A conversation with Lt. Governor Frank Brogan

By David Yon

With a spirited campaign behind him, the Lt. Governor was kind enough to share his thoughts on a couple of his favorite passions, running and assisting the Refuge House, in order to help us get the word out about the 2002 Tallahassee Turkey Trot .

DAY: Turkey Trot combines at least two matters that I understand you have strong feelings about – running and the Refuge House. Can you tell us a little about the role running plays in your life?

FB: Running is the thing that gets me out of bed early every morning. It keeps me focused, healthy, and disciplined. The opportunity to run and help Refuge House is even better.

DAY: Kelly Otte (Refuge House director) is full of good stories about you. Where did your interest in Refuge House begin?

FB: I became associated with Refuge House several years ago. It was here that I began to get more actively involved in the issue of domestic violence. Since then we have placed an unprecedented amount of money at the state level into shelter renovation and expansion. We have also passed historic new laws supporting the victims of domestic violence.

DAY: How do you fit running into your busy schedule? Do you run less as the intensity of the job increases or more as a stress release?

FB: I run every morning. Rain or shine. It is the only time of day where I can truly stay focused and plan my thoughts for the day. I find that I run more as the intensity of my days increase, especially during the final weeks of the campaign or during the legislative session.

DAY: How many miles or minutes do you run per week? What is your average pace?

FB: I run everyday. I run three to four miles a day during the week and usually seven to ten miles on Saturday and Sunday. I don’t typically keep track of pace or time, but estimate I run eight-minute miles.

DAY: What are some of the unique issues that arise when you run because you are the Lt. Governor?

FB: Recognition. I love to wave at the folks who recognize me and beep!!

DAY: You have been an advocate for education and in fact served as Education Commissioner from January 1995 to January 1999; do you believe physical fitness should be a part of a child’s education? Please explain why?

FB: I am a big proponent of physical education being a vital role in the education of our children. In addition to teaching children about teamwork, effort, and sportsmanship, we must emphasize the importance of a healthy diet and physical fitness in their lives.

DAY: Runner’s World recently did a lengthy story on the Governor’s brother’s running talents? Can you take the President in a 10k?

FB: It was a great article, and I would welcome the opportunity to lace up my running shoes with the leader of the free world. In deference to my President however he would always finish first!!

DAY: What got you started running and why do you keep it up?

FB: I started running in the late 1980’s. After college, I needed to find a way to stay in shape. When I was elected Superintendent of Schools in Martin County in 1988, I found it was the best time to be alone with my thoughts and prepare for the day. It was shortly after that, I began to run everyday.

DAY: You have spent a great deal of your life in public service. What motivates you to do this?

FB: I grew up the youngest of six children. Raised by a widowed mother, I knew as a child the importance of education. It was then that I decided to be a teacher. Since then, I have had the opportunity to spend every day of my adult life focused on what I love most – education. I have had the incredible opportunity to serve as a teacher, dean of students, assistant principal, principal, superintendent of schools, Commissioner of Education, and now Lt. Governor. Improving the lives of our children and giving them the incredible opportunities this county affords each and every one of us is what motivates me every day.

DAY: Do you have any runners you especially admire or respect?

FB: I respect President Bush for showing America that even one of the world’s busiest person finds time to run every day. You have to respect a President who turns a seven-minute mile and leads the USA at the same time!!