Tackling the L.A. Marathon Together: Tynisha & Michael’s Story

She was a first time marathon runner ready to tackle a new challenge. He was an avid runner, ready to beat his best time at his third L.A. Marathon. Together, they were a perfect match.

Tynisha Johnson, a job developer and interpreter at Goodwill of Orange County, has known Michael Agyin for a long time.  Michael struggles with deafness and looks to sign language interpreters, like Tynisha, to help him get the information he needs.

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Michael and Tynisha discuss training tips before starting a routine practice run.

Tynisha has always been in the role of helper to Michael, making sure he understands and receives the right information at an event, meeting or training. As Tynisha embarked on her journey to complete her first marathon, the tables turned.

Michael helped Tynisha tackle her first major run, sharing tips and tricks on best form, breathing techniques and more.  As a veteran runner, he shared the how-to’s of completing your first marathon.

“I’m not a quitter, so if I start something I’m going to finish,” said Tynisha. “I don’t care if it kills me. People are counting on me, Michael is counting on me, so I’m not going to not show up.”

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Tynisha and Michael train side-by-side leading up to the L.A. Marathon.

Tynisha’s determination combined with Michael infectious, positive attitude made them great teammates. They had each other’s backs as they trained side-by-side on Team NutriBullet leading up to the big day.

In a team training session lots of information is given about nutrition, form and more. Tynisha made sure Michael didn’t miss a single thing.

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Tynisha interprets for Michael the tips and information from their instructors during training.

Tynisha has been interpreting for 10 years and has worked at Goodwill for five. As an interpreter for many different events, including staff meetings, employee trainings, classes and now, marathon trainings, Tynisha works to create an atmosphere that includes everyone.

“That’s all it’s about, access to communication. They need to know what we are receiving as well,” Tynisha said.

On the flip side, Michael made sure Tynisha did not quit.  He helped keep her spirits, motivation and determination high throughout the process as they crossed the finish line together. “He helped me a lot,” Tynisha said.

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Tynisha is all smiles as she crosses the finish line to give Michael a high five.

Prepped and ready, Tynisha’s goal was to beat Michael on race day. Although that didn’t happen, maybe at the next race they tackle together, Tynisha will!

Both Michael and Tynisha are looking forward to running the 2017 L.A. Marathon side-by-side.

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