I'm a sport and exercise science professor at Benedictine University outside of Chicago. My love of nature really began in high school and college as an avid cross-country runner training in Wild Life Refuges or State Parks. I fell in love with the Appalachians when I lived in Virginia, and romanticized the idea of Thru-Hiking the AT while running or hiking in SNP. I lived in Colorado during my doctoral work, and taught college courses including some on hiking and took students to RMNP for class. During grad school, I struggled with staying active and gained a lot of weight. I've set the goal of Thru-Hiking the AT in 2021 to motivate myself to take my life back from stress and inactivity.
Learning from the Past My university is allowing me to attempt an AT thru-hike if I can directly tie it to the research I conduct as a professor.
Sunny Moments When I was a competitive runner, I enjoyed a lot of modest success. In high school, I earned All-State and All-Conference honors as a
"Stadiums are for spectators. We runners have nature and that is much better." ~Juha Väätäinen ?? Gold medalist 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter, 1971
The Unknown On an early October night in 2008, I got out of my car at the Elkridge wayside in Shenandoah National Park. I had jumped into my car