Good
By: Kelly Hendrix
Manager, New Balance Milwaukee – Greenfield

Each year, Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend brings athletes to Florida for four fun races. Runners glide through Walt Disney World® Theme Park, meeting well-loved Disney characters along the way, in what is called "the most magical race on earth!"

Kelly Hendrix, manager of New Balance Milwaukee in Greenfield, has run the Disney Marathon and Half Marathon before, and this year, she participated in both to honor her first Disney races with a beloved friend 10 years ago.

 

"If you think 26.2 miles is hard, you should try chemo" was the simple statement on the back of a T-shirt I saw while running the Disney World Marathon this past weekend. The caption hung above the photo of a little girl named Caitlin. She had wires and tubes all over her, and she had a pink bow covering her bald head. What struck me most about the photo was the giant smile on her face. I spoke for a few moments with the man running ,and he said Caitlin was the "strongest person (he) knew hands down, present company included." We were surrounded by seasoned marathon runners and people who are known for their strength and conditioning.


I ran the next couple miles looking around and thinking about the different reasons people do the things we do. Thinking, 'What inspires you?' I slowed down and began talking to other runners to find out why they were there. The people towards the front of the race were there for no other reason than to run; they were there to get a personal best. They eat, sleep and breathe running. Towards the back of the pack of more than 20,000 runners, I spoke with Leonard, who was running the marathon on his 70th birthday "to see if (he) would survive it." He did. I saw him with his daughter at the finish line. I spoke with Mary, whose sister passed away the previous year. She and some friends were raising money for the family by fundraising per mile they completed as a team.


The reason I was crazy enough to run 39.3 miles, a half marathon Saturday and a full marathon Sunday, after seven years of not running in any major distance races, is because it was the 10-year anniversary of the first time I went to Disney to run the Half Marathon with someone who would become my personal hero.


In 2005 I had the honor of running the Disney World Half Marathon with Rick Davis, a stroke survivor. During our year of training I watched him struggle with the complete paralysis on his left side. He could neither pick up his left foot nor swing his left arm to help his running. I broke into tears, along with everyone else, when he ran across the finish line at 13.1 miles in just under four hours, which was what it took him to walk three miles when we first started training.


In the 10 years I've known Rick and his family, he and his wife Nancy continue to inspire me with their way of thinking and living. Although he is still paralyzed on his left side, he and Nancy travel extensively, spending time with friends and family around the world. They constantly have a sunny outlook, even when life is challenging, and end every Facebook post, even the ones talking about his recent surgeries to repair a torn quadriceps tendon, with "Life is good."


I wanted to honor his struggle and celebrate his achievements by taking part in the race that was the first major step back towards regaining his strength and health after his stroke. Being back in Disney brought back all the memories I made the first time, and I felt Rick's spirit with me through every mile.


As I crossed the finish line after running 39.3 miles, I flashed back to 10 years ago crossing the same line with Rick. I temporarily forgot about all the stress and strain of daily life, and I forgot about the pain in my body that inevitably happens with aging. Instead, I thought "Life is good."


To see photos of Kelly at Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend, visit http://www.stansfootwear.com/blog/life-good/

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Check out this article about our Greenfield Manager Kelly Hendrix and her training for the Tough Mudder -
Click here

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New Balance of Greenfield & Brookfield

Together with Stan's Fit For Your Feet
Win Riley Award for Outstanding Community Work


Please visit the video about this great honor.

GREENFIELD, Wis. – The Sajdak family, owners of the New Balance Stores of Greenfield and Brookfield, as well as the Stan's Fit For Your Feet shoe stores in Brookfield, Glendale and Greenfield, were recently honored with the New Balance Athletic Shoe Company's Riley Award.

The annual award recognizes a few select New Balance store owners in the U.S. and Canada who offer outstanding in-store experiences in addition to being an active partner in the community in which they serve. Recipients who are recognized by their peers for this honor go the extra mile to help their customers.

The Sajdaks, and their two New Balance stores and three Stan's Fit For Your Feet stores, were recognized for their creation of the Share-A-Pair Shoe Drive, which over the past five years has collected over 140,000 pairs of new and gently used shoes. The shoes are then distributed to the needy at Father Gene's Help Center in West Allis; Repairers of the Breach Homeless Day Shelter in Milwaukee; and Soles4Souls, a national organization that provides shoes to less-fortunate people around the world. The stores were also recognized for their local involvement in Race for the Cure; Girls on the Run; Brigg's & Al's Run and Walk for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin; and for helping to fund the of cost of school supplies for the school located within Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

"This national recognition from New Balance is a huge honor for our fourth-generation family-owned business," said Jim Sajdak, president of the New Balance Greenfield and Brookfield stores and all Stan's Fit For Your Feet locations. "Our family has been in the shoe business in Milwaukee for 62 years with our Stan's locations and for 12 years with our New Balance stores. We pride ourselves on making it part of our mission to help those who are less fortunate. It's our way of giving back to the community that has supported our businesses for so many years."

The New Balance Company Riley Award has been in existence for five years. It is named after the founder of New Balance — an English doctor William Riley — who started the New Balance Arch Company in Boston in 1906, to help people with problem feet.

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