Hello all! My name is Juli and I live in Big Piney, Wyoming. I am a small-town girl with a BIG personality. I love to laugh, smile and be outside. I’ve lived in Wyoming my entire life, but just moved to Big Piney about 8 years ago. I’ve always been fascinated with nature from a really young age. The mountains are now in my backyard and I am so lucky for this. We can hike, fish, find new trails and explore almost all year long. There is no better feeling then being free in nature—putting your feet in a cold stream, listening to the sounds, smelling the fresh air. I could go on and on.
I am a wife to a very supportive husband who has allowed me to follow my dreams in life. I have two awesome kiddos 6 and 3 who are learning to love the outdoors as much as me and Mike do. I am a Registered Nurse and am in school working on becoming a Nurse Practitioner. When I began running and signing up for races, I also became very interested and vested in health and wellness in general. I love learning about how our diets play a role in not only our performance as athletes, but in quality of life and disease prevention. I am very passionate about this and hope my career and the relationships I make through running and fitness will one day let me help to share this with others.
Sports have always been a huge part of my life. I grew up playing basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, softball—you name it. But after high school and having kids, I found these team sports were a lot harder to organize and do. I was SO missing that competitive feeling. I have always liked running, and liked running fast, but had never toyed much with the idea of becoming a “runner”. Runners to me were somehow on another level. I had done some local 5K and 10Ks before. Completing a half marathon had always been on my bucket list. However, thirteen miles seemed impossible. I was willing to try.
When I decided I was finally going to start really working towards my goal of running a half marathon I found quickly that it was not going to be impossible at all. But, it was going to take work, hard work. Once I became intentional and consistent in running, my eyes were opened to a whole new world! Running felt good, not only physically but emotionally. I fell in love. It was an escape and a way to have ME time. Even though I hadn’t done the half race yet, I found that competitive feeling again while training that I had been yearning for. Only it was me vs me. To be better than I was yesterday. As moms we sometimes forget the importance of taking care of ourselves, as well as our precious babes! But this was it for me. I found something that made me feel accomplished again, something I could do for me. I have found my love for nature has also lead to a love for trail running and has made running longer distances easier to accomplish than on the pavement of treadmill. Finally, that impossible 13 miles finally became a reality last summer, running and getting a podium finish in the Grand Teton Half Marathon—and now I can’t stop dreaming bigger and bigger.
Living rural, it is expensive to travel and compete in “real races”. Despite this fact, it is still possible to be a successful runner without standing on a podium. Some of the best feelings are just getting on that new trail, setting a goal and crushing it, or helping your friends find a new or renewed passion in running and health. Being competitive, in my eyes, just means being and doing the best I can do, every day, every run, every workout. Waking up early to get my run in is my idea of fun! It is fun to go “all out” and test the limits of your body. I have legs, I want to use them! It doesn’t matter how I finish as long as I do my best. You must start to be able to finish. And everyone, no matter the speed or distance has this ability.
While training for my half marathon, I also started running OCR races and have loved incorporating not only running, but mental toughness and upper body strength into my training. This training has strengthened so many relationships in my life, including with my husband. Running is definitely a team sport in my eyes. Without the support of my husband, the accountability from runny partner Natalie, and the coaching from my buddy Dr. Fitzsmimmons, it would be a lot more difficult to keep the same level of motivation day in and out.
I have been able to connect with many people who share the same goals and interests as me through running. I am thrilled to be an ambassador for Run Like a Girl… a group I have followed for years! RLAG stands for so much more then running, it is inspiring others be the best versions of themselves. My goals include one day completing an ultra-run and also, I soooo want to attend one of the Adventure Retreats RLAG offers. Experiences are everything, and I hope to be able to explore as much of this earth as possible while I can. What better way then running and smiling the entire way!