It’s a typical Monday at Moody High School
“I have a lot of stress in life, I’m a teacher, I have 3 kids and I am a wife,” said Irene Hinojosa, an English teacher at Moody High School.
Irene is using her off period to get some cardio in.
“Running keeps me balanced,” said Irene.
In April, she’ll be putting one foot in front of the other, taking on perhaps the most prestigious marathon in the country. CITGO surprised her with some good news.
“February 14, Valentine’s Day, they popped into my classroom and surprised me and said that I had won the opportunity to go to Boston and run for them,” said Irene.
CITGO has sponsored five educators from Texas to run the Boston Marathon; 4 teachers from Houston and one from Corpus Christi.
“Boston will be my fifth which will be amazing because I thought I was done after 3,” said Irene. “My husband has a recording of me after the third and I said ‘that’s it I’m never running another marathon again’ because it’s a lot of time it’s a sacrifice.”
But it’s a sacrifice Irene is willing to make, since she’s dedicating her run to her high school cross country coach David Varga.
Varga coached Irene for four years at Moody High School; the same school that Irene has taught at for the last 15 years.
“Since I was 14 years old he has been the voice in my head that’s always telling me to push myself to just break through whatever struggle or pain that I’m feeling,” said Irene.
“He was someone who did what he said,” said Irene.
She says coach Varga was her motivation to take on life’s challenges, both on and off the track.
“There’s a lot of times when you just want to stop and you just want to walk or you just want to get off the track or get off the course,” said Irene.
“It’s definitely something to prove to him that all of his time and effort as a high school coach for all those years it was valuable time that he spent as a coach,” said Irene.
Coach Varga has run the Boston Marathon himself and naturally was the first call Irene made when she found out about CITGO’s sponsorship.
“He was very excited,” said Irene. “He described it as a spiritual experience and that’s coming from someone who has run almost 50 marathons.”
She has a little over a month left to train, and she says she’s motivated by the finish line.
“Push past the hard because at the other side there’s this feeling of fulfillment and pride in yourself for having accomplished something hard,” said Irene.
“And anyone can do easy things,” said Irene.