I met Kathryn through our involvement on high school and college track teams (we both competed in the pole vault). I remember seeing her at high school track meets, but we never formally introduced ourselves. Coincidently, her high school teammate ended up competing in the pole vault with me at Virginia Tech, which connected the two of us in college. Like most women pole vaulters, Kathryn grew up doing competitive gymnastics, but later used her gymnastic ability to learn to pole vault. A successful high school career led her to UVA, where she was a top competitor in the ACC.
Like many college athletes, she graduated and moved on to the workforce. Straight out of college, Kathryn began working in Washington, DC for a defense contractor doing corporate finance and strategy work. Her passion for gymnastics also drove her to coach gymnastics to young girls through Arlington County. She had a lot on her plate!
The transition from a team environment to staying fit in the real world allowed her to pick up new athletic hobbies, including long distance running and cycling. For someone who was a gymnast with a sprinter background, the transition to aerobic conditioning can be difficult. Kathryn was able to shift her focus to aerobic training through preparing for and competing in the Marine Corps Marathon. Not only was this motivation for her to keep up with a different kind of workout, but the race took on additional meaning since her dad was a Colonel in the Marine Corps.
After several years in the workforce, Kathryn made the decision that she would go back to school to pursue her MBA in order to make an industry switch out of the federal government sector. Her goal is to pursue a career doing analytics in the Sports and Media industry following graduation.
Kathryn typically likes to work out in the mornings at a local gym in Chapel Hill, NC – 02 Fitness. However, since she is in graduate school that does afford her some flexibility that she didn’t have while working full time. If she can’t make it to the gym, she also takes advantage of the college track and trails around town. I absolutely loved it when she told me that she recently purchased an indoor trainer for her road bike. She uses the trainer at home when she is in a time crunch and wants to knock out a quick workout.
Kathryn has been placed in several different situations in which she could have completely forgotten about her fitness, but she has carried that piece of her life over to every new phase of her life. I asked her for any advice she would have for others to help them do the same, and she had a great response. “GET YOUR BUTT OUT OF BED AND GO!” She literally will tape a sign to her alarm clock that says this if she is afraid that she won’t get up in the morning to workout (whatever works!). Kathryn will be interning in Atlanta, GA at Georgia Pacific this summer. I can’t wait to hear what her new “fit adventure” will be in her new town!