City/State Eugene, Oregon
Sport(s) Professional Athlete – Team Run Eugene
Track & Cross Country Coach – University of Oregon
Human Physiology Instructor – University of Oregon
Track and Cross Country
I’ve been an athlete since I was little. I started soccer in kindergarten and played soccer, basketball, and volleyball growing up. Through high school I played soccer and basketball and dabbled in cross country. In college I gradually transitioned from a soccer player into a full time runner and have been running competitively ever since. In 2014 I gave trail and obstacle racing a try and am enjoying the new challenges that these bring.
I have a lot of incredible people in my life, including my family, teammates, and coach. These hard working, genuine, well-rounded people inspire me to be a better person every day, which is exactly what a hero is to me.
This is an accumulation of advice from my wonderful friends, teammates, coaches, and family: Follow your own compass. Have fun, do what you love, dream big, and don’t let other people’s expectations guide your journey.
Family and friends are the best and most important part of my life, but my career is also a top priority. For me, career means the combination of my athletic, coaching, and teaching endeavors. They are all very interconnected in terms of preparing me for my future, so I invest a lot of time and energy into all the components of my career, including my own training and competing.
Including running, strength training, and cross training, I spend 15-20 hours per week training. And then of course there’s a fair amount of time that also goes into recovery and taking care of the little things that keep me healthy.
I’m lucky to have the opportunity to balance training, work, and family in a way that allows me to put meaningful time into areas of my life beyond training. However, with limited time, energy, and resources, on any given day at least one area of my life doesn’t get as much attention as it should; sometimes that’s work or family and other times it’s my training. I have chosen to turn down some great teaching and coaching opportunities to make training at an elite level possible. There are also times when I get up extra early for workouts, push my secondary runs to late in the evening, and forego racing and training opportunities in order to make time for important things for work or family. But hey, even athletes need to work on their balance.
As an endurance athlete, one of the biggest keys to success is consistent training, which is heavily reliant on staying healthy and recovering well. Healthy, balanced nutrition and regular strength training are the big things that help keep me healthy and recovering well.
Some of my biggest accomplishments are: Two-time Xterra Trail Run World Champion, Warrior Dash World Champion, team silver medalist at the World Mountain Running Championships, USATF Trail Half Marathon National Champion, two-time USATF National Championships Finals Qualifier (Steeplechase), and NCAA All-American in Track & Field.
I don’t think I can or want to define ultimate achievement explicitly. I want to get a little better every day and when I if I feel like I have pursued all my athletic adventures, maximized my athletic abilities, and learned lots from my experiences, that will be my ultimate achievement as an athlete. But I hope there will be a lot more to achieve in other areas of my life even after I’m done competing.
I eat a healthy, well-balanced diet focused on whole foods whenever possible with lots of fruit, veggies, quality protein, and healthy fats. I like lots of color in my diet!
I love dishes that incorporate lots of veggies, whether it’s soup, spaghetti squash, roasted veggies, cauliflower pizza, beet berry muffins, or white bean brownies, I almost always love a colorful, fresh, veggie-filled dish.
I’m not always successful, but I try to live by this saying: “When you love what you have, you have everything you need. Forget the day’s troubles, remember the day’s blessings. Happiness is not a destination, it’s a way of life.”
Good nutrition, rest, yoga, and massage are my most effective recovery tools. This is where products like BeetBoost are important for giving my body the nutrients it needs to repair and become strong and resilient. I also try to give my body a little extra love with yoga and massage on a regular basis if I can.
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