23; IT Business Specialist at International Paper; Volunteer at Girls on the Run (GOTR)

FAVORITE FITNESS ACCOMPLISHMENT: I signed up for the Big Buffalo 50-miler only six days in advance. I saw a fleeting opportunity to become the youngest person to ever finish it, which is when I knew I had to take my chance at it. To me, it was the next step in my fitness accomplishments as I have run a 50K and biked a century in 2020, so it felt natural to test if I could run 50 miles.

I LOVE MY SPORTS: The community is truly unrivaled! A stranger who I met on the Green Line supported me at my most recent marathon. If it weren’t for him, I would’ve given up because I was getting bad blisters. He pulled up beside me on his bike and I was encouraged to ignore the pain and just focus on running and breathing properly.

GO-TO GEAR: Apple Watch

RECENT RACE: I completed my third consecutive St. Jude Memphis Marathon and did the Four Race Series this time (5k, 10k, HM, M), winning first place for my age group in the 5K 18:38. I also ran the Big Buffalo 50 Mile Race, and though placing wasn’t on my mind, I made it into the top 10!

FAVORITE JAMS: Whatta Man by Salt-n-Pepa. It’s the song that was playing when I ran through the finish line of my 50-mile ultra-marathon. That song paints a great picture of the man I want to be known as.

UP NEXT: St. Jude IRONMAN 70.3 in Memphis on October 1 at Shelby Farms Park. I already have it set in my mind I will be a finisher that day.

PET PEEVE: When people don’t re-rack their weights or put exercise equipment back how they found it.

INSPIRATION: Fit is just a byproduct of consistently doing something I love and not forcing myself to focus on things like getting or being “fit.” Fitness is one of my many hobbies and one avenue to build self-confidence. Eating right and exercising allow me to go into my day-to-day with my best foot forward and has helped me to meet high-quality friends.

BEST EATS: Zen Japanese in Germantown: I love trying the different sashimi. The Blue Fin Tuna and Fresh Salmon are so tasty with a dab of soy sauce.

ON MY NIGHTSTAND: Iron Cowboy – Redefine Impossible by James Lawrence. He did 50 Ironman triathlons in 50 days in all 50 states.

DREAM DINNER COMPANY: Coach Penny Hardaway. I’ve been at HOTWORX at the same time as him on several occasions, but I’ve only exchanged a few words. He’s been one of my greatest role models this past year.

BUCKET LIST: I’m solely focused on finishing a Half ironman this year, but I see a 100 Mile run in my future, too. It’s the equivalent of running from my apartment in Memphis to my hometown in Lexington.

Photo by Tindall Stephens