Being active and fit has always been important to me. I cheered competitively through high school and my first year of college (Don’t even get me started on the “Is cheerleading a sport?” debate!). I grew accustomed to having practice and physical conditioning almost every day. After I gave up cheerleading, I started running regularly as a way to stay in shape through the rest of college.
I moved to Charleston after college and I joined a local running group to train for my first half-marathon. I wouldn’t have made it to the finish line of the 2006 Myrtle Beach Half Marathon if it weren’t for my awesome running group!
One of my biggest running goals was to finish a marathon. I completed the 2009 Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham in 4:45. Training for a marathon was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve been through with my body. I discovered that there were limits on how far I could push myself. Read about my first marathon experience in this post.
I struggle with injury during high-mileage training so it was 18 months before I ran another marathon. During this time I questioned my status as a runner and spent a lot of time in the yoga studio. Luckily, I was able to find a training program that worked for me and allowed me to make it to the starting line of another marathon. I completed the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon in 4:19:08.
I took a four year break from distance running after Thunder Road Half Marathon in December 2010 to focus on letting injuries heal and becoming stronger, more flexible and more balanced overall. I recently started distance running again and I’m running stronger and faster than ever before.
I joined the YMCA after college. I had never been a member of a gym before and the Y totally changed my outlook – a warm and welcoming place, full of familiar faces. I began participating in group exercise classes like spinning and BodyPump. I quickly fell in love with BodyPump and couldn’t believe the transformation it made to my body. The Y hosted a BodyPump instructor training and I decided just to go for it! I became a certified instructor in January 2009 and have been teaching group exercise and yoga ever since. I no longer have a permanent weekly BodyPump class but I do sub occasionally.
For many years, I avoided yoga despite knowing the benefits it could have on my running. I would occasionally attend classes but never followed through. When I moved to Charlotte a perfect storm of injury and opportunity led me to my yoga practice. I was training for my second marathon and dealing with yet another injury. I was stunned when my doctor delivered the news that I would continue to struggle with injury if I didn’t improve flexibility and work on the imbalances in my body.
I gave yoga another chance and discovered that the Charlotte yoga scene was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I quickly fell in love with the power vinyasa style of yoga and as the months passed I found myself wanting to be on my mat as much as I wanted to be out on the road. In January 2011 I enrolled in yoga teacher training to obtain my 200-hour registered yoga teacher certification. I completed teacher training in April 2011 and have been teaching yoga for almost four years now. It’s my FAVORITE thing in the whole world to do. Check out my teaching schedule page for updates on when and where I’m teaching yoga.
Yoga teacher training was the spark that lit the fire for me to do the things I wanted to do. A couple months after completing teacher training, I studied for and passed the NASM personal trainer exam in August 2011. I now train clients at Metro Fitness Club.
Oh CrossFit…where do I even begin? I started CrossFit in February 2012 when I accepted a job as the General Manager of Metro Fitness Club and Metro CrossFit (a role that I’m no longer in but that introduced me to CrossFit). CrossFit is a big part of our program offerings so it was important that I understand it, participated in it and become engrained in the CrossFit community. CrossFit was a completely new fitness challenge for me and I quickly began enjoying it as part of my workout mix. What I love about CrossFit is the intensity level, friendly competition and constant variety. It has definitely made me a more well-rounded athlete although I have no goals to become a competitive CrossFitter.
I completed the CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course in October 2012 (read about my experience in this post) and I now coach CrossFit at Metro.