Hi, let me formally introduce myself— I’m Laura, the most recent addition to the team here at Custom Performance! I have been working here since August and have been absolutely loving everything that has come along, including immersing myself in the NYC running community. As a kid, I came into the city to hang out with my dad at work and constantly admired the people running in Central Park. Hopeful to be one of those people one day, going for a run in the park weekly has been a dream come true.
So, what’s my story? I started running when I was 14 years old and at the time, would have laughed at calling myself a runner. I used running to ‘stay in shape’ for other sports. An extremely supportive & successful, persuasive, and knowledgeable high school coach, along with a newfound passion for the act of running, was enough to change this. Knowing the bare minimum about times/distances/anything running related, I was taught to enjoy the journey—races, road trips, exploring new places, & making new friends. I still believe that running is at its best when it’s most innocent, and try to maintain as much of this in my training now as I can. Eventually, I learned a bit and got excited about what being a runner could mean for me, ending with a decision to pursue it in college.
I decided on a New York school that my mom found online called SUNY Geneseo. Continuing a vital trend in my growing love for the sport, I was fortunate to have an extremely caring and knowledgeable coach as well as a team that was like family, and people that became forever friends. I joined a program that was fully supportive of my academic & athletic goals, and learned to believe in myself along the way. Athletically, there were some difficult moments– stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, patella mis-tracking– you name it, I had it all. I was the hobbling example of too much too soon. Would I have changed a thing about my time at Geneseo? No. These times of adversity showed me the value of having a supportive, knowledgeable group of individuals guiding my health, and made me appreciate my good races that much more.
My last stop before arriving in NYC was Stony Brook University, where I studied to get my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. My running has come down to one question during this time– who am I as a runner post-collegiately? I haven’t quite found the answer, but am continuing the journey and still soaking up every second of it. I’ve learned a whole lot about coaching and training, both through myself and others, while recognizing the community that is built around the sport. I completed my first marathon this fall (‘22) in New York– one down and many more to come (I think). Maybe this is my new place in the running world. But while I continue to figure this out– here’s to many more miles, friends, new routes, laughs, & exploring along the way; let the journey continue.