March 24, 2022

Bonus Content: Ali on the Run Podcast

Last week, I was lucky enough to get interviewed by Ali Feller for her popular Ali on the Run podcast. It was so much fun, and I was delighted to see it launch today! You can catch the show yourself here.

However, the conversation flew by too quickly for me to get everything perfect; I sometimes wished I had said something different or added other details. (Especially during the sprint to the finish… I would say I changed this section from a sprint into more of a “hard run” with lots of breaks! Haha.) So, consider this your behind the scenes peek at some more details, plus my opportunity to say a few things slightly differently 🙂

This is me! (Click here for a video of the incredible Keala Settle table read of “This is Me” that Ali and I talk about.)

(16:19) The Ivy League as my backup plan: I don’t want anyone thinking I was good enough for Cornell to be my backup plan! I applied to about a dozen colleges, with half for theater and half for economics, and was really disappointed when I got waitlisted at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). But the ILR school had a policy that if you were waitlisted, you could go to any other accredited university for a year and take specific general education classes (writing, science, macro econ, micro econ). As long as you got a 3.7 GPA and fulfilled those course requirements, you would be accepted to transfer to Cornell your sophomore year. Knowing I had that backup option was what gave me the confidence to try going to NYU Tisch for theater, and I’m so grateful I had that year to test out a theatrical path before deciding to go a different direction. Plus, it introduced me to living in Manhattan!

(44:30) Skiing: I will put in a shameless plug for ski lessons at Beaver Creek. Beaver Creek has one of the best ski schools in the world, which was why when I decided to become a ski instructor, I dreamed big and set my sights on working there. Beaver Creek seems to have a much more rigorous training program for their instructors than most mountains; when I’ve gone for my certification exams, the other Beaver Creek cert candidates have really stood out for being much more knowledgeable and prepared than those from other programs. I teach at Beaver Creek part-time, and primarily by guest request; if you’re planning a trip to Colorado, please don’t hesitate to reach out to arrange a lesson, and I’d love to coordinate schedules to make it work! I can teach any level, but I specialize in building confidence for guests moving beyond the beginner slopes and onto intermediate and advanced terrain. Bonus: I can totally describe skiing in running / Peloton terms (e.g., I had a really fun guest this season who loved my cue to pop her hips “like in a kettlebell swing”).

(48:00) Prioritizing mental health: Deciding to take a leave of absence to focus on my mental health was not at all an easy decision. You can read the blog post Ali was referring to here, talking about the doubts that crossed my mind whenever I contemplated taking leave. We need to all get better about normalizing and talking about mental health challenges, rather than sweeping them under the rug and trying to push through.

(55:12) Losing my marathon medals: My house was spared from the fire, but in the terrifying time when I thought it was gone, I mentioned missing my medals on Instagram and had multiple people reach out offering to donate their medals from when we had run races together. If I learned anything from the fire, it’s how inherently good and caring people are; I have been in absolute awe at how people have rallied around our community, especially those who did lose everything.

(57:30) Mental health after the fire: I compiled some mental health resources for my neighbors in this blog post here. Whether you’re in Superior or somewhere else in the world, I want to reiterate my PSA from the podcast: find and get to know a therapist before you think you need one, so that you’re ready if and when you run into a rough patch. In my opinion, having a therapist on call is the best investment you can make in yourself.

(1:04:08) Finish songs: You can find my finish playlist here. The songs are “This is Me” (Greatest Showman), “Superheroes” (The Script), “Pompeii” (Bastille), and “You Will Be Found” (Dear Evan Hansen). I usually switch to this playlist in the last half mile or so, have it on shuffle, and use one or two of those songs to get me pushing hard across the finish line.

(1:05:35) Volunteering: I talked on the podcast about my volunteer experience with Experience Camps, but now I feel guilty that I didn’t share some of my other favorite nonprofits! You can read more about my summers with Experience Camp here and here. I’m also incredibly passionate about volunteering with Breakthrough Colorado (formerly Defy Ventures), which teaches business skills to prison inmates to reduce cycles of recidivism – you can read more on that here and here. Finally, last year I joined the board of Camp Wapiyapi, which organizes free sleepaway camps for kids with cancer and their siblings; I’m really excited about moving away from virtual and back to in-person camp this June!

(1:06:56) Favorite book: My default answer was Gone With the Wind, since that was my favorite book as a kid and I read it numerous times (though, “beautiful story” is a comment I wish I could take back; more like “classic story” about a dark time in our history). As an adult, I don’t think there’s been any book I’ve read more than once – there are too many to read! The book on the podcast that I referenced just finishing was Daniel Pink’s The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward… apologies to Mr. Pink for getting the title wrong, but the book is truly excellent. If you’re looking for more recs, I’ve always published book reviews on my blog (and will be back to doing that again shortly now that I’m back to blogging), as well as on Goodreads and on Instagram Stories.

(1:08:24) Favorite TV show: I stand by the fact that I don’t really watch TV (genuine thank you to my ex-boyfriend for making me watch Schitt’s Creek, so I can hang out with the cool kids and not have Ali kick me off the show). I think I went with Friends because I thought it was the only TV show where I’ve seen episodes more than once. But since then, I realized what I should have said was NBC’s Smash. Not many people know it, but it’s an awesome musical drama about the staging of a Broadway musical and the competition for the lead. I watched it religiously when it first came out in 2012, and then rewatched it in 2020 with my mom when she was living with me during the pandemic. The music is awesome, the choreography is phenomenal, the actors are incredible, and the storyline will really hook you! Go watch the whole show if you haven’t already.

(1:11:36) Tik Tok dancing class: Finally, as Ali and I both said, if anyone knows where we can take a class in TikTok dancing, let me know!! In the meantime, check out my roommate JoDee’s TikTok here.

Thank you so much to Ali for hosting me – it was such an honor to be on a podcast I’ve listened to religiously since it was first launched! I’m really excited to connect with more of you through the show 🙂


2 thoughts on “Bonus Content: Ali on the Run Podcast”

    1. Darlene – how cool to hear from you!!! Please tell Judy (and Danielle) I say hello 🙂 And I’m so excited to see that you are still blogging too… I was afraid it was a dying art! Good luck on the Shamrock Shuffle this weekend and let me know it goes

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