Category Archives: Sport

2019: A Year of Rebirth

On paper, 2019 probably looks like a rough year for me. 

Fractured calcaneus two weeks before the Barkley Marathons (making that four stress fractures in three years)? Check.

Spent three months in an eating disorder treatment facility? Check.

DNF’ed both Big’s Backyard Ultra and World’s Toughest Mudder? Check

Still didn’t land that Pop-Tarts sponsorship? Cheeeeeck

Thankfully, paper lies. Because despite all of that, I will forever look back on 2019 as one of the best years of my life, and that has nothing to do with running. Was it terrifying, extremely hard, and humbling as shit? Absolutely. 

But it’s also the first time in 20 years that I finally feel like me. Where I feel like what I put out externally matches up to how I feel internally. And where I finally felt like I was able to start to live again. 

Without fear.
Without apprehension.
Without preconceived notions of what I “should” be or “should” do.

And that’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. For me, 2019 was a year of rebirth. 

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Big’s Backyard Ultra: Just What I Needed

Running Big’s Backyard Ultra was a gamble for me: it’s not exactly an easy race to return to as my first ultra in over a year since injury, undergoing eating disorder treatment, etc. I knew that. It would have probably been “wiser” to do some shorter trail races, and slowly build back up confidence in my body. But then again, taking the traditional route has never been my M.O.

So why run it? 

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Let’s Talk About Our Feelings

I was a colicky baby. A temperamental child. I was prone to tantrums, and expressed myself violently through a wide range of emotions. I felt, and I felt HARD: fits of anger, hours of crying. I felt, and I let everyone know that I was feeling.

I was an anxious and fearful child, and I expressed that.  But somewhere along the way, I learned that explosive feelings weren’t a good thing. That to be “normal”, I needed to mask these feelings. And considering I didn’t know how to appropriately express them in a socially acceptable way, I tried my best to bottle them up. But bottling them up did nothing to alleviate what was going on internally.  

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Where Do I Go From Here? The Ever-Evolving Relationship with Sport

September is a month that brings up a lot of feelings for me. It’s the start of the championship season for obstacle racing, with Spartan Race World Championships kicking it off. 

It’s a month for me with a lot of memories, most of them really great. But it’s a month with a lot of painful ones as well – years of being paralyzed by the fear of not winning, and years of being sidelined not being able to compete. And this is the first year where I’m voluntarily not running it – not due to injury, but out of choice. While I shifted my focus from obstacle racing to trail and ultras a few years ago, I always kept one foot in the obstacle racing world. For the first time, I feel like that foot is slowly letting the door close, and I don’t know quite how to feel about that. And this feeling isn’t limited to obstacle racing: I’ve been out of competing long enough now at…ANYTHING…that I’m aware of the thought that I’m sheepish to even call myself an athlete. The idea that I no longer know my place is unsettling for me, and my mind has been pummeling me with questions and insecurities and doubts surrounding it.

What would have my path been like if it hadn’t been riddled with stress fracture after stress fracture? Was I ever really that good, or did I just get into the sport early on? Where do I fit in now in the athletic world? Do I want to? And what’s my path going forward?  

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