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TEAM GritChicks TEAMmate Spotlight *Michaela Young*

TEAM GritChicks Inspiring Female Athlete

Our TEAMmates come to TEAM GritChicks with their own unique background, motivations, goals and dreams, and we find so much inspiration from each other. We all have unique gifts and so much to give, and in our safe, supportive community, we are free and encouraged to be exactly who we are.

In this spirit, we are excited to share a little of our TEAMmates’ stories, to celebrate them and to inspire others as well.

With that said, I am excited to share with you a little about another one of our Inspiring Female Athletes, TEAM GritChicks TEAMmate Michaela Young. Her answers to some of these interview questions inspired me so much they brought tears to my eyes, and fanned the flame of my love of running. Thank you Mica!

When and why did you start running?

So my running journey began with a rusty old mountain bike, like many things, a simple purchase at a yard sale snowballed. A group of friends was going trail riding and I went along, I think I threw up 3 times on that first ride, I was so out of shape, however something clicked and I couldn’t wait to go again. The mountain biking quickly morphed into road biking, which I absolutely still love. My parents told me about a bunch of cyclist going past their house and figured it must be a race, it was actually a triathlon. My brain thought, hmmm, that could be neat, it was near where I grew up, so I could bike, the swim was in a small bay I was totally comfortable swimming in, oh no, run? 3 miles? With a time cut off? Could I do it? That is how I started running, to beat a time cut off at a triathlon.

What do you love most about it?

I love that when I go travel, going for a run shows me things I would never have seen before. Early morning city streets, completely empty tourist hikes at sunrise, empty stretches of beach and seabirds- so many amazing places to explore and on foot is just so intimate.

What is your biggest challenge when training?

A Facebook memory came up just today ‘have a 5k this weekend, maybe I should start training’ - this is still an issue, I have trouble with consistency until I get into panic mode, but its a little late by then.

What are your favorite places and time of day to run?

I love the beach at sunrise it’s just magical, and a twisty trail in the pouring rain, turns the whole place into a puddle and me back into a 5 year old.

Have you had an embarrassing or funny running experience you'd be willing to share?

My run partner and I were doing the Dam Yeti 55k. It had been a beautiful day, perfect weather, the highs, the lows, the amazing views, we get to the finish line at a brewery, and as we get near the train tracks to cross over and finish, the bars go down, and a train comes through. So at the climax of our amazing day, we sit, and listen to the finish line party, as a train goes by for 10 minutes. It’s funny now, it was so disappointing then.

What is your favorite place (destination) you've run?

I was camping in Watkins Glen State Park , the waterfalls and gorge are just amazing. I woke up before sunrise every morning of camping and had the whole place to myself. Incredible.

What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment with running/fitness?

My proudest accomplishment isn’t even really about me. Since is started running in 2014, so many of my friends have joined me for races, my husband ( who now is designated volunteer) , my son, my mom, and so many others who may never have even considered walking any distance, and I love that, keep going- you never know who you inspire!

Do you have a female role model (running related or not)? If so, who is she and why?

I love anyone who does the thing they set out to so, especially if she been told she can’t do it. I’m inspired and routing for you all!

What are some interesting non-running facts about you?

I love trivia, my head is full of useless information, I play trivia about things I don’t know just so then I do.

What is your biggest running goal/dream?

There is a double 50k race local that in the back of my head I want to do, it’s awful and I don’t know why I want to do this stupid race, it’ll be years if I ever do. Also, I want to hike the section of Appalachian Trail that goes through Shenandoah National Park, it’s about 100 miles.

What is your biggest NON-running goal/dream?

I want to take a couple months off and drive cross country, big circle north and south, camping and exploring as I go.

Anything else you'd like to share?

Just remember to keep having fun, running is sport, recreation, it’s supposed to be fun. To steal a tagline “smile or you’re doing it wrong”

You can find Mica on Instagram @mama_athlete

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