I am Eric Weichers, I am the President and I suppose you could call me the founder of Holiday Streakers (or at least the one who borrowed the idea and made it my own). I live in Ankeny, Iowa with my wife, Andrea, my son, Garrett, and my daughter, Leah. I was born and raised in Iowa, and we have been in Ankeny for the last 10 years after a few years in the Minneapolis area (Lakeville).
Professionally, I am a School Psychologist for Heartland Area Education Agency. I work in several of the Ankeny Elementary schools. I work primarily with special education students who have behavior difficulties, as well as many students on the Autism Spectrum. I don’t do counseling, my role is typically problem solving, supporting teachers with new strategies or behavior plans to address the behaviors interfering with education. I will be starting my 16th year in this line of work, and despite the challenges and feeling defeated some days, I absolutely love what I do. Education is a huge priority for me and I believe that all students deserve as close to a “typical” experience as possible. I feel like my job has taught me so many valuable skills that I have been able to use to help my own kids be great people. If I have to work, this is definitely the career for me.
Personally, I spend great deal of time with my family. I have the summers off, so get more time with my kids than the average dad. We have something planned for about everyday. My wife and I are fortunate to come from great families, and we spend a lot of time traveling to Waterloo and Nebraska to see Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. Both of our parents have cabins, so we have a great time on summer vacations, playing with cousins, playing every sport imaginable (Garrett is a sports nut), on the beach, and fishing. We also love camping and get out 4-5 times a year with a great group of camping friends. I am a complete outdoorsman; I do a lot of bowhunting, fishing, gardening, cutting wood, and just about anything that has to do with being outside, in the woods, or on the water. I also enjoy reading (even though I don’t have much time to do it) but I like books that will help make me a better person. No fiction for me. Obviously, I spend a lot of time exercising (more on that shortly) but I devote much of my time to being the best dad and husband I can be (yes, I clean toilets, lol).
Exercise is a huge part of my life. I started running while playing collegiate baseball and HATED it. When I was done, I swore I’d never run again. Turns out, when you like beer as much as I do, running may very well be part of your long-term future. I mostly ran to stay lean, I am not even sure I enjoyed it for many years (oh, I am also rather compulsive, so when I do something, I typically do it well or at least with everything I’ve got, which means I ran even if I didn’t like it). I began keeping data (cuz I am a psychometricist!) and have run at least 1000 miles for the last 8 years. I am proud to say that I have pushed each of my kids more than 1200 miles in a jogging stroller when they were young. This last summer, I pushed Leah (who is getting real heavy) while Garrett rode his bike. I have run 8 marathons and one ultra marathon (also this spring, Dave and I ran a 40K on trails in Kansas to celebrate my 40th birthday, Anthony joined us for half, then did an insane bike ride). I REALLY enjoy running. I also lift weights; when we finished our basement my awesome wife allowed me to dedicate an entire room as a weight room. Running/exercise is one of the defining characteristics of who I am.
Based on my nature, spirituality, and religious beliefs, it was only a matter of time before I used the activity I love to try to help others. It started with raising money for my nephew’s foundation (Beau’s Beautiful Blessings) and about two years later, Streakers started to take shape. Whereas Holiday Streakers is like a 3rd child to me at this point, I am also involved in other good causes. I head the main fundraiser for my kids’ school’s PTO and help organize a 5K through our church (started when I taught the Run for God curriculum as a bible study) which raises money for a brain rehabilitation center here in Ankeny. I have recently joined another organization called Team RunFree, which pairs runners with significantly disabled kids or adults and we push them in local 5K or 10Ks. I truly believe that every little bit helps, every prayer helps, every person is worth it, and I will always do all I can for our beneficiaries.
So thats it, thats me. I am beyond blessed with my life, both with the people that God has positioned in my life and with the skills and drive I have been given to make the most of opportunities. I am a relationship person; I wish I could meet and know each and every one of you. Streaker Nation is incredibly important to me. You all matter. I hope that you take the time to email me or at some point send me a note to let me know more about you. I always want this to feel like a community, even a family, not just a bunch of loosely tied people crazy enough to take on a challenge with a humorous name. I wish you all the best in your Streak this year; Happy Streaking!