How to Become a Badass, Part Two

How to Become a Badass, Part Two

Last week we followed Amy as she went from being a self-described "couch potato" to running her first marathon, the New York City Marathon. We pick her story up there.


in November 2004, I ran my first marathon, the New York City Marathon.  My family was there to cheer me on along with the thousands of people that line the streets, but my body was not happy and I walked a good part of the race, from mile 18 on.

 I didn't give up though and finished it. I went on to run the Las Vegas marathon twice in the next few years.

 At the same time, I was kind of getting interested in triathlon. I had been doing running races for awhile and a friend thought I would enjoy the challenge of a triathlon.

 I had no idea how to swim so I joined an adult swim class at the Y and practiced a lot. I did my first sprint triathlon in 2003 and although I thought I was going to drown, I loved it. I loved the feeling of accomplishment I got at the finish line and the feeling of achieving something I had never thought possible for me.

 My triathlon experience was very much like my road running, first a sprint, rather about 50 of them, then some Olympic distance races, then eventually a half ironman and then my first full Ironman race, Ironman Western Australia in December 2007.

I probably did close to 50 shorter course triathlons before I did my first Ironman. I really thought I had no business doing an Ironman. I thought that was for athletic people, which I didn’t consider myself at the time.

 I had a friend who was an Ironman athlete and coached me for that race. I always thought it would be a bucket list thing, one and done, but I got hooked. I did 7 Ironman races in 5 years, then took 5 years off and did my 8th race in 2017. This was an incredible day and a huge accomplishment for someone who six years before had been a couch potato.

 Fast forward 18 years from that unhealthy, couch potato and here I am. 8 Ironman finishes including the Ironman World Championship race in Kona, over 25 marathons, including Boston, dozens of trail races including 50 miles and 100K and numerous local crossfit competitions.

 I have no plans to do another Ironman anytime soon. I have started exploring the world of ultra distance trail racing. This is anything longer than a marathon. I have done numerous 50k (31 mile) races, a few 50 mile races and two 100k races (60 miles).

 Two years ago my husband David and I decided to head out on the road for a year of vanlife and going from event to event. I was working in Oncology at the time and have many friends and family members with cancer. I felt that life is too short to spend most of it with people you work with rather than people you love. David and I were looking to spend more time together and our ideas of how to do that always circled back to van living.

We thought we would do it for a year and then return home to Seattle, but we have been on the road for over 2 years now. It has its challenges, especially living in such a small space with a dog, but the time the three of us have together is priceless.

 So this is my lifestyle now. I am proud of it and grateful that I get to spend everyday doing what I love. So remember, it is never too late to make a change for the better, whatever that may be.

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