This week we are high-fiving FiTONIC's Athlete of the Week: Lauren Link! Lauren didn’t expect to like running but after her first half marathon, she was hooked! In this interview, she shares with us about her journey to becoming a runner and what she eats to manage celiac disease.
Tell us about yourself and your fitness journey:
I have always been an active person and participated in a variety of sports - none of those being running long distance though. I set out 2018 to strive to be the healthiest version of myself and signed up for my first half marathon in Columbus, OH. After crossing the finish line the first thing I said to my husband was, "I want to do this again". I was hooked. On our drive home from the race, I registered for another half marathon for the following month. Running has become an activity I love - something I never expected - and I am looking forward to my next race at the end of this month. I still find time to incorporate other fitness activities I love, such as biking and yoga.
What first inspired you to pursue this path?
A half marathon was always on my bucket list and I am someone who tends to always confront myself with a new challenge. I never expected myself to fall in love with running and continue to run half marathons, but I am so glad I did it! It has become a great stress reliever and time to reflect.
What do you believe to be your greatest strength & weakness?
My greatest strength is my dedication to myself to continue on this journey and not giving up when obstacles come in the way, as well as my competitive spirit - no matter how much I may deny my competitiveness. Trouble with my ankle, a neck injury, and some other health conditions have slowed me down along the way in my training, but I continued to get right back at it knowing I will be happy I did. This can be a downfall for me because I tend to push myself a little too much at times and not allow my body to fully recover.
"My greatest strength is my dedication to myself to continue on this journey and not giving up when obstacles come in the way. "
Have you worked with coaches?
No, but I love reading anything fitness, health and wellness related to soak up any new information or tips I can.
What is the hardest part about what you do?
For me, it's not about the actual activity itself, but it's finding the time. Finding the time to be active and improve your health should be top priority, but sometimes between my career, responsibilities at home, busy schedules, and keeping up with friends and family, can be difficult.
What is the most rewarding?
The feeling of accomplishment when I am done and feeling better all-around.The positive effects on my health, strength, sleep and mood motivate me to continue a healthy lifestyle.
What is your nutrition like?
I was diagnosed with celiac disease at the age of 18, so I follow a strict Gluten Free diet. I also suffer from gastroparesis so this limits the food I consume as well. I choose options that support my thyroid, hormone and gut health. Besides all of the typical limitations I had to incorporate in my diet due to my diagnoses, I have cut out all processed foods, dairy, soy, sugar (besides the occasional treat), as well as certain foods that may disrupt my sugar levels. I only drink water and tea with the occasional glass of wine of course.
For most of my diet, I didn’t have a choice, but my health has improved tremendously. When I cut out all of the “bad stuff” and focus on eating nutrient dense foods, I feel the best! I definitely recommend starting out slow with making changes and slowly incorporating the new changes one day at a time.
Looking forward to the future, who do you wannabe?
I want to be the happiest and healthiest version of myself, and continue to improve on those aspects each day through a holistic approach. I want to remain an active lifestyle and instill this in my stepson and future children. I want my family to be healthy and active through fun and engaging activities together.
BIG thank you to Lauren for being our Athlete of the Week!
You can connect with her at:
Do you know someone who should be featured as our Athlete of the Week? Check out more information here!