I’ve got some big changes coming my way in 2016. While they are all ultimately positive and I am so eager to see what the coming year has in store, deciding to make changes is never easy. In the case of my biggest change for next year, it was especially difficult.
I will be part of a new team in 2016, which I am incredibly excited about! I am looking forward to sharing more details about the team soon, along with a full list of my 2016 partners, who I can’t wait to start working with! But with this new chapter comes the closing of another, and more specifically a prior partnership. In this case it is a big, long and exceptionally defining chapter. It is a chapter that has set the stage for all the rest, and one that I could never forget.
I have been working with LUNA for four years now, which is pretty much my entire triathlon career (or at least ever since I decided to really get serious about it). I could never fully explain how much the program, team, brand and entire LUNA community have come to mean to me over that time, or just how very much I have valued this partnership. But I will certainly do my best!
It was my partnership with LUNA that truly provided me a foundation to grow as an athlete, making my way to the top of the amateur ranks and then progressing on to compete and steadily improve as a professional — all while racing under the LUNA umbrella. This partnership gave me the boldness to dream really, really big; the confidence to truly believe I could achieve those big dreams; and the courage to invest myself fully and fearlessly in the effort to chase after them with everything I had. It was through the LUNA Sponsored Athletes Program that I found the support and resources I needed to make that effort, on so many levels.
But I found SO much more than that, too. Through my partnership with LUNA, I found an entire team of women from all across the country and all different walks of life who bonded together over their passion for sport. I found inspiration in each and every one of these women, for their constant dedication to getting the best from themselves and all the work they put in to making that happen. I found role models who would come to guide me through the ups and downs of beginning a career as a professional athlete. I found friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I found a platform unlike any other I’d experienced to reach out to women and share the many benefits of sport with them. I found a community that made me a better person, and pushed me to keep on reaching for more. I can’t possibly quantify or even properly recall everything I have gained from my time with LUNA, but I can certainly say it has impacted me in ways I never expected and ways that will stay with me forever.
For me, LUNA was absolutely more than just a sponsor. Yes, it provided a product that I could truly believe in and be proud to use in my training and racing, but more than that the brand maintained values that were in line with my own, and that I could stand behind wholeheartedly. The importance of that cannot be overstated, and I am so very thankful that I found it. LUNA is truly a special brand doing incredible things, and their athlete programs even more so, and I can’t wait to see all that the brand and its teams continue to achieve in the future.
I often say that “it takes a village,” and I believe that is so very true of trying to achieve success as a professional athlete. Good partnerships are so imperative, and I truly had an exceptional one in LUNA. But the time has come for me to close this chapter and move in a new direction. It’s never easy to say goodbye, but I am doing so with so much joy and fulfillment about everything I’ve experienced with LUNA over these past four years, and with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I am so thankful for all that I gained from this partnership and all I was able to give to it. I am thankful for the many ways that LUNA and the people I met through this program have come to define the athlete and person that I am today, and I will carry all of that with me as I move forward and continue to chase down those big dreams.
**So much gratitude for all of the experiences I’ve had, the growth I have achieved, the finish lines I’ve crossed and the work I’ve put in to reach them, the successes and failures, the people I’ve met and the many incredible memories I’ve made all while donning this uniform. THANK YOU LUNA!**
There are so many people who have helped shape my experience with LUNA these past 4 years and I am grateful to each and every one, but I want to give a special thank you to a few who have played an especially big role. First and foremost to Gary and Kit, founders of Clif Bar & Co. and creators of the LUNA brand, for absolutely setting — and then continuing to raise — the bar in every aspect of your business and production, but especially in the community you have created and the exceptional support and pioneering programs you have provided to athletes of all kinds. To Chris Mathis, for not just providing a level of support that went above and beyond, made me feel like a true professional and truly made all the difference come race day, but for believing in me and what I could achieve. Your support and encouragement has been invaluable, but your friendship even more so! To Dave Mac for seeing something special enough in me to introduce me to this incredible program, for all you have done to provide more support and exposure to women in sport, and for recognizing our value and potential and fighting to see it realized. To Leah, Christine and LaVonne for your incredibly hard work and diligence in running the LUNA Sponsored Athletes program during these past 4 years, bringing the team together, and helping each of us truly get the most out of our experience. To Teal, Terra and Katerina for being especially important role models to me and always being willing to share your insight, guidance, support and encouragement. To Shonny and Danelle for welcoming and embracing me as a new Xterra athlete, teammate and friend, enabling me to be a part of something so very special in our Xterra team, and for paving the way with your legendary racing and positive attitudes over the years. To Heather, Allie, Kimberly, Karoline and Anne for doing so much to enhance my LUNA experience and support me on a personal level, and for bringing so much positivity and inspiration to me, in sport and well beyond. To all of the Boise, Seattle, Phoenix and of course Tahoe LUNA Chix gals for hosting and supporting me at respective local races and right here at home — and just for being generally RAD people who I’ve especially loved getting to know. And finally, to Suzie, for showing me over these past 4 years and especially this last one the true and full value of having a teammate, and the absolute epitome of what it means to be one — in every sense of the word. (Not to mention, for being probably the most bad-ass person I know!).
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you for being a part of this incredible chapter!
And now, on to the next… Stay tuned!