Our newest East Nasty of the Week (ENOW) is described by friend Jeremy Payne as ‘the unsung leader of the East Nasty community’. Payne says, “Jeremy is what East Nasty is all about. He loves this neighborhood, and he exists to make East Nashville a great place to live in all he does. East Nasty is a big piece of his commitment to this side of the river. Jeremy is always there to lend a hand coaching, to encourage Fasties and Lasties with Icee Pops on hot summer training days, and to even use his own last few precious, gasping breaths to harass you – through wit and “wisdom” – to finish that last mile. He brings everyone along with his own successes, and is truly an unsung leader in the East Nasty community.”
This week’s ENOW has been married for 17+ years (to a fellow East Nasty), has a 14 year old daughter (a part time East Nasty), is 38 years old & likes beer. Nasties, it is my pleasure to introduce you to our newest ENOW, Jeremy Taylor!
Jeremy was born and raised in Inglewood and East Nashville. He describes himself as a creature of habit and still lives in the same neighborhood he grew up in.
Jeremy took the long route to college. He and his wife alternated going to school, but 10 years after graduating from high school, Jeremy received his bachelors in Management and Human Relations. He now works as the Director of Human Resources for SpecialtyCare.
Jeremy started running on June 20, 2011. That was the first day of the Potato to Tomato program. Amanda Tungett convinced his wife, Juanita, that she and Jeremy should try to run the Tomato 5k, and that East Nasty had this free training program. They were on vacation and chose to start the program on the beach. After 3 of the 60 second runs, he was hoping that whoever found his body would just push him in the ocean so he could wash out to sea. But they stuck with it and have coached the last two P2T programs. Jeremy says, “We would not be runners today if it was not for Rachel Shaffer, Mike Clark and all of those who volunteer their time to this program.”
Here is what fellow ENOW, Mike Clark, has to say about his friend, “Jeremy brings positive energy to every run. He makes us laugh and everyone enjoys being around him, except his wife, LOL. I have seen Jeremy grow as a runner and as a leader over the past 3 years. I treasure our friendship. He is what an East Nasty is all about.”
Jeremy knew of East Nasty from trying to drive through the neighborhood on Wednesday nights. He would sit at the window table at Eastland Cafe and watch “those people” run by in the rain or snow and he could not see the desire. Until he ran his first 5k, then he began running on Wednesday nights. Since then, he’s gone on to finish the 2013 Country Music Half Marathon in 2:19, which is his biggest accomplishment in running, beating his goal by 11 minutes.
“The community”, that’s what Jeremy enjoys most about East Nasty. From his first run with East Nasty, he was made to feel like part of the group, like family. His most memorable East Nasty experience is a recurring experience: being able to participate in the P2T coaching program every year and seeing people return to or find running.
Fellow member of the East Nasty family, Lola Parker, has this to say about her friend, ”Jeremy is one of those “go to” people for so many of us in East Nashville – a first responder friend and if he can’t fix it, he knows who can! He loves his family, his community and East Nashville. I have been proud to serve on the Margaret Maddox YMCA board with him for the last three years and the Tomato 5K Race Committee for the last two years. Jeremy is a huge community supporter and a friend to everyone he meets!”
When Jeremy’s not running or coaching, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, listening to and playing music, old cars, and participating in neighborhood events. He also serves on the Board at the Margaret Maddox YMCA.
If you know anything about Jeremy, then you know that everything he does, he does alongside his wife, Juanita. Here is what she has to say about her husband, ”Five years ago for Valentine’s Day, Jeremy bought us visits to a personal trainer. Little did we know then how that trainer, Amanda Tungett, would forever change our lives, not only through the journey of exercise, which eventually led to running, but with a wonderful friendship. Amanda talked us into doing P2T three years ago and even though I was hesitant because I didn’t really see the reason for running, I agreed to do the training to be supportive. After the first 5k, Jeremy was energized and couldn’t wait to do the next race. From that point on, running just became part of our lives. Jeremy always looks for ways to give back whether it be by helping coach, volunteering whenever he can, always making time for friends, and being there for anyone who needs a helping hand. He is probably one of the funniest people I have ever met and for the past 20 years has made me laugh even when I didn’t want to. He is always positive and sees the good in everything and everyone. This year, he decided that he was going to run his first half at the Music City Marathon and completed it under the time that he had set for himself. Watching him cross the finish line, I could not have been any prouder. Being able to run with your best friend and watch him continually improving is one the best feelings, and to make things even better, it’s been a great way for our family to spend time together.”
Jeremy, East Nasty is lucky to have both you and Juanita. Thank you for all you do. Welcome to the ENOW club!