Running has been a part of Joleen Chaney’s life since 6th grade when she joined the track team at Rush Springs Middle School. “I was naturally quick, and it helped build my confidence as a kid,” she said.
Joleen’s love of running has remained, and she’s made it a priority to incorporate fitness into her busy life as a wife, mom, and weekday evening news anchor at Oklahoma City’s NBC affiliate, KFOR.
Physical activity was instilled into Joleen at a young age, even before she discovered running. “I like to exaggerate and say that my mother locked me and my little brother outside when we were younger. She never let us sit around and watch television or play video games,” she added. “I guess her strategy worked and stuck with me and it’s become a lifelong habit. The most television I watch is when I’m doing a newscast.”
And it isn’t just the physical benefits that have kept Joleen running, it’s the mental aspect as well. “There is a huge mental part of running. When things get tough on a run your mind tells you that you can’t, long before your body will ever give up,” she added. “If you can flip that thinking and develop mental discipline, it can serve you not only while running but also in other areas of life.”
Joleen is currently training for the half marathon at the upcoming Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Her first full marathon was Oklahoma City, a race she calls her very favorite. “It is just such a meaningful race—tough, but so powerful.”
Recently Joleen completed another full marathon, the Mountains 2 Beach in Ojai, California, running in remembrance of her mother who passed away in 2014. “The race ends on Ventura Beach and my mom was born and raised in Ventura County, CA. Not to sound too morbid, but we buried her in mismatched running socks. I have the matches and often run races in them. She was my biggest cheerleader.”
Mom to two boys ages 23 and 19, Joleen has shared the example that was set for her by her own mom. “My oldest son runs and sees it as a great stress reliever,” she said. “And though my younger son doesn’t enjoy it, when he was younger, he spent lots of time on his scooter right beside me as I was running.”
Though she loves running, Joleen, just like the rest of us, has days where it would be easy to talk herself out of lacing up her shoes. “We all make excuses as to why we can’t do something, we’re human, but if you just get out there and start, you’ll never regret going.”
Written by Laura Nance