All posts filed under: Athletes

Can Any Body Be an Athlete?

Anyone can be an athlete. It is true. Not having enough time, only have one leg, or fear of swimming can all be overcome. I have met climbers missing fingers, mountain runners with one leg, Olympic marathoners who previously lost their ability to walk and they are doing it. It is in us if we want it. Then there are the busy people – really busy – like full-time jobs and five kids busy – who make it happen because they want it that bad. When someone says to me “Oh, I could never do that” – ‘that’ being something seemingly out of their reach like running a five kilometer race, climbing a mountain, getting up every morning and running ten miles on a tread mill – I don’t believe it. I have had the privilege of getting to some of the world’s best athletes. What they all have in common is something we all have within us. That is the gift of perspective on limitations. Limitations don’t become boundaries. Instead, they become challenges to …

Second of Four Part Series on Getting High: Nutrition Considerations at Altitude

While I am a back at sea level for the moment, my attitude remains elevated post adventures above tree line.  My Broken Arrow Sky Race  experience has my giddy weeks later. The run started off slow for me as one can expect going up a mountain at elevation. The air, however, was crisp, sky clear, and snow (in June) slushy for bombing down the mountain without wiping out on jagged rocks! Toeing the starting-line a running friend asked me for last minute nutrition advice for running at elevation. Scanning my mind for tidbits that would be useful to her on short notice, I opted for this piece of intel:   Eat early and often! Experience (aka fails) has confirmed for me that the body indeed runs at a higher intensity at altitude (as if there is room to doubt) due to the stress of less oxygen. This stress results in an increase basal metabolic rate, respiration, and heart rate creating increase demand for energy (food with carbohydrate calories). The trick is to remain conscious of …

How I Became a Runner

I have been a runner since the fifth, grade ever since my Aunt Kathy cajoled me into running The Rankin Run 5k with her. She dragged me complaining the whole way. Then, she pointed out the finish line and with my eye on the prize I kept running as she watched me from behind. Her encouragement that day sparked the runner inside me to continue learning what I was capable of accomplishing. Another defining fifth grade moment for me was an elementary school track meet. I had decided to try out hurdles, long jump, and high jump. At after-school practices I quickly learned that my “grace and coordination” was meant for something else.  My gym teacher, Mrs. Storm said, “Why don’t you run the mile? No one else is doing it and you can win a blue ribbon.” My eyes lit up. As a child who didn’t find herself very athletic in the ways everyone else her age seemed to be (basketball, kickball, hurdles, soccer), the idea that I could win anything was very appealing even if …

Working Where I Work

Working where I do opens doors that lead to opportunity. It opens doors to learn, grow, and explore my  identity. This is a privilege and a challenge for which I am grateful.  Over the past few years these doors have almost always lead me outside to run (far & high), camp, hike, ski, and bring my family with me no matter how challenging. Watching these four athletes, experts in their individual craft, step out of their comfort zone to ski, climb, ride and surf together all in one day inspires me to think about what I might try next. Not pictured in this short film is an amazing athlete that I work along side every day. He humbly sits behind his desk each day to orchestrate adventures like these, adventures we can all dream of and do when we let go of fear and self doubt. This short film, Dream Day, reinforces for me a desire to ski beyond the boundaries and into the back country. Where might it take you? Short trailer. Click Day …

Cookie Memories from the Appalachain Trail

I had the honor of representing​ the support of Clif Bar & Company on  athlete Scott Jurek’s Appalachian Trail journey. Along the trail we met many of Scott’s fans who gifted him with vegan foods. Outside Magazine journalist, Kate Myles, won the prize for best cookie on the AT, in my book anyway. Maybe it was the trail of sweat and tears that made this puppies taste so good, but I scored the recipe so we can judge! Maple Walnut Cookies 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal 3/4 cup shredded coconut 1 1/3 cup flour (I use a GF mix, but regular is fine) 1/2 tsp salt 2/3 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup butter (I use Earth Balance margarine to make them vegan) 5 Tablespoons real maple syrup 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp maple extract 1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans!) ​​​Heat oven to 300 F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, coconut, salt, and sugar.  In a saucepan over medium heat, combing butter (or margarine), along with syrup. Heat until …

Would You Run One-hundred Miles?

My work has opened me to the possibility of achieving athletic feats I never new were available to the human body let alone my human body. Most recently I was able to participate in the activities of one of America’s most iconic one-hundred mile foot races, the Western States without actually having to run it. I had the pleasure listening to the scientific community interested in studying ultra-runners while also getting to know some of the leaders in the sport like Nikki Kimball, Stephanie Howe, and Scotto(typo I choose to keep because I liked it) Jurek. Not just these athletes, but all ultra-runners (and many other athletes outside the scope of running) show us that the seemingly impossible is possible. I believe it is this desire for possibility that drives those seekers of challenge. Running one-hundred miles sounds more and more possible despite the fact that my own legs have never carried me more than thirty-one miles at one time.  I get chills when I drive by Auburn on I-80 knowing this is where the …

Trail Butter Might Be Awesome but Could be Scary

On the “snack-hand” this is really cool but on the “athletic-performance-hand” it is concerning. If an athlete is uneducated and tries to eat these in replacement of gel or even frequently during a run they could end up with some serious gut issues. It is important to know that the fat they body uses during activity is NOT the fat eaten during activity but rather stored fat. Fat eaten during activity lasting longer than six hours has some digestive benefit in small doses and may help with pallet fatigue so I could see eating maybe one these every six hours or spread out over 6+ hours.

Injury Reminds Me to Acknowledge Small Wins

I run to experience the feeling of free movement through the unknown with full confidence of my capabilities, knowledge, and strength. Mostly though, I run because I can. Then it happened, I became injured. Injury seems rampant in running no matter your skill level, but I have always felt fortunate that it didn’t happen to me. Then reality hit. You can not put in the mileage and intensity  I have been doing in  the old shoes I have been wearing without getting some kind of running-related injury. On top of that my sleep and water intake had been declining while coffee consumption attempted to compensate.Since last November I have been nursing an injured tendon in my foot (posterior tibial tendon). At first I was impatient with recovery, taking a few days off to no avail. After limping around in pain one afternoon I made the call to the orthopedic doc to see what I was really dealing with. Fearing a stress fracture or a torn ligament I was relieved to find out it was only a case of tendinitis that …

The Passion of an Athlete

Anyone can be an athlete. It is true. Don’t give me excuses like there is not enough time, you only have one leg, or you can’t catch a ball. When someone says to me “Oh, I could never do that” – ‘that’ being something seemingly out of their reach like running a five kilometer race, climbing a mountain, getting up every morning and running ten miles on a tread mill – I never believe it. My response is always, “yes you could.” In my work I get to meet people doing amazing things. They are world class athletes gifted with a body and mind where limitations are not boundaries but rather challenges to work through to get where they want to go. See here for one of my favorite inspirations. No, I don’t climb but am none-the-less inspired. I used to get so nervous talking to these celebrity athletes because they seemed so untouchable, like a movie star. Then as I worked with them more I start being less star-struck and seeing them as people …