Runners Ready for First Toro Dash

Toro Dash LogoThis coming Saturday, Tarrant County College will mark the start of a whole new tradition: the Toro Dash.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, runners will line up along the Trinity River and get their fitness on by partaking in the Toro Dash’s 5K, 10K, or 1 mile fun run. The morning’s events will begin at approximately 7:30 a.m. with a warm up session led by TCC’s own physical therapist assistant program.  The races, of which the first begins at 8 a.m., will be followed by an awards ceremony featuring music, food and beverages, event booths, and activities for all ages.

TCC is also using this opportunity to encourage participants to bring canned foods and other goods to help stock the Trinity River Campus student food pantry. The student food pantry began in April 2012 and is open to TCC students in need.  Any and all donations are welcome; canned soups, canned tuna, and snack items, such as granola bars, are particularly in high demand. Those unable to attend the race but who are interested in donating should contact Trinity River’s Administrative Assistant for Business, Economics, Management, Accounting, & Marketing Ruth Weatherford at

Sponsors for the Toro Dash include RoadID, Subway Restaurants, El Paseo, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Coverage, and MetLife. All proceeds will go to CASA, TCC Foundation’s Scholarship Fund, and TCC’s Wellness Fund.

If you’re worried you missed the deadline to register for the first ever Toro Dash,  though, don’t be; you’re in luck. On-site registration will be available for $30 the day of the race from 6:30 a.m to 7:45 a.m.. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to park and make it to the registration site.

Happy running!

Runner Spotlight: Jessica Gonzales

Today we feature our last runner highlight, Jessica Gonzales, instructional assistant for the Spanish department at Northwest Campus.  Hopefully her inspiring words will encourage you to take a moment and register for the Dec. 1 Toro Dash! The early registration deadline is today, so get crackin’!

Jessica Gonzales

What was your motivation for starting a walking/running program?

About five years ago, I graduated from college and moved back home. I was also severely overweight and just not happy with that. I decided that I wanted to live a healthier life for myself and for any family I may want to have in the future, so I started eating better and working out a few times a week (weight training). It wasn’t until five or six months in that I decided to give walking/running a try.  Since then, I’ve kept up the motivation by setting goals for myself. Whether it be bettering a time or running longer, I’ve found keeping it fresh helps me want to keep doing it.

How did you get started?

Very slowly. I used the Couch to 5K program, which is a three month program that gets you from no running to running a 5K. When I started, a three on the treadmill was my run and it is amazing to me to know that a three is my warm-up walk now. That program just made it so easy to stick with it because it wasn’t overwhelming and you were allowed to repeat a week if you didn’t feel like you were ready for the next week yet.

How has your life improved as a result of your walking/running?

Honestly, it has improved many things.  My health, for one, but it has also given me more confidence in being able to overcome things. I always hated running and still have my days where I am not a fan but that fact that I’ve run countless 5Ks and 10Ks, two half marathons, and am about to run my first marathon in spite of those days has been something I wouldn’t trade. It’s made me stronger, physically and mentally. Running teaches you so much about mental grit, about fighting through something you don’t want to do and I know that has helped me with non-running challenges in my life. It has also helped me learn to listen more to my body. Some days you’re body just needs to rest, no matter how much you might want to get a few miles in, and learning to respect that is important and plays a role with other places in your life as well.

What advice would you have for others interested in starting a walking/running program?

I’d say you have to find a program that works for you. I’m a huge champion of the Couch to 5K program if you’re just starting out because it really does a good job easing you into the running world and that is what I have found to be so important. Too many people decide they want to be runners and get dressed and try to go out and run a mile, when they haven’t done anything like that in years (if ever) and are instantly discouraged because they don’t do well. Running takes patience, so whatever you do, just take it slowly and eventually (quicker than you realize) you’ll be running races!

A Wealth of Health

Qigong practitioners in Brazil

Qigong practitioners in Brazil

How often do you get the chance to practice something that is nearly 4,000 years old? For that matter, how often do you get the chance to focus on something that is entirely for you?

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, come learn about and practice the ancient Chinese meditative exercise known as qigong.  Taught by Trinity River instructor Christi Duque, the session “A Wealth of Health” will be open to senior education students who are looking to develop and education their whole person—mind, body and spirit.

The session will focus specifically on “Awakening the Soul” qigong, a simple form of seated exercise that brings together breath and movement to create a greater awareness of exercise and meditation. The session will be from 5-7 p.m. in TRTR 4212 (Action C); a light dinner will be served at the start.

Duque, a certified yoga, reiki, and qigong, was a charter member of the new Trinity River Campus in fall of 2009 and was one of the first faculty members to join forces with the Continuing Education department to start the Senior Education program.  She volunteered and taught senior tai chi before expanding her meditative exercise repertoire.

Those interested in participating in the “Wealth of Health” seminar should RSVP no later than Monday, Oct. 29.  Attendees should come dressed in comfortable clothes. Contact or call 817-515-1003 to make your reservation today.

Runner Spotlight: Lisa Tilley

This week’s runner spotlight is on Instructional Associate Lisa Tilley.  Lisa works in the Field Placement Office for the Child Development and Education program at Northeast Campus.  Be sure to read how she began running and, while you’re at it, register for our inaugural Toro Dash! Registration for the Dec. 1 run ends Nov. 1.


Before Picture

What was your motivation for starting a walking/running program?

I was 50 pounds overweight, and it was my intention to be “fit at forty.” However, my 40th birthday came around in 2011 and I was still yo-yo-dieting and had not made any improvements to my fitness or nutrition. I was severely depressed about this until I realized I would be 40 for a whole year and could give it yet another try.

How did you get started?

I started with the TCC Shape Up program and the TCC NE gym in January of 2012. I could not run more than five minutes at a time, so I did walk/run intervals on the treadmill and kept working at it, extending the running portions of the intervals until I did not need the walk intervals anymore. I never left the gym without doing my three miles.

How has your life improved as a result of your walking/running?

My walking/running and attention to nutrition began to transform my body; as I lost the weight, I tried many new things I would never have been able to do when I was 50 pounds heavier. My best adventure so far has been having the opportunity to wake surf with my children. I also started spinning, which led to cycling and I participate in that on a weekly basis. I went from a size 18+ to a size 12. I still have some to lose but I know it will come in time. As I mentioned, I could not run more than five minutes at a time in January of this year, and on October 27, I will run the Soaring Wings Half Marathon in Little Rock, Arkansas.


After Picture

What advice would you have for others interested in starting a walking/running program?

Decide to do it for you. Own all the stress and negative energy in your life and redirect it towards your workout. Start with baby steps and challenge yourself every day. Later, when you look back you’ll be amazing at how far you have come! Get fanatical about eating to fuel your body rather than trying to work off junk food. Find activities that you love to do. Give yourself no excuses. You always have a choice.

To check out a Lisa’s recently published article on cycling, visit the Racing Post October Issue, page 9.  We’d also like to hear from you! Post your own running stories or tips in the comment section below.

Runner Spotlight: Lily Calzada

Lily Calzada

Northwest Campus Coordinator of Special Services Lily Calzada.

With registration for the Toro Dash nearing the deadline (remember to sign up online by Nov. 1!), we want to take a moment each week to highlight stories of how TCC staff members began their running careers.  This week’s Buzz features Northwest Campus’s Coordinator of Special Services Lily Calzada.  Go Lily!

What was your motivation for starting a walking/running program?

My ten year old daughter ran the Cowtown 5K Children’s Marathon in February of 2012.  I wanted to join her but thought I was too old to begin running.  Then, my dear friend, Rosemarie Hammon, started a running program.  I was inspired by her to begin running so that I could then run with my daughter.  Since I started running, I have done two 5Ks with my daughter.

How did you get started?

I did the first 5K as a baseline; I ran as much as I could, then walked the rest of the way.  Then my training consisted of running for five minutes, walking for five minutes, running for five minutes, walking for five minutes, etc. until I finished 5K.  I did this three times a week for about a month, then increased my minutes of running and decreased my minutes of walking a little bit each time.  Now I am able to run four miles without stopping!

How has your life improved as a result of your walking/running?

I have much more energy now.  Before, I used to be tired all the time, but now I wake up energized and stay that way all day. I rest better at night.  Overall, I am in a better mood!

What advice would you have for others interested in starting a walking/running program?

Being in my late forties, if I can do it, anyone can do it.  Just start a little bit at a time: run one minute, walk one minute, increasing the running time in between the minutes.  Do this slowly and only about three times a week.  Your body needs to rest, too.  Give yourself time to reach the goal.  Don’t expect to be running marathons in one month!  It takes a good three months to train for a 5K.  But, start today, just for thirty minutes.  You have to make it a part of your routine.  I run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  I try really hard to keep to this routine.  It’s only three days a week!

TCC Hosts Kickoff for FWISD Nutrition Program

Chancellor at Food for Thought Kickoff

Pictured from left are Oncor Vice President of Fort Worth Customer Operations Mike Guyton, TCC Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley, TCC Board Trustee Gwen Morrison, FWISD Board Trustee Ann Sutherland, TCC Vice President for Student Development Services Adrian Rodriguez, and Fort Worth City Councilmember Dennis Shingleton.

Trinity River Campus recently hosted the kickoff for a new program that will test healthier lunch options for Fort Worth Independent School District students, and our own TCC Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley was on hand to offer them encouragement and to stress the importance of a healthy lifestyle. De Zevala Elementary School was chosen as the pilot school for Food for Thought, a collaborative effort between the City of Fort Worth, the Steer Fort Worth Education Task Force, Fort Worth ISD and Fit Worth Fitness Center to address nutritional issues among young people.

The 16-week program, which will begin during the 2013 spring semester, will offer a healthier school lunch menu, nutritional education and a food-tasting club. Speaking of tasting, students, parents, teachers, school administrators and business and community leaders were treated to free samples from the new menu, as well as cooking demonstrations and fitness activities. The results of this pilot program will help determine if Food for Thought will be implemented district-wide.

Tarrant County College Becomes a National TV Star

Surgical Technology Students

Surgical Technology students learn about surgical instruments with a little help from a "volunteer."

Set your alarm clock, or better yet, stay up all night to catch Trinity River East Campus Health Professions featured on The Profiles Series at 6 a.m. CST, Monday, May 21 on The Discovery Channel. [Read more…]

Two Ways to Save a Life

It may not be as catchy as the song made popular by The Fray a few years ago, but we know two easy ways to save a life. And you can do either or both on a TCC campus. [Read more…]

Drop by the Student-Led Health Fair on Southeast Campus

Health Fair

Physical Education students demonstrate stretching techniques at last semester’s health fair.

If you missed last semester’s student-led health fair on the Southeast Campus, then drop that microwaveable burrito and head for this semester’s fair on Wednesday, March 7. The last fair was the first one led entirely by students enrolled in Southeast Campus wellness, culinary arts and dietetic programs, and it was such a success that they decided to do it again.

Once again, the fair will feature live cooking lessons on how to prepare healthy meals quickly and easily; free demonstrations on simple ways to get moving; plus nutritional and disease-prevention information. The demonstrations vary throughout the day. So drop by the North Ballroom anytime between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Or stay for the whole fair to see all of them, and to maximize your free-sample intake.

It’s easier than you think to adopt a healthier lifestyle, and your first step should be taken toward the North Ballroom for those free demonstrations and food.

Stay Fit Despite Reduced Fitness Center Hours

Fitness equipmentWhile it is true that access to TCC fitness centers is about to be reduced, the equal and opposite reaction does not have to be an automatic bulge around your midriff. There are things we can all do to stay physically fit, despite the seemingly ever present temptation of delightful tasty goodies.

Since I have no intention of depriving myself, I have a word that I plan to have dancing in my head repeatedly: Moderation…moderation… moderation…over and over and over, again and again and again. I will partake, but I will refrain from eating an entire, pie, cake or pan of anything all at once. Occasionally, I’ll add the refrain of a chant of TIMING, TIMING. TIMING. That will be my reminder that I can eat just about whatever I want, but I just need to do it early rather than late in the day, say just before laying down at night.

I have also heard that drinking plenty of water and doing small things to get the body moving can be helpful. For instance, I could hide the remote and get up to change the channel or occasionally pump my arms as I walk to the kitchen for my next treat.

On a more serious note, when you do work out you can burn more calories by spicing up whatever you are doing with intensity at regular intervals. So when you do take that walk, break it up every two to five minutes by walking faster, trotting or sprinting.

With a little thought and effort, we can all fight off those pesky extra pounds and rolls until we can hit those fitness machines again. The list below will let you know when you can get back into TCC fitness centers.

Until then, moderation, moderation…TIMING, TIMING…moderation, moderation, moderation…

Fitness Center Hours

Northeast Campus
The fitness center closes to students Thursday, Dec. 15, at 10 p.m. and reopens Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 8 a.m. Beginning Jan. 3, the Northeast Campus fitness center hours for faculty and staff only are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Faculty and staff will to need enter the Health and Physical Education (HPE) building through the front door located on the north side of the building, facing Parking Lot 10. Only the far right door will be unlocked. Students may return to work out when regular hours resume Tuesday, Jan. 17. Hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Northwest Campus
Students enrolled in the WinterMester may use the fitness center the weeks of Dec. 16-23 and Jan. 2-6, from 8 to 11:45 a.m.  Access for faculty and staff is available Jan. 2-6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Jan. 9-13 from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students may return to the fitness center Tuesday, Jan. 17, when the spring semester starts and the following regular hours resume: Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

South Campus
The fitness center and pool will reopen when classes resume Tuesday, Jan. 17. Fitness center hours are Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pool hours are Monday through Thursday 2 to 6 p.m. and Friday 12:30 to 3 p.m.

Southeast Campus
Faculty, staff and WinterMester and spring  students only may use the fitness center Dec. 16, 19-23 and Jan. 2-6, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beginning Jan. 9, hours for faculty, staff and spring semester students will be Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Regular hours resume Tuesday Jan. 17. They are Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Trinity River Campus
The break schedule for Trinity River Campus runs Jan. 2-13. Hours will be Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Regular hours resume Tuesday, Jan. 17. They are Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to noon and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. Hours are subject to change depending on enrollment for weekend classes.