33, Commercial Insurance Producer at Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group, Board Member for Memphis in May, President of Insurers of Memphis, Tennessee Chair of Society of International Business Fellows, Board Member for TN Women in Insurance, Founder of The Hope Promise
Why I got involved with Great American River Run: I was a jazz vocalist in college, and music has always been a huge part of my life. That’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about Memphis in May and choose to be on the board. Being from a family of runners, GARR incorporates the energy, passion, and sights of Memphis. What a fun way to end such an iconic month and to highlight our beautiful downtown that Memphis has worked so hard at reviving.
Who’s Cheering Me On: My fiancé Heiskell Weatherford is running with me. My six-year-old son Payton is determined to run too, but I think this year he may be a cheerleader.
Race Day Must-Have: Great music to get the adrenaline pumping!
How I’m Celebrating: I’m choosing to do the 5K race because I want to be able to follow friends after to cheer them on! I’m going to try to PR so I can swing around and run with friends to encourage them at the end like my dad did with me. Even though it seems like a solo sport, the camaraderie amongst runners is something to experience.
I <3 Running: I travel a ton for work but also for pleasure. You can take running with you everywhere! It’s great for seeing the world in a different view by exploring on foot. All you have to pack are a good pair of running shoes and the right clothes for the weather.
Most Memorable Run: I remember the first race I ran with my late father when I was young…I wanted to walk the last mile because I had the worst side stitch and my mind was racing with negativity. He told me to breathe in and breathe out, to overcome the pain and push on, and the victory on the other side of the finish line will feel amazing. I learned so much in that moment that’s applied throughout my life. He had a paperweight that I keep on my desk at work that reminds me to keep going and to push harder—to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It says, “If you aren’t the lead dog, the view never changes.” The race always hurts. Expect to hurt. You don’t train so it doesn’t hurt. You train so that you can tolerate it. And I still apply that today.
Speed Bump: Overtraining. I think every runner goes through it. You get addicted—the adrenaline rush, the perseverance, the success…then your knees ache and your blood sugar plummets. I’ve learned that you have to listen to your body.
Proudest Moment: When I broke a 6-minute mile pace.
My Inspiration: My father, who passed away from cancer, always pushed wellness and being active, which I believed helped him survive longer than the doctors expected. This is the body God blessed me with, and it’s my job to take care of it. I also run for mental wellness. We went through a huge tragedy when we lost my sister in ’98. Coping is a hard technique to learn. When I get out and run, my mind clears. I look outside myself and see the world differently.
Photo by Tindall Stephens