My running career started off with a lot of promise. By the end of my sophomore year in high school, I had already won a state championship and a Drake Relays title.
As I kept on winning, running became central to my identity - it was a way to cope with the stressors of high school, and it was something I was really, really good at doing.
But as I entered my senior year of high school, things started to fall apart. I had begun reducing my food intake and running extra on my own in order to run even faster and perform at an even higher level.
I had my first stress fracture the fall of my senior year, forcing me to swim the last 3 weeks of my season before state. I had my second stress fracture just before state track the following spring and was unable to compete.
By this time, I was pretty far gone in a state of disordered eating and exercise dependence. I had committed to running for Arizona State University and had high hopes to contribute to their team and reach new levels of performance. When I arrived on campus, I still had not had my first menstrual cycle and weighed under 90 pounds.
The next several years of being on the team at ASU wasn't quite what I hoped for - I continued to get stress fractures because my bone density had suffered so much from the eating disorder and delayed onset of normal menstrual cycles.
Over time and with help, I did gain weight, recover from my eating disorder and was able to race a few times with the Sun Devil jersey on - which was so fulfilling, but still wasn't quite what I had hoped for.
It's because of my struggles with food, exercise and injuries that I'm passionate about helping young runners prevent and manage bone stress injuries. Having high-quality care & support when managing these complex issues is crucial, and I hope to be a dependable resource guiding recovery & setting young runners up for long-term success.