After being asked to write for the LS5K blog, I wondered how I would be able to describe the impact that running has had on my life to this point. I struggled how to convey that the essential part of my experiences has revolved around a team and community.
One day, as I was treating the shins of a high school runner in our Little Silver office, I looked over his shoulder where a picture hangs of my winning Stanford team from the Penn Relays. To my left, there was another photo of my sister and me as we victoriously approached the finish line in the high school Cross Country Meet of Champions. Careful not to ignore my patient while in this reminiscent state, I couldn't help but take a quick sneak-peek at the high school national distance medley relay winning singlet. The garment, signed by all my former winning teammates, was hanging on the wall behind me.
I call this "my room." If you have been to the Little Silver office, you know this. That too is another reason why this moment was particularly special. I don't often get an opportunity to reflect on the past and the impactful experiences that have gotten me to where I am today in the town where my journey began.
My journey went like this: I had a successful run as a track runner in high school. I was then treated by a world-renowned sports podiatrist in my hometown of Little Silver. I went off to compete at a great university on a scholarship. Then I finally returned home to model my career and to work with my mentor and caregiver, Dr. John Connors. What could be better? Combining two passions of mine and making a living doing it!
It was one of those moments where I took a second to say, "Wow! My accomplishments are something to celebrate." I had reservations in putting such large photos of me on the wall. I certainly didn't want to come across as a braggart being a relatively new physician in town. But these pictures are a celebration of a team, a community, and the risk-taking, accomplishments, satisfaction, and the glory that the sport of running yields.
With race day just one month away, I think back on my most memorable Little Silver 5K. I was a sophomore at RBR. I recall someone telling me that I had to "watch out for a young stud runner," a rising star in middle school, who was going present a serious challenge for me. Her name is Christina Nelson (now Friscia). Little did I know that this running phenom, my competitor at the time, would become one of my teammates, and one of my best friends. She was also a key member of our national record-breaking relay team in high school. Words can not describe the relationship formed by fighting and competing together as a team for the championships we won together.
When I think about the Little Silver 5k, I think about Christina. As running so often does, the race, against her at the time, allowed me to challenge myself, step to the line, and take risks. And, as running so often does, Christina provided me with lifelong friendship and the glorious, joyful memories that celebrate not only our team, but our coaches, school, and family.
When I stand in "my" exam room, surrounded by the pictures and memorabilia, I reflect on how grateful I am for the experiences like the Little Silver 5k that have put me here.
From the bottom of my heart, I wish all participants of the Little Silver 5k, the best of luck! Most importantly – please enjoy the ride!
By Kathleen Q. Trotter, DPM
Katy Trotter, DPM, is one of the most accomplished high school runners to ever come out of New Jersey. While attending Stanford University, Dr. Trotter became an eight-time All American and two time National Champion while competing on the cross country and track and field teams. After earning her undergraduate degree at Stanford, Trotter moved to Chicago and attended the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago. Dr. Trotter treats patients in the Little Silver office of Dr. John F. Connors, DPM, Dr. Ana J. Sanz, DPM & Kathleen Q. Trotter, DPM