The shore was just 100 yards away. I plunged my face back into the icy lake, my arms cutting through the water at a rapid pace. I just needed to hang on a bit longer. Fifty yards away. Soon, my feet would touch the muddy bottom and my swim stroke would be exchanged for quick run.
I tore my goggles and swim cap off my head as my foot hit the shore. Before I could reach back to grab the zipper and release my wetsuit, a race official yelled into a megaphone:
“The last swimmer is out of the water!”
Yep. I was dead last.
My first sprint triathlon was a doozy. My swim consisted mostly of floating on my back and making conversation with the college lifeguard named Ashley who followed me on her surfboard and kindly held my hand during each of my many panic-filled moments.
But onward I went with a smile, cycling and running my way to the finish line. I was last in my age group, but instead of defeating, the experience was uplifting. I had gone outside my comfort zone. I had challenged myself. And I was ready for more.
I am adult on-set athlete. I didn’t start competing in running events and triathlons until my mid-30s though I had been around sports my entire life spending 16 years as a sports reporter for daily newspapers. The more I created my own version of the multi-sport lifestyle, the more I came to understand that it’s about so much more than personal records and podium finishes. Athletics is a way for people, particularly for women, to discover their own strength and step into their own power.
I believe in stretching your imagination and pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone.
I believe in authenticity and connecting with yourself and your community.
I believe everyone, regardless of athletic ability, can find wellbeing, purpose, and strength through movement.
As a writer, teacher and athlete, I will help companies connect to their community both at events and through social media. Women are looking not just for great gear that’s fashionable and functional but also to be inspired and encouraged. Crafting stories with wisdom and wit, I will create that connection between your brand and your customers which will motivate and inspire them and keep bringing them back to your website and social media outlets.
Samples of my work:
“Hard work, and a little prayer, go into an elite workout.” From The Buffalo News, July 20, 2013
“The intricacy of Alaskan gray.” From Byline to Finish Line, Aug. 13, 2013
“Race Report: Shoes for the Shelter 5K” From Byline to Finish Line, April 15, 2013
Overview of my experience:
Sports reporting: A journalist for 18 years, experienced in crafting in-depth stories, entertaining features and deadline sports news stories. Staff writer for The Buffalo News since October 1999. Regularly cover college basketball, college hockey and minor league baseball. Past voter in the Associated Press Women’s Basketball Top 25 poll. Past president of the Association for Women in Sports Media. Contribute regularly to online content, including blogs and videos.
Byline to Finish Line: Maintain a blog, Byline to Finish Line, with the mission to inspire individuals to take authorship of writing their own life story. Posts follow my personal story of training for endurance sports (marathons, half marathons, triathlons), trying new athletic adventures along with reviews, recipes and interviews with experts in the field.
Women’s Adventure Retreats: Day-long events featuring yoga, snowshoeing, hiking, cycling. The events are geared toward women of all abilities, created for a non-competitive, supportive environment for women to try new activities, stretch their boundaries, connect with others and be introduced to local areas, events and history. Events partner with local businesses that share a philosophy of empowering individuals.
Teaching: Adjunct professor in sports management at Niagara University teaching sport communication and technology. The course reflects the changing nature of media technology, utilizing social media while learning the history of sports reporting. Emphasis also on the social construction and implications of the way sport is framed in popular media, particularly gender and racial roles.
Certifications: Certified Wellness Coach through the Spencer Institute. Licensed New York State Outdoor Guide for hiking and camping.
Education: Master of Arts in humanities from the University at Buffalo. Bachelor’s of Arts in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University.