Skyler – April Runner of the Month

1. What inspires you to run?

I’ve always been very interested in just about everything, which can be overwhelming at times but mostly just reminds me of how interesting and fun this world can be.  I’m always interested in taking on new fitness hobbies, whether it’s biking, trail running, yoga, and others, as being well-rounded I think feels very fulfilling and keeps you from becoming bored or accustomed.  I think running is a great way to explore your local area and trails, especially if you make yourself run somewhere unfamiliar or new, it feels healthy not just physically but also just mentally.  I feel like I know my local community a lot better through running in various neighborhoods and trails, and it provides a way to marinate your thoughts and meditate on where you are in life and where you want to be.  I always remember that I never leave the gym or a run having regretted it, and always feel better afterwards.  Whether I can knock out a quick shorter run, or an hours-long run across town, I leave every run a better athlete than I was the day before, and I am very grateful that I have the resources, time, health, and safety to be able to go out and run or exercise.

2. When did you start running?
I only recently started doing anything fitness-related.  I was quickly surprised at how addicting it can be!  A group at my work had started a “fit” group, and we would do CrossFit and HIIT circuits, among other things.  One member had told me about Spartan obstacle course races (OCR), and talked me into signing up for some of those.  It was super fun!  And also exhausting.  After finishing that race, I suddenly had a lot of inspiration and very specific goals and things I wanted to train for, and benchmarks to measure against, so I have been strength training and running to improve myself overall.  Eventually, a friend of mine had found the McKinney Run Club and I signed up to run with the group in 2021, and now have been talked into signing up for all kinds of half-marathons and races and such.  The fitness community is very supportive and encouraging, and I am very grateful to have such a great group to run with!  Having people to be with as you push your limits and strive for a goal always makes it easier and more powerful.

3. Favorite post-race meal?
I am pretty sure I’m addicted to Chipotle, so after many workouts and especially races I will get a grilled chicken bowl with some brown rice, veggies, medium salsa, corn, and sour cream.  For some reason I don’t get tired of that, it’s always delicious.

4. Favorite race.
I’m still new to racing, but so far my favorite has been the 2021 Spartan Beast 21K in Dallas (Granbury).  It was very challenging but fun, and I beat a lot of personal records that day!  I have many new first-time races coming up this year, and I’m sure it won’t take long to find a new favorite.

5. Best advice to new runner.
Just the fact that you are here makes you better than you were the day before.  Your fitness is unique, and there are no right or wrong goals to have.  Just be sure to have a mix of both short-term and long-term goals — without long-term goals, we can end up becoming demotivated and lose sight of why we are doing this; without short-term goals, we tend to view our long-term goals as insurmountable or impossible.  Just keep moving, take notes, listen to your body, and never lose sight of those small and large goals.  Make it easy to get moving, whether it’s running, biking, yoga, or working out — keep a gym bag packed and ready to go at any moment.  If you always have a bag packed, and a change of clothes and some protein, then any time you catch a break for even just 30 minutes, you can run or workout anywhere at any time.  Prescribe a variety of movements to rotate through like you would for music (5K run, HIIT workout, slow-flow yoga, 400m sprints, etc.) — I like to keep a printout spreadsheet with ~30 workouts both with and without equipment so that I can pick and choose what I’m feeling like doing at the moment.  You don’t know what you’re having for dinner 3 weeks from now, and even if you did, you may not necessarily be in the mood for whatever you planned when it ultimately comes.  So, like food, I like to keep a “menu” of workouts, keeping in mind both classic favorites and making sure to try something new every once in a while.  For me personally, that has kept me interested in fitness in general, and I haven’t gotten bored yet.  You’d be surprised just how much is out there!  Keep moving, keep knocking out those short-term goals on your way to your long-term goals, and always make fitness easy for yourself.

6. One fun fact about you…
I am a software developer for Motorola Solutions, and we make body cameras and dashboard cameras for police officers and government agencies.  I have spent most of my career so far in software, but originally I was into film and 3D modeling which I still like to tinker with at times.  My wife and I have been together for almost 13 years now, and are expecting our first child this upcoming July, and we are both very excited

Thank you, Skyler!

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