Running Wild

This ain’t no tea party.


Today I ran the Rugged Maniac 5k.

As the name of the race suggests this 5k I “ran” was certainly rugged and I felt like a maniac for doing it.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain:


A picture’s worth a thousand words, right?

This race was 3.1 miles long, had 23 obstacles, and a whole lot of mud.

There were moments when I said to myself “I can’t do this.” But it turns out I could. And I definitely did.


I ran the race my amazing coworkers. Let me introduce you to the SVC crew:

There’s Christine (C-dubs) who went to dance class before the race and totally blew the rest of us out of the water mud.

There’s Kathleen (KV) who works out with her body builder boyfriend at a place called the weight room which is what she did the day before the race.

There’s Cassie who has the cutest prince of a German Short-haired Pointer you ever did see (Deacon needed to be mentioned). She rocked the course as her and Kathleen pretty much lapped me if that was possible.

There’s Jessica who I work with more often than anyone else usually. It was awesome to see her out of scrubs and kicking that course’s a**.

And of course there’s Dr. Kara Kolster  (Kolster or K) who heads up our whole team. Without her there’d be no team to begin with. Oh, and she crossfits before work most days of the week.

Together we make up the “50 Shades of Spay”


(From right to left: K, me, KV, Cassie minus Deacon, C-dubs, and Jessica)

As you can see I am among the elite and not to mention slightly out of my athletic league here. But I kept up a good pace and actually ran when my shoes weren’t being swallowed up by the mud.

We didn’t finish the race together but to tell you the truth it worked out better that way. Having a few of my teammates cheering me on through that last obstacle was exactly what I needed to get over that finish line.

All through the race I eavesdropped on other people’s conversations and I have to be honest I’ve never been a part of a race where everyone was so freaking awesome.

Here are a few of my favorite lines overheard on the course:

1. Dr. K at the beginning of the race: “Embrace the mud.”

2. Girl on the course: ” Oh my gosh, that was only 1 mile?!”

3. Guy after jumping across trenches made of mud: “I think my testicle just dropped” (can’t make that up if I tried)

4. Girl after crawling under barbed wire: “Does anyone have any hand sanitizer?”

5. Girl after crawling through an underground tunnel of mud, singing”: “I feely pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty, and witty, and bright!”

6. Girl running next to me: “Oh good, mile 2.”

7. One of the volunteers running the race: “Don’t slow down! That’s when you go down!” Spoiler, I slowed down. And damn did I go down.


8. Me at the finish line: “Okay, where’s my free beer??”

This race was incredible, exactly what I needed, and totally worth every drop of blood (see above), sweat, and tears.

And yes, there was one tear shed right after I tackled this:


Partly because I was astounded at myself that I actually made it up the wall – ninja warrior style (with assistance). But also because the guy who grabbed my hand and pulled me up, I accidentally kicked him square in the crotch. I felt REALLY bad about that one.

I can’t speak for anyone else who finished the race, whether it be ahead of me, behind me, or right along side me. But this honestly felt like life as an adult all wrapped up in an hour and a half.

Sometimes I was (literally) stuck in the mud.

Sometimes I’d be running and then all of a sudden a very tall wall would appear and I had to hoist my short self up over it. And when I couldn’t, there was someone there hunched down right next to me with hands ready to give me a boost. Someone was offering me help and all I had to do was accept it.

Sometimes when I sized up an obstacle I’d think “I totally got this.” But if I’ve learned anything thus far, it’s that there are some things you can’t do on your own.

Other times on the course I’d size up an obstacle and think “nope, can’t do it” without even giving it a try. But then coming out the other side of it there was always a huge sigh of relief that I proved myself wrong.

And then there were times I found myself completely underwater. But here’s the thing about my head being underwater – I put myself there. I jumped off the slippery ledge to hit a gong and i missed (why? Because I’m a maniac).

Sometimes being fully submerged underwater happens. But I know I would be angry at myself if I had just walked around the obstacle instead of jumping feet first into the muddy waters.

And sometimes that’s exactly what you have to do in life.

Today was amazing and I truly feel myself nestling into a family here.

We decided that this race will become a tradition for the SVC women (and possibly Dr. Kilgore).

And next year, I’m bringing a GoPro.


A Season of Change


There’s a strange thing that happens when you abandon your hometown and move 600 miles away from everything you know and everyone you love. It’s something that happens quick and is so subtle that you hardly notice it slipping under your skin. Then one day you go for a run and it’s just there flowing through every part of you.
That thing? It’s called faith.
Faith that I’ll push through that last mile. Faith that I’ll find my wings at work and finally fly solo. Faith that I’m going to be okay here.
When you’re lost in a brand new city and you don’t know anyone other than the people you work with, your roommate who’s never in town, and another friend who never stays in one place for longer than a week unless she’s being paid to, you do the only thing that makes sense. You find your people.
For the first time ever, I did a very grown up thing that I bet no one saw coming.
I went to church.
That’s right. Me. The stubborn girl who doesn’t trust the weatherman unless he has a window in his office, is trying to trust something she can’t even see.
Let me tell you, it’s definitely not easy. Every day I wrestle with the big what ifs and whys of the world. But every week I go to Hope Church a few blocks from my house, and every Tuesday night I meet up with an awesome group of women my age and we hash out those big questions.
I’m in a season of change and I’m just figuring it all out as I go.



I’m not going to enable comments on this post, particularly because my journey with God is my own. And that’s all it is.
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You can take the girl out of the suburbs, but you can’t take the suburbs out of the girl.


I don’t keep it a secret that I don’t like big cities.

Or any city for that matter.

I like the idea of them. I appreciate cities in the sense that I like looking at postcards of the Chicago skyline that someone else took. That’s as far as my appreciation for cities goes, and I promise it does not venture out beyond that. Granted, Chicago is huge compared to other cities, but it really doesn’t matter: I. Hate. Cities.

> Drove through Milwaukee – cried.

> Drove through Seattle – cried.

> Lived within 45 miles of Chicago for my entire life – tried my best to avoid it as much as possible.

So for the past 3 months whenever someone asked me why I picked Richmond, VA as my first stop on my journey of independence… my response was always a very flip “well, why not?”

Now, after being here for a week (truly on my own for the first time in 23 years), I’m starting to see the validity in that question.

See, I never meant to actually live in the city of Richmond. I thought I could find a small apartment in the surrounding suburbs somewhere. However when I called around, there were no vacancies anywhere until October. I doubt my parents would be very pleased with me if I remained unemployed for another 3 months. Also I would go absolutely stir crazy and I’m POSITIVE my mother would block my number after the umpteen millionth time I called because I was bored and wanted her to come home and entertain me.

Therefore with the urgency of needing to move out pronto, I found the apartment of all apartments (“it’s actually a 2-flat” – dad) near downtown Richmond. Really it’s pretty perfect. I have my own room, my own bathroom, washer, dryer, dishwasher, and a roommate who travels around the country for about 75% of the time.

It’s perfect… except that it’s in a city.

I won’t lie, I have used the Olympics as an excuse to not leave the house. With the exception of needing groceries, cause you know – food, I have stayed in my little humble abode on Monument Avenue. And so far I’ve been totally fine with my agoraphobic self… until today.

My agoraphobic self and I had a little conversation this morning and we came to an understanding that I needed to leave the house; I mean 2 -flat.

I promise I’m not crazy.. but I was getting there.

I scoured the internet to see what I could do today that would get me out of the comfort zone I’ve created for myself, and settled on Maymont Mansion and Nature Center.

It was actually pretty cool. I took a tour of some old guy’s (James Dooley) really old mansion, and saw river otters. AND I rewarded myself with a Maymont pin to add to my collection. I sort of got lost coming home, but I made it back in one piece. Parallel parking wasn’t too bad either.

Maybe cities are growing on me……. nah.


Dear Mom, Dad, Hannah, & Tim


Five years ago as I was packing up my room to head off to my first semester of college, Dad gave me a flash drive that held all the music that I grew up listening to. And I listened to that playlist on repeat for that entire first semester. Somedays I go to Spotify and play Angry Eyes by Loggins and Melissa just for the heck of it. So much has changed in the past five years, but one thing that hasn’t is the music we listen to. My whole life, you all have given me everything I have ever needed and I can’t thank any of you enough for all your unconditional love and support. I could never ask for better people to grow up with, learn from, or be loved by. I might be moving across the country, but home will always be where my heart is – with all of you.

To thank you, (as a start), I’ve put together a playlist of songs that in my opinion best summarize the past five years of our lives. Playlist is on your Spotify account titled “Cheers”. Some songs you’ve heard 10,000 times. Some you’ve heard but not for a long time. And others, this will be the first time. Either way, these are all great songs by great artists that embody the great heart of this family (Tim included).



  1. All parties must be present in order to listen to this playlist. That includes Mom, Dad, Hannah, Tim, Maddy, and Lainey.
  2. Find a night when no one has to work the next day. This playlist is a little over 2 hours long and I’m betting you won’t start it until after dinner – which knowing you guys won’t be until about 8:30 or even 9 depending on how much fun you guys are having while making dinner.
  3. Pick a night when it’s gorgeous outside. You’re going to want to sit on the deck while you listen.
  4. Side note: Someone bring some tissues for Mom. She’s going to need them (spoiler: I did NOT include What a Wonderful World specifically because I wasn’t sure she could handle it along with all the other songs that might make her cry. Love you, Mom!)
  5. Also, sorry dad, there’s no Chris Stapleton on this playlist. I think we all know that if I included him, you would probably switch the playlist over to ALL Chris Stapleton.
  6. NO PEEKING. That means no looking ahead to see what’s next! I have no way of knowing if you will or won’t, but I’m trusting you. However, you MAY look at the current song that’s playing.
  7. Try your best not to replay songs. Only replay the best ones… you’ll know which ones they are. I promise.
  8. Listen to all the songs ENTIRELY. Don’t skip around, you’ll regret it. Don’t mess with the order and don’t interject any of your own songs (Queueing is NOT allowed). Also make sure the playlist is not on shuffle.
  9. I recommend playing a game of “up and down” while you listen, let me know who wins; my bets are on Hannah.

So mix your Manhattans, pour your tequila shots, uncork that 3rd bottle of wine… this is going to be a long night.


Moving Day


“All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…”

This is it – the day I’ve been waiting for. Today is the day I move to Virginia.

I graduated college. I passed my board exam. I got a job, and now I’m off on my next great adventure. I have no idea what’s ahead of me (other than an extremely long drive). I just know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I only know that I’m supposed to move to Virginia, I’m supposed to help animals, I’m supposed to help people, I’m supposed to put one foot in front of the other.

There’s so much that I’m leaving behind. My parents, for one, have done nothing but love and support me through every big idea I’ve ever had regardless if that idea lasted longer than a minute or 18 months or longer. They’ve stuck by me through hospitals, and school, and losing my way, and finding it again. They’ve been there through everything and there’s no way I’d be able to make this move without them.

(To Mom & Dad -) I know, although proud, you’re sad I’m leaving. But I will remind you over and over again to not be sad about anything I do; this is who you raised me to be.

Then there’s my best friend who I have shared all my secrets with first, before I shared them with anyone else if I shared them at all – my sister.

(To Hannah -) So much has changed these past few years, both for us and between us. Break ups, new relationships, hospitals, car crashes, birthdays, etc. But what hasn’t changed, nor will it ever, is that you are my sister, my best friend (yes, you share this title with Lainey – get over it), my heart, my everything. So much has been going on with both of us: your work overload and my studying and moving. And I’m sorry all that has gotten in the way of our relationship. I’m sorry I forget sometimes to tell you I love you because I assume you already know it. I do love you, and I can’t say enough how proud I am of you and what you’ve done this year with your new endeavor as a entrepreneur. Your business is going to take off, just you wait.

I am also leaving behind my four-legged furry friends Maddy, Lainey, &  also Tim (who is a two-legged person). And although I’ll miss all of them so much, I know they’re in good hands.

(To Tim -) 1. Do right by her, 2. It’s a trap.

Yes, I’m leaving behind my home and those I love. But I’ll be back. This isn’t forever, this is just my next adventure.

So, the car is all packed.

My mountain is waiting.

Better get on my way.

uncropped blue ridge parkway