Page 29 - Scene Magazine 45-02 February 2020
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missed her running comrades from high school, which made it difficult to find the motivation to run. She took a break for
a while but the excitement generated in the Berning household after Jordan and Emma finished the Kalamazoo Marathon last May. It has her back on track. “My entire family went to cheer them on and
it reminded me of that atmosphere that got me into running.” Hannah has set a goal to run a half-marathon in the spring and her competitive side doesn’t want to let Emma be the only girl in her family to complete a marathon. She is not commit- ted to a marathon at this time but it may be a possibility down the road.
The success that Emma has expe- rienced with running is what she loves most about the sport. She is good at it and the confidence motivates her to keep working. She would like to run another full marathon someday and try to create a better experience as well as running some half marathons. Sarah loves how running fuels her competitive side. Fin- ishing a race or workout gives her a great feeling of accomplishment. What Madi appreciates most about running is the family atmosphere that it promotes. Her siblings are her inspiration.
Even at such a young age these four sisters have words of advice for other runners or those interested in trying it for the first time. Hannah advises others to not let the distance or the thought of not being good enough discourage you from running. “I can remember that before my freshman year I almost choose golf over cross country. At the time I could never imagine myself running three miles, let alone running them fast and being good at it. But I decided to give cross country a shot and it was the best decision I ever made. Everything about the sport I fell in love with.”
Emma recommends to others that
if you like it just do it. “You just have to get past your wall and find cruise control for longer runs.” Sarah reminds other competitive runners to keep yourself calm mentally and emotionally. She recognizes this flaw in herself from last season and knows how important, but how difficult, it is to not get nervous before a race. Madi talks about never giving up as a runner. “If you are behind in a race and think you can’t catch up just keep pushing.”
Harper Creek cross country coach, Ryan Renner has enjoyed his years coaching this group of Berning kids and
will miss it when Madi graduates. He has many positive words for the girls and their parents. “Gary and Laurie are very supportive parents with Gary bringing with him a background as a cross coun- try runner. They both help to ensure their kids are always given every opportunity to perform their best. They are always there at every single race to support the teams.”
Coach Renner has seen the bene-
fits that this sibling rivalry has created through the years. “I think that each of the kids has prospered from those coming before. For example, Madi is the sixth Berning that I have coached. She had five older siblings who have talked about run- ning, who she has been able to watch, who have had success and failures that I’m sure have been talked about at home. The in-family competition has helped the kids find a little extra motivation.”
Laurie and Gary are nearing the end
of an era. The years spent watching each child participate in all sports and in par- ticular cross country have provided many joyful memories for them. Gary sounds like a former cross country runner with his analysis of the sport. “It’s the kind of sport where you know where you are at and you know what you need to do, which can dictate your training.” Laurie has never been a runner but as a spectator has the same passion for the sport that many runners have. “I love watching cross country and track. I love the fact that you can get better without waiting
to get in the game. There is no bench. We have been in the bleachers for over 18 years. I love the whole atmosphere.
All runners are cheered for first and last place. As a coach I would think that it would be the best thing to coach.”
Any parent who has watched a son or daughter perform as a high school athlete for multiple years knows the joy that comes from watching a child succeed
on the playing field but more importantly grow and mature as a person. Gary and Laurie have been blessed to experience this with nine children. The sibling relation- ships and interactions that athletics has enhanced amongst all of their children has added another element to what they have witnessed as parents. Team Berning is a great example of how athletics can ben- efit children as students and as human beings. I can’t think of a better way to experience the world of a student athlete than to share it with a sibling.
Fun With
Stocking Up For Recovery
focus on eating a little lighter. For this recipe you can use either low fat mayonnaise or perhaps a Greek yogurt to make the dressing fit your food goals.
Shrimp Tarragon Salad
• 6 cups of water
• 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
• 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
• One lemon, cut into slices
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 pounds medium frozen shrimp,
thawed and peeled
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon,
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 2 stalks celery, minced
• 4 shallots, minced
• 1 teaspoon each onion and garlic
• 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions: For shrimp, put water in large sauce pan and add tarragon sprigs, peppercorns, lemon slices, and one teaspoon salt. Bring just to a boil and then immedi- ately add the shrimp and remove from heat. Cover and let stand five minutes and then remove shrimp to a bowl filled with ice to cool. For dressing, whisk all the dressing in- gredients together and when shrimp has cooled, finely dice it and add to dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.
It is truly the New Year! My knee replacement recovery went well and I am back to regular activities. Now it’s time to

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