I know, I know, my ability to create an East Nasty of the “WEEK” has not been that consistent over the last couple of months. I could make excuses (like my teaching/grading schedule sucks up all my time and my life) but I will not subject you to the inner workings of how to accurately grade a middle school thematic essay. INSTEAD, I will just move right along to our newest member to the ENOW club, the absolutely legendary Bernadette Doykos!
You may think that in order to understand Bernadette’s life, one need only to watch Affleck related Boston films (such as Good Will Hunting), stare at a poster of Tom Brady all day, or head over to Dunks (Dunkin Donuts) for a coffee, “two creams and a sugga.” But truthfully there is sooo much more to her fabulous life! For starters, Bernadette was born in Methuen, Mass. She is the youngest of 8 kids, and apparently used to have one “wicked awesome” accent. It would sound something like this, “I’m from Methuen and no one could be proudah, if you cannot he-ah it, I’ll say it a little loudah.”
Athletically, Bernadette admitted that she was not all that dominant. However, her dance team and their stellar skills did land her a gig at Epcot Center sometime in 90’s. Translation, she is THE SICKEST on the dance floor! She ended up playing field hockey and lacrosse in middle school and high school, but preferred reading books and playing on the beach instead. She attended Phillips Academy, which has the prestige of such notable alumni as President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush, the guy who invented Morse code, and the guy who created the show Law and Order. The big benefits of playing on a sports team were that it offered her a break from the intense nature of her academic studies and provided her with friends as well.
For college Bernadette headed off to Wesleyan in Connecticut. At that, as she calls it, “Liberal-Hippie epicenter,” she majored in Sociology and even spent a semester teaching 1st graders at a charter school located in Queens, New York. Bernadette played Lacrosse throughout her college years, again more to build a sense of community of friends than to demonstrate her wicked ability on the field. Bonus for her, Bill Belichick would come to their team games her senior year, and being a lifetime “Pats” fan, it could not have gotten any better (or “betta”.)
Bernadette’s running life began when she moved to New York City. She wanted to give back to a great charity called MetroLacrosse that she had previously worked for in college. She got an email from the organization about signing up to be a team runner for the 2008 Boston Marathon, as long as she could raise some money for them and actually finish the race. She had always been a fan of “Marathon Monday,” with its lively support of the runners, the Sox, and just camaraderie of your fellow neighbors, with the occasional adult beverage enjoyed along the way. Kind of like the Cheers theme song in action. Well, she signed up without even a mile of base running under her belt, nor did she have training buddies to help her along the way. The end result was a small disaster, but she enjoyed every painful, slow, and walking step of the race. After the race she swore off running in any capacity, but that all changed when she decided to move to Nashville.
Bernadette moved here in August of 2009, just two days before graduate school began for her at Vanderbilt University. She is studying to obtain a Ph.D in Community Research and Action, and she works part-time at Stratford High School in their college counseling center. She believes in the power of after-school programs that help traditionally underprivileged teens get ready for college. So besides her best friend from college living in Nashville, Bernadette did not know a soul in the city, and like so many others could not figure out the interstate system. In short, during that first year of graduate school, she kind of despised living here. On the return to Nashville for year two, Erin Rehel peer-pressured Bernadette to come out to an East Nasty run. And that, ladies and gentlemen, changed everything.
Bernadette may still hate running (ask her sometime and she will tell you,) but our running group has offered her a solid community of friends who share her love of Blue Moons, french fries, good music (like Trey Songz) and cutting a rug on the dance floor. She was so inspired by our community that she joined a group of runners training for this year’s Chicago Marathon. Bernadette claims that fellow East Nasties Sarah Brown and Brittany Endres (as well as Christy, Cary, Nick, Sarah S., Gabe, Mardie, Cara, Lauren, and Zach) were the only reason she carried on her training throughout the summer and was able to finish the race.
So there you have it, another legendary East Nasty reaching the ultimate goal of ENOW. Be sure to add a comment to this post about why you think Bernadette is wonderful, or you could probably head over to Ugly Mugs and tell her yourself (seeing as how she basically lives there.)