Growing up in Northeastern Ohio and playing team sports, I did not do any running besides what was required to keep me performing at my best during baseball season. I moved to Washington state in 2015 and I threw myself into living a life of happiness, adventure, new experiences, and outdoor recreation. I began running to train for American Alpine Institute's Mountaineering Leadership Course and found that I enjoyed moving light and fast as opposed to the slow slog that is mountaineering, and that is how I became a runner.
Since then, running has taken many forms in my life. It's introduced me to new friends and built deep bonds with others, taken me to mountain summits and river valleys, helped me wind down after a long day at work, and was my main outlet when battling depression. Running has also taught me how to be alone with myself and my thoughts, how to push myself to new heights, how to be completely myself, and ultimately helped shape the person I am today. I also love combining running with writing, and for years have used poetry as a creative outlet to put words to the feelings I've experienced during my runs.
Most of my miles are run through the McDonald Forest in Corvallis, OR where I currently live. But the slopes of Mt. Hood, Three Sisters Wilderness as well as the Enchantments and North Cascades of Washington will always be some of my favorite places to run. Recently getting back from a trip to Alaska, I can say that the Last Frontier hosts amazing trails and I will be back to experience more.
Running and all that comes with it will always hold a special place in my heart, but it does not come without challenges. Life changes, work ebbs and flows, priorities shift, and running takes a backseat. Someone recently told me that I don't have to run long to be a runner, and I've taken that to heart. So whether I'm running 3 miles or 30, I'm out there loving every second of it.