Active Dad and High School Baseball Coach
Home base: Smyrna, GA
Home life: Father of daughter Jemma, and sons Blake and Zane
Work life: High school teacher and baseball coach
On any given day, you’re likely to find high school baseball coach Ben DeSantis out on the school track, slipping in an early morning run before the day gets hectic. He’s trained for many races, including half marathons, 5Ks and his favorite — the Marine Corps Marathon, which he completed in 2010.
His team — and young family — keeps him on the move. Ben runs from foul pole to foul pole while the baseball team warms up, encouraging his players to join him after practice and games. He sometimes gets in more than seven miles before a game.
“I have a reputation with my players, who don’t like to run more than base to base,” says Ben. “The guys keep me young. I want to be the teacher-coach that can do whatever I ask of my students and players.”
When did being an active person become important to you?
“My first word was ‘ball’ and very little changed over the years. I played three sports as a student — baseball, basketball and soccer — and built a career as a coach. Sports has always been a part of my life.”
How do you incorporate steps into your day?
“Sometimes it’s as simple as walking around the classroom. I’m always pacing, always on my feet. I’ll walk laps in the gym, and do phone calls on the track or baseball field. And at home it’s fairly easy — I’m chasing kids around. Their level of energy and activity keeps me active, too.”
Who is your running tribe?
“I’m more of a lone wolf — cross country runners are more of my style. I’m usually by myself, out there running before dawn. The solitude of that time is important to me, allowing me to focus on what my day will look like. It’s a chance to pray and clear my head.”
Favorite time to run: The school track before dawn. I don’t have to worry about cars or a lot of people.
Favorite song to run to: If I listen to music, I just put my phone on shuffle. It can go from Metallica to Johnny Cash to Frank Sinatra to Tupac. I don’t want to just get in the groove and throw off the mental process of the run.
Favorite post-workout snack: A handful of almonds and a protein shake, or a big glass of chocolate milk!