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Well-known Milwaukee-area woman shares inspiration for lifelong running habit

Posted at 2:54 PM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 07:05:46-05

Tracy Johnson is well-known in the Milwaukee area. She is a wife, mother of two, president and CEO of the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin, and a lifelong runner.

She doesn't talk about the running part of her life much because it's just a part of her daily routine. To her it's like waking up and grabbing a cup of coffee. Instead, it's putting on her running shoes.

"I am somebody who always seeks a challenge, number one," Johnson said. "Number two, I find myself in situations where I have very little control over things and a run is something that I can control."

Johnson has been running since she was 15 years old, and unless she is in labor, she fits it.

"It never occurred to me that that was a big deal until I was traveling with friends, and our flight was at 5:00 a.m. and I got up and (my friends) were like, 'what are you doing?' And I said I have to get my run in. Then I got to the point where I said well, I run every day!"

Johnson even found time to run when her oldest son, Zachary, was diagnosed with Leukemia.

"During treatment, we had to spend extended time at the hospital, and my husband, myself and other family members would take turns, many times overnight. And talk about not having any control," Johnson said.

She remembered that during her overnights she felt a need to take some time for herself and go for a run so she would ask a nurse to check on Zach while she snuck in a 30-minute run.

For the lifelong runner, the sport is something she does for herself so she can be a better person for others. "I got out early in the morning and I have kind of stolen that part of the day for myself, and I can give the rest of my day to other people, but that is mine."

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