You have such an impressive list of accomplishments. What lead you to compete later in life?
I raced Track and Field in high school and partially in college. I took time away from competition to focus on my studies and career in Biochemistry and eventually on my family. I’m married and a mom to our 17-year-old son, Frank, and to our 11 and ½-year-old black standard poodle, Blackie.
I had a fulfilling career in science and I love being a mom, but I missed competition. I wanted to test myself. So, I began training again. I transitioned from working as a biochemist to coaching and developing a fitness career while my son was in high school.
In 2018, I competed in the Master’s Pentathlon: sprint hurdles, long jump, high jump, shot-put, and the 800-meter race at Regional World’s, an international meet in Toronto. I was 49. I’m now 52-years-old and I still train—hard. I have my sights set to continue racing and competing in 2022.
What prompted you to become a coach, personal trainer, and fitness instructor?
I was curious to learn more about how to train myself. That led me to pursue multiple certifications in strength training and conditioning, performance coaching, and most recently, in nutrition.
You recently moved back to Vermont from Central Pennsylvania. What brought you to the Upper Valley area?
My husband is a chemist and he was offered a wonderful teaching opportunity at Dartmouth College.
You’ve competed at national and world-class levels as a Master’s Track and Field athlete. What have you modified from the way you trained in college that has allowed you to become so successful as a master’s athlete?
I rarely ever lifted weights in college. Back then, female athletes were not encouraged to weight train, which was a huge disservice to us. Now, I’ve incorporated Olympic lifting into my routine. I’ve cut back on the volume of my cardio training; I do a lot more with strength. My track specialties are sprints and hurdles—lifting is a great way to add nervous system development, glut power, and explosiveness.
I also pay a lot more attention to my nutrition and recovery. I train with a Polar heart rate monitor and I use Whoop to track my stretching, mobility, and sleep—a crucial component of recovery.
What activities do you enjoy when not training?
I love being outside: hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and listening to my son sing and play the piano.
Do you always eat healthfully?
No, not always, but mostly. My favorite treat is heavily buttered popcorn, made the traditional way on the stove over oil.
Do you have any advice for people looking to eat more healthfully?
I do not eat any processed foods. I eat lean meats within a Mediterranean style of cooking. I recommend eating locally grown fruits and vegetables. And I meal-plan: on Sundays, I prepare large batches of healthy foods, chop all my veggies and store them so that it’s super easy to cook or grab and go during busy weeks.
How can people train with you?
Fitness Director, Erin Buck and I are in the process of creating a Speed School for young athletes at UVAC. The school will focus on running, acceleration techniques, directional changes, and sport-specific training for all field and court sports.
I’m offering a complimentary multi-directional Speed Demo Clinic for youth ages 7 to 15, on Saturday, June 12 at 9:30 a.m. at UVAC. The clinic will last about an hour and I will be available for any questions during and after the clinic. The clinic is open to UVAC members and non-members. Participants must register in advance for the demo by calling UVAC or stopping by the welcome desk.
I will start to schedule personal training clients in June, and in July; I will also begin teaching group fitness classes including circuit training and conditioning at UVAC.
As told to Chris H. Hadgis, a UVAC Member, cyclist and freelance writer based in Vermont. She’s written for national publications including the Los Angeles Times. More on her here.