Stumbling into a lifelong hobby

The Good Life

Jayme Sisel runs barefoot alongside her five-year-old daughter.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

Jayme Sisel runs barefoot alongside her five-year-old daughter.
Jayme Sisel runs barefoot alongside her five-year-old daughter.

One night in 2006 after a few drinks with her husband, Dan, and their close friend, Paul, while on vacation in Washington, D.C., Jayme Sisel decided to sign up for the Chicago Marathon on a whim. She didn’t know it at the time, but her impulse that night would open her up to a whole new world of hobbies.

Sisel, a civil engineer at Graef, had played sports all her life, including softball, rugby and soccer.

“I was fast, but I was godawful when I got to the ball,” she said of her soccer days.

But she had never run as a hobby. Paul told her that night he thought she and Dan should participate in a marathon. She was so enthusiastic about the idea, she signed them both up right away.

In the morning, “We said, ‘Well, I guess we’ve got to train for it, because we already paid for it,’” she said, and laughed.

Dan Sisel (left) and Jayme Sisel (top right) pose with friends after participating in a mud run.
Dan Sisel (left) and Jayme Sisel (top right) pose with friends after participating in a mud run.

Now, 10 years later, they’re still runners who dabble in marathons, triathlons, mud runs and ironman competitions. Sometimes, they even bring their kids along. The couple has five-year-old twin girls and a four-year-old boy.

“It was definitely a turning point where it wasn’t just group sports anymore,” Sisel said of signing up for that first marathon in 2006. “When you pound the pavement for a few hours, you just do a lot of soul searching. My husband and I, when we go running, we have conversations, but you do have a lot of individual time where you are just kind of inwardly thinking. To me, it was like a stress reducer and just something where you can dig within and kind of see who you can be. It was definitely a turning point and I was so happy that it happened that way. As silly as it is, it’s a huge part of my life now.”

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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