Sharon Nadrowski knows how to keep busy. She’s either working full-time at her job in computer sales, trying to help the people of Bayonne through her job as City Council President, or coaching her daughter’s cross-country or track team on nights and weekends. Running is Sharon’s time to reload.
“I have a lot of stress,” she says, her jokey delivery masking a serious message. “I need relief. Without running I wouldn’t be able to manage it all.”
Running through Hudson County Park with Sharon, she talks animatedly about her passion. “Running is time I’ve reserved for myself,” she says. “I run about four days a week, and at least six miles, sometimes seven or 10.”
On this mid-November day, the trees in Hudson County Park still display fall colors, the fallen ones adorning the path where we run. It’s a misty day, but the weather doesn’t bother Sharon. “I run all year around,” she says. “I run through Bayonne Park and Hudson County Park. It’s a beautiful place to be.”
Although she usually runs by herself, she’s competitive. “I like to run races. I’ve run several marathons; I don’t remember how many,” she says. “But what I really like are the shorter races like the Manasquan Turkey Trot, the Newport 10K, and the Bayonne 5K.”
Running is also a way to socialize and network. “At the Bayonne 5K I run with my friends from Bayonne,” she says. “But it’s also nice to be running with the people I try to help through my job.”
Sharon campaigned for city council president from March 2014 until she was elected the following November. She never does anything halfway. “I went knocking on doors to talk to people about what I wanted to change in Bayonne,” she says. “And after running the New York City half marathon, I went directly over to walking a march for my campaign for city council president.”
Sharon’s term as Bayonne’s first female city council president started in January 2015.
“It is something that’s an honor to be,” she says. “But I don’t think it’s any different than if a man was the council president. It’s really about the job. Plus, I’m used to it by now. Even at my job in the computer field there are more men than women.”
But she admits that she occasionally faces hurdles working in male-dominated fields. “There are challenges,” she says. “It’s difficult to break through in those areas. I have to work harder. I’m not always given as much credit as my male colleagues.”
And she works hard. “I work full-time in computer sales, but the schedule is flexible, which is great,” she says. “Then I do council stuff at night and council stuff in the morning,” which involves everything from passing legislation to working with people who build bridges, dealing with traffic regulations, and returning calls for people who want to see certain programs implemented. There are countless aspects of the job.
Family is also important. Sharon has been married to Charlie Nadrowski for more than 20 years. Like Sharon, her husband grew up in Bayonne.
Sharon is a graduate of St. Andrew’s Grammar School and Bayonne High School. She attended New Jersey City University, where she received a degree in computer science. “Initially I attended NJCU because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” she says. “The university was close by, and it was convenient.” She is happy about her decisions, and there is no other city she would rather live in with her husband and two teenagers. “It’s a good place for my kids to grow up, and it’s close to Manhattan and the airport,” Sharon says. “We’ve basically got everything right here.”
Sharon encourages her children to be active, whether it’s running or playing a sport. “Exercise is extremely important for mental and physical health,” she says. After her daughter expressed interest in running, Sharon started and coached the track program at St. Mary’s Grammar School in 2003.
“As a family we are outdoors people,” she says. “We used to go to Hudson County Park all the time when my kids were younger. Now they’re teenagers and they don’t want to be seen with me,” she jokes. “They come here now with their friends. I’m glad we have places like this where they can spend their time.”
Sharon’s husband is also into sports, but Charlie’s not a runner. “He actually did run the Bayonne 5K last year but only because it was a bet,” Sharon says. “My husband’s friend said that he wouldn’t be able to run the race faster than him, so my husband entered; he won.”
Sharon’s passion for her job as council president, for running, and her love for her family are evident.
After running through the Bayonne parks, Sharon returns to her jobs and her family with renewed energy and strength.—BLP


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