(Post written by Chad Corbitt)
Every morning for the past year my alarm has gone off at 5:45am. As soon as I hear the sound I spring out of my bed, throw on shorts and a t-shirt, tie my tennis shoes and I am out the door. Most of the people reading this right now are runners or think because this blog has a running theme that I obviously must go for a run at the crack of dawn. Not so much…I head to the gym, lift weights, and only maybe once a week do I actually go for a run. No matter how often I run I still always find a way to forget how good it feels.
My name is Chad Corbitt and I live in Gainesville, FL. Yes, the booming metropolis of north central Florida a.k.a. Gainesvegas. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Wow, it doesn’t get any worse than living in the middle of nowhere.” Trust me I thought that too – especially because I graduated from Florida State University (in-state rivals to the University of Florida…less 10 blocks from my house). Strangely enough after three years I have found myself quite fond of this city and enjoy its young, innovative, fun, and hippy feel.
Another large reason why I enjoy Gainesville so much is because of the fun people I get to work with at GIN System and Study Edge. I could write more than a simple blog post on these two great companies but I will keep it quick. GIN is a Greek technology company which allows me to work on two of my passions, Greek Life and new technologies. Study Edge is an educational company that provides mass college tutoring through Facebook. I am passionate about education because I believe our nation’s collegiate educational system needs a transformative change.
Besides work, like all Floridians, I enjoy being in the sun with friends, being a wannabe movie critique, and watching any sport besides hockey…I just don’t get the whole allowed fighting thing in hockey…But I digress.
My chosen philanthropy is SeriousFun Children’s Network. SeriousFun provides a safe camp experience for children with serious illnesses and life-threatening conditions. This organization was originally called the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps but went through a name change earlier this year. There are many reasons why I selected these camps but not more important than the fact that Paul Newman founded the organization and in 1995 it became the national philanthropy for my fraternal organization, Phi Kappa Tau. In case those of you who were wondering…Yes, Paul Newman was a race car driver, actor, philanthropist, organic food line executive with the best salad dressing n the world (“all profits to charity”) and of course he was a member of Phi Tau. I have chosen to give money in honor of the first person I am thanking at my first location.
If this blog was about diners and dives this would have been my first stop as well. Talk about a “hole in the wall.” I don’t remember exactly why I started going to this place and I sometimes ask myself why I continue to go but there is something about it that I really like. So the name almost says it all… They serve bagels (and other breakfast foods) and noodles. I get the ‘Chad Special’ and yes I have my own special. It includes two scrambled eggs with American cheese like a little kid, a banana, oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar, and Canadian sausage. Delicious… I don’t know if I can finish this blog post without going to get some Bagels and Noodles, but I’ll try. The best part of Bagels and Noodles is the two sweetest ladies that work the morning shift. They greet me, hug me, and treat me like one of their regulars. Anyways, I really like the place and you should stop by there if in Gville whether you are on a run or not and make sure you try my special.
At Bagels and Noodles I would like to pause and thank David Ward for being a good friend. I met David my senior year at FSU when he was just joining the fraternity. I have had the opportunity to work with him, watch him grow as a person, leader, and brother, and I was happy to see him honored with so many awards during his senior year. He is also on his way to law school at FSU which makes me extra happy that I have a place to tailgate for football season next year. David is always available for great advice and even though he is younger than myself he is wise beyond his year. David, thank you for being you.
If you look at the map of my run you will see that I went all over the place. This started because I didn’t really know the best way of getting around to where I wanted to go. Where did I want to go? I wanted to check on the Alpha Eta chapter of Phi Kappa Tau. Even though I was initiated into another chapter I feel just as close with this group of gentlemen. But, after being House Director for a year and now serving on the Board of Governors I know I need to stop by on a regular basis. You know just to make sure there are not jacuzzis dug in the front yard or two tons of sand in the backyard…again.
Since I am over in PKT world I would like to thank Steve Hartman for being a great executive director and leader for our organization. I got the opportunity to “hang out” with Steve and see a Wizards basketball game in D.C. He gave me some of the greatest advice and I really enjoy talking with him even if it is on the phone just for a couple of minutes. Steve is real, genuine, and an all around class act. Proud to call him a friend, brother, and leader within my organization. Also if you ever see Steve make sure you ask to see pictures of his baseball team…I mean his four boys. He is quite the proud father and an example of somebody who finds a way to get it all done. Steve, thank you for being you.
Since I didn’t attend the University of Florida I won’t pretend to know much about the stadium. The only times I’ve been inside the stadium have been for football games. I do go to some UF football games despite my love for my alma mater and only when I cannot make it to Tallahassee. (since I am a proud Seminole football season ticket holder) If you are wondering if I have switched to becoming a Gator fan over my Noles…think again. A win for the Gators equals a happy office, which means only once a year I have to root against the orange and blue. Speaking of that, one recent day in particular brings back good memories between the rivals…Let’s just say I was the only house on the block partying those nights.
At this stop I would like to thank Lynn Chapman. Lynn is a runner that will be featured soon on this blog and is a friend of mine. She works for Zeta Tau Alpha and helps with some items here and there at GIN System. I am proud to work with her and moreover thankful because she is a great role model as she is a mother of two cute kids, wife, ZTA staff, ZTA volunteer for multiple chapters, GIN coworker, and finds time to give me some really good advice. I don’t know how she does it all but she finds time to do everything…Superwoman! Thank you Lynn for being you.
I asked everybody where I should stop at since I am in Gainesville and incredible spots are limited. A staple and without a doubt on UF-opoly is the Swamp Restaurant. Just minutes away from the football stadium nicknamed “The Swamp,” the Swamp restaurant was destined to be a cash cow and a very popular destination for anybody coming to town. Not to mention great service, delicious gator tail, and a surprisingly phenomenal spicy tuna bowl.
Here at the Swamp I would like to thank my family for being the most supportive family in the world. Patty and Gary Corbitt a.k.a. Mama and Papa Corbitt raised me to always push myself, hold my values and integrity high, and treat others the way I wish to be treated. Jill, my sister, has been not only a perfect sister but also a great friend and I know she will do big things wherever she chooses to leave her mark. Also two badass dachshunds, Nestle and Connor, who might as well be my other brother and sister the way my parents treat them. Thank you guys!
For my high fashion friends out there…Yes, I am wearing a neon Hanes tank top (if it isn’t neon it shouldn’t be on) that reads: GIN All Day Every Day. On the back it reads: My Co-Workers Are Frattier Than Yours. A mere 7 blocks from house and we’re already at our first stop. The picture below is me standing at Study Edge. Funny how I said I wasn’t going to talk about work but yet I made one of my stops work-related. I work most of my days the at the GIN System so I choose to run by Study Edge as almost a way of checking on it while I have free time. Since it is summer there are very few students but during the school year the parking lot is packed, all of the scooter spots taken, and thousands of students throughout the week come by to make sure they stay on top of their classes. If students are busy they can also watch everything online through our Facebook application. Study Edge is currently expanding to 40 schools so if anybody reading this is interested then hit me up.
At this stop I would like to thank a moment to thank Dr. Adam Goldstein, or as I call him “Doc.” Doc has been a mentor and friend for about 7 years now (whoa Doc it’s been quite a while) and has helped guide me through some of the craziest things in my life. More importantly he has worked with hundreds of students and student organizations through his work at FSU, with HazingPrevention.org, and as a speaker around the country. I am truly blessed to have him as a special friend in my life. Thanks Doc!
Here is the run that I did.
So now you know where to run in Gainesville, some great people, and unfortunately a little bit about myself. Hope you enjoyed and make sure you guys check out SeriousFun Children’s Network and consider donating to the good cause.