• When Steph Corker finished her first triathlon, she dreamed that by 60 she might be able to do an Ironman. Fortunately for her, she started to pursue her goal a bit earlier and became one of the top age-groupers in the country.

    Steph talks to us about her journey to becoming pro and how she made the decision to make the jump because she didn't want to be defined by the things that scared her.

    If you've ever worried about how to add triathlon to an already busy schedule, this is the interview to listen to. Steph talks about how she balances life as a pro-triathlete and entrepreneur -- yep she co-owns a company and still runs it as she trains and races around the world.

    She also opens up about the comparison game and how she's in the process of learning to focus on what actually matters, deal with feeling like a sausage in her tri suit (we can relate) and learn to be the best version of yourself. We think you'll enjoy this conversation with Steph as much as we did!

  • Alyssa Godesky is a professional triathlete, coach, and co-host of the Ironwomen Podcast. We had a chance to chat with her and learn all about her story of getting involved in triathlon, how she developed a confidence that has led her to try some unexpected challenges and how she hopes to shape the sport.

    Alyssa went to the United States Naval Academy for 2 years before transferring to the University of Virginia. Already an ultra-runner, she got involved in triathlon to make friends. She shares the story of her first triathlon and eventual transition from age-grouper to pro. She shares some of her funny stories of what it was like to take the leap from a great corporate job to full-time athlete trying to make ends meet.

    Alyssa also talks about how important the relationship with a coach is and how vital it is to helping an athlete develop his/her confidence.

    Tune in to hear more about Alyssa and her journey!

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  • Since February is the month of love, we decided to chat with one of the happiest couples that we’ve ever met in the sport of triathlon.

    Chuck and Nicole Chittick are Atlanta-area triathletes who have found ways to enjoy their hobbies together over the course of the thirty-year relationship and marriage (listen to the podcast to hear about their lightning-fast romance that’s stayed the course)

    They’ve done everything from singing to ballroom dancing but their lives changed when they decided to join a gym together to fight the mid-life pudge.

    First, it was mountain biking and then running before they eventually found their way to triathlon.

    Hear about their journey to becoming triathletes (Nicole didn’t know how to swim), their race-day philosophy and how they give back to the sport.

  • Today we had an opportunity to sit down with former pro triathlete, Belinda Granger and age-group, Lynda Rowan for the second part of the conversation about how they got involved in the sport of triathlon, how they met, the things triathlon has taught them and why they still love the sport so many years later.

    Belinda Granger at Challenge Roth

    When Lynda decided to bring a triathlon to the resort she worked at in Austrailia, she knew she wanted one of Austrailia's most popular women to serve as the spokesperson. She reached out to Belinda Granger, who at the time was fairly new on the pro scene but a very popular local. That was the beginning of a long friendship spent bonding over triathlon, being strong women, and a lot of fun.

    Lynda Rowan at USAT Age Group Nationals

    Fast forward 19 years as we sit and listen to these ladies catch up from across the globe. It seems their passion for triathlon has only continued to grow.

    Listen to Belinda and Lynda share their stories. Whether you're a new triathlete or have been in the sport for several years, we think you'll be inspired to sign up for your next race after listening to their passion.

    There are so many great stories that we had to break this episode into TWO full episodes. Enjoy part 2 this week!

  • Today we had an opportunity to sit down with former pro triathlete, Belinda Granger and age-group, Lynda Rowan for a conversation about how they got involved in the sport of triathlon, how they met, the things triathlon has taught them and why they still love the sport so many years later.

    When Lynda decided to bring a triathlon to the resort she worked at in Australia, she knew she wanted one of Australia's most popular women to serve as the spokesperson. She reached out to Belinda Granger, who at the time was fairly new on the pro scene but a very popular local. That was the beginning of a long friendship spent bonding over triathlon, being strong women, and a lot of fun.

    Fast forward 19 years as we sit and listen to these ladies catch up from across the globe. It seems their passion for triathlon has only continued to grow.

    Listen to Belinda and Lynda share their stories. Whether you're a new triathlete or have been in the sport for several years, we think you'll be inspired to sign up for your next race after listening to their passion.

  • Paul Linck has been a consistent face on the triathlon circuit around the Southeast for the past decade, although you may sometimes may confuse him with his twin brother who is also an avid racer and his biggest fan.

    After taking up running to get into shape and meeting some big goals, Paul transitioned over to triathlon with many of the same rookie mistakes that all beginners make. He found himself to be a strong cyclist and runner and a passable swimmer and soon this hobby became a passion.

    Paul has raced every distance from Sprint to Ironman and has qualified 5 times for the Ironman World Championship Race in Hawaii.

    In 2015 he raced the bike portion of Ironman Florida as a relay for the Kyle Pease Foundation. Between the chair and the Kyle Pease athlete, Paul pushed more than his bodyweight for 112 miles.

    Feeling strong as a result of the preparation to push in the race, Paul decided to give a full Ironman a go just two weeks later in Arizona. There he qualified once again for the Ironman World Championship.

    Everything was on track until a doctor’s visit in 2016. Paul was diagnosed with cancer and ended up spending the next year fighting for his life.

    Ironman gave Paul a one-year deferral and going back to Kona became a personal challenge that fueled his spirit through a long and difficult recovery.

    Just 4-months after his last chemo treatment, Paul lined up at the start of the Ironman World Championship.

    The vulnerability of Paul’s story will touch you and his grit and determination will inspire you.

  • April Gellatly might be the most positive person you encounter on an Ironman course. With lots of energy, positive feedback and a LOUD voice, and likely dressed in pink, you'll know April when you meet her. Once a pro-triathlete, she is now active on the course as a coach and cheerleader.

    April started got her start in triathon early in life. Her community had a very active youth triathlon program. As the youngest of three, a sister who was a world class swimmer and a brother who....., April found herself excelling in triathlon. It was a place where she got the attention of the most important man in her life, her dad.

    Tragically, at the age of 20, April lost her dad to suicide. After his death, she once again returned to triathlon as her place of stability. She set her sights on racing the Ironman World Championship and qualified at her first Ironman in Wisconsin. April shares about that first race experience - both her rookie mistakes and what it meant to complete that race with her dad in mind.

    April graduated from college on the verge of the recession and just one year into her first job, she was laid off. Again, she found triathlon to be a place of stability and decided to take her pro card.

    April shares the good and bad of life as a pro and what made her decide to leave the pro world and focus on her coaching business.

    Whether you're thinking of your first triathlon or dreaming of Kona, April's story of grit and her practical advice will get you ready for the next step.

    Find out more about April at AGMultisportConsulting.com. Find your Grit and Dirt Sprint Tri Training Guide at gritanddirt.com.

  • Tere Derbez-Zacher started swimming when she was 24-years old and began to dream of becoming a World Champion. Her coach told her she was too old and didn't have the abilities. She promptly left that coach and found an inexperienced coach who believed in her and was eager to learn. She now has 10 World Championship medals - 1 Gold, 7 Silver and 2 Bronze.

    Wanting to understand more about the power of the mind, Tere moved from Mexico to Arizona to pursue not one but two Master's degrees (one in counseling and one in sports psychology). It was there she met her husband and eventually had their daughter.

    A friend invited her to go out for a run one weekend and she was hooked. Tere set a new goal of representing Mexico in the Rio Olympics. At the age of 44, she went to the games as the first alternate on the Olympic team.

    Tere believes that you are the only one who determines your limits and she spends her time teaching that to both aspiring and high-level athletes. You don't want to miss this conversation where we hear her story and learn insights on how to master your mindset to accomplish big goals.

    Are you thinking about tackling a sprint triathlon in 2018? Download our free Sprint Tri training guide and ten week plan on our site!

  • Haley Chura didn’t dream of becoming a professional triathlete when she was a collegiate swimmer at the University of Georgia. Far from it, she dreamed of life as an accountant.

    After graduating from UGA, Haley went on to work for an accounting firm in Atlanta. It was her boss who challenged her to start running with him which eventually led to her first triathlon.

    After a few years, Haley ended up quitting her job to become a pro triathlete.

    Haley’s journey as a pro has been full of ups and downs and valuable lessons. She was hit by a car while training in the North Georgia Mountains and the aftermath of the accident eventually led her to relocate to Montana. Get the full story

    Haley’s seen some big success on the Ironman and 70.3 circuit, winning Ironman Brazil and placing in the top 10 at the 70.3 World Championship and she’s now using her platform to influence women in sport as the host of the Ironwomen Podcast.

    Haley is down to earth and a ton of fun. We think you’ll enjoy our interview with her as much as we did!

  • As soon as you start a conversation with Jeff and Andre Shinabarger, you know that they are truly opposites in every way. Their playful banter and opposite perspective when sharing a story give you insight into how two strong-willed leaders who want to change the world have learned how to stay in love and raise a healthy family while they pursue their passions.

    Jeff and Andre always knew they had big dreams. She serves as a Physician's Assistant at Grady Healthcare in Atlanta and Jeff is the Founder and Executive Director of a nonprofit in Atlanta called Plywood People, where he leads a community of startups who are doing good.

    It doesn't take long to hear their passion for impacting the world. They have dreams and have worked hard to build a platform for those dreams. But, early in their lives as new parents, they started to discover that they had to change the way they were living if they wanted to stay in love and raise a healthy family. This led them to a series of decisions which included a 3-month sabbatical in Nicaragua where they began the process of changing the way they operated as a couple and a family.

    This interview is chalked full of dirt for anyone wrestling with some of those same questions as they live out their passion. You'll learn how they've created rhythms in life that work for them and the radical steps they've taken to stay healthy in the midst of a busy life.

  • Even though Jesica D'Avanza grew up with parents who instilled confidence in her abilities from an early age and a father who was a role model as an elite runner, when it came to her own personal journey to running, Jesica shares a story that many of us can relate to.

    She grew up running high school track but as she began her own journey into endurance running, she started to realize how some of her self-limited beliefs were holding her back. The things she learned as she set goals first to complete long-distance events and then to hit time goals, started to grow her confidence in other areas of her life. Listen to her full story on the podcast.

    In 2012, Jesica began her blog, runladylike.com – appropriately named by combining the words “run” and “unladylike” – where she shares her uncensored and unladylike adventures of running and marathon training. (listen to the podcast for poop stories - yep, we all have them, she just isn't shy about sharing them!)

    Jesica also shares about her journey to becoming a mom and how she's had to adapt to the change in her body from pregnancy and childbirth. She's very honest about the physical and mental challenges that come with having your body completely transformed.

    Jesica has completed eight marathons, 12 half marathons and numerous triathlons, including two half iron distance races. She received her marathon coaching certification from the North American Academy of Sport Fitness Professionals and actively coaches runners of all levels. In her day job, she serves as vice president of marketing communications for the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to ending muscle disease. More information on gritanddirt.com You can connect with her at @rUnladylike on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

  • We're excited to have made 13 episodes so far of the Grit and Dirt Podcast. For this episode, we wanted to do something a little different.

    Bethany catches us up on her latest news from pursuing IVF. Kathryn catches up on her latest news after her bike accident. Both talk about how those major life changes have spurred them to pursue interests outside of triathlon. Bethany also has a major confession.

    We talk about how the focus of this podcast has changed and where we hope it will go in the future. We also solicit your feedback via a quick survey to see what you've enjoyed and what you want to hear in the future.

    Full show notes available on our blog

  • Business owners understand that the time, intentional effort, and planning they put into their business will directly result in the long-term success and growth of their business. As they began to build and grow a successful fitness business, Josh and Erin Guerrieri found this to be true. They had to spend time working on the business instead of just working in the business. It's allowed them to ride the wave of fitness trends and build a sustainable business that continues to grow.

    But when it came to their family, they were beginning to feel a little out of control. All around them, they heard parents say, 'you just have to survive this stage of life' or 'just hold on until they are older'. Life in a city moves at a frantic pace and with 5 young children (currently ranging from ages 10-4), the Guerrieri's knew that something had to change. They decided to take some lessons they had learned from running their business and transfer those to their family.

    It started with family meetings, a weekly time where the family gathers and talks about the plan for the week, discusses any issues that need to be covered (anything from how to brush your teeth to why people are getting shot at a concert). Subjects are discussed in an age-appropriate way, but nothing is off limits. They want their children to learn to engage in the world around them through thoughtful discussion rather than being shaped by the opinions of others.

    The family meeting sets the tone for the week. Everyone knows what is happening and what is expected. Everyone has a contribution to make to the household. The meeting sets the tone for the week. Learn more about Josh and Erin's family meeting on their Wellthy Family blog here.

    They've also made the choices that make the most sense for their family. Rather than spending money on lots of toys or activities for the kids, they invest in experiences and time with their children. Listen to the podcast to learn about how they celebrate birthdays with 5 kids!

    Does running a family like a business sound a little boring? Life is anything but in the Guerrieri household. From nightly dance parties to the dream back-yard, Josh and Erin are active and fun parents.

    Josh and Erin have taken their experiences and created a course called 40-Day Family: Stop Drowning and Start Living. You can get on the list for their next course release here.

  • Megan Melgaard may have gills. At least that's what most people would think when they start to understand how much time she spends in the water.

    If you can find a job that involves the water, Megan has probably done it. She started as a collegiate swimmer who went all the way the Olympic trials at the University of Florida. From there she helped launch a successful swimsuit company (Splish) which she later sold to her business partners to head to Hollywood to star in a major motion picture alongside Keven Costner and then becoming a Hollywood stuntwoman. She then moved to Atlanta, where she became one of the most well-known swim coaches in the Southeast and launched her business Fix My Swim and became a race director. Her work with races eventually led her to be hired as the Atlanta Event Director for Swim Across America and now she serves as the National Director of Events for SAA, traveling all over the US and the world to help people raise money for cancer research and clinic trials through swim experiences.

    As glamorous as life in a swimsuit might sound, Megan shares the good, the bad, and the lonely of life on the road. Her background with an injury that derailed her dreams of the Olympic team and an eating disorder that led her to deal with some deep issues of insecurity in her life.

    She shares how important community is and how her community helped her break out of the destructive patterns that led to her eating disorder. She talkes about the struggle of maintaining a community when you spend the majority of your time on the road and gives us some honest insight into the loneliness those with adventurous and entrepreneurial spirits often feel.

  • What if you were hiding a secret that was eating away at your life but you feared to share because it might somehow make you unlovable? What if you were struggling to reconcile the way you feel with the things you’d been taught your entire life? What if you felt alone and isolated? Most of us can actually say that we’ve struggled with those feelings at some time in our life. Today’s podcast guest Brett Trapp gives us some honest insight into his grit journey that led him to the courage to live authentically and some great dirt for people on how to live their most authentic self.

    For nine years, Brett Trapp kept a secret journal of thoughts on being gay and Christian, knowing one day he’d shout the story he feared most. On a Tuesday morning in late 2016, he logged on Facebook and began shouting… He started by publishing a Gossip Guide to his sexuality—a cheeky way to let friends know his secret. He then began sharing the vivid details of his story through a 44-episode memoir, published as one episode per day.

    Each episode combined visually-rich prose and stunning photography. He called the story Blue Babies Pink. Within days, word began to spread. Though there was no advertising or major publicity, people began to share the story through social media. Thousands of readers tuned in, eagerly waiting for the daily installment to be released. Several readers called it “the Netflix of blogs.”

    Within days, word began to spread. Though there was no advertising or major publicity, people began to share the story through social media. Thousands of readers tuned in, eagerly waiting for the daily installment to be released. Several readers called it “the Netflix of blogs.” To date, Blue Babies Pink has drawn nearly 100,000 readers from around the world and spawned a 2,200 mile, five city “Bookless Tour.” In 2017, the series released as a podcast and hit number one on the iTunes Religion/Spirituality chart and the top 40 of all podcasts worldwide. Blue Babies Pink podcast episodes have been downloaded/streamed over 650,000 times.

    Shownotes at gritanddirt.com

  • Have you ever felt unfulfilled in your chosen path but wondered if chasing your dream could lead to a sustainable lifestyle? Have you questioned whether or not it's possible to make a living while doing the thing you love? Today we get to chat with Becky Nickerson, who owns the popular Atlanta-based Infinity Yoga Studios, along with her husband Matt Shechtman.

    Local to Atlanta? Check out a free class at Infinity Yoga by entering your email at Grit and Dirt

    Becoming a yoga instructor wasn't the career path that Becky Nickerson had envisioned for herself when she moved to Miami, but an invitation to a yoga class led her to discover a new passion. After a few years of hustling to make ends meet and craft her trade, Becky moved back to her hometown of Atlanta and through a series of events ended up opening Infinity Yoga.

    She and Matt didn't set out to create one of the most successful yoga businesses in Atlanta but as they started to follow their passions and fix some of the things they disliked about the way the yoga industry was being run. The beginnings of Infinity Yoga weren't glamorous. It involved over a year of nonstop work and even selling Matt's car to help pay for the first studio. Listen to the Podcast to get the full story of Infinity Yoga Becky takes time to share all the dirt of how she and Matt Shechtman are creating a different kind of yoga business.

    Community is at the forefront of the business. They do this by creating a welcoming environment for new students and creating a business model where all of their teachers are full-time employees of Infinity Yoga rather than driving all over town to teach at one studio or another. This allows teachers to get to know their students and help them reach their goals.

    They also started taking yoga trips around the world to allow students a chance to immerse themselves in yoga in beautiful environments while getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Learn more about their yoga trips here. Becky also shares how she and Matt have learned to balance marriage while working together and now even embarking on a new life stage with the recent addition of their daughter.

  • Ask anyone in Atlanta to name someone who is helping people join the city’s running community and they’ll mention Temilola ‘Tes’ Sobomehin Marshall.

    Tes didn’t start out with a dream of starting a successful race company and running group. She, like many of us, got into running by signing up with a 5k with a friend. From there, she signed up for her first 10k and completed it but she noticed that she didn’t see very many other African American women at races and had a strong desire to start getting more African American’s involved in running. Around the same time, she saw a flyer for Black Girls Run and she became their first ambassador in Atlanta. The group quickly grew in Atlanta and Tes was hooked on the power of community to change people’s lives through running. Tes went on to form her own running group, runningnerds.

    From there, she began to venture into race directing because she thought it would be ‘fun’. Tes’ fun project has now grown to a full event company with races all over the city. One must-have for any of her races is a place where people can gather and connect post-race. She really believes that races should be an event where a community is formed.

    Tes shares a lot of insight with us about what it’s like to be a runtrapreneur, the hustle it takes to pursue your dreams (hint: success is not overnight) and some of the unique things she’s done in Atlanta to bring together the running community, like the very popular, Big Ol Group Run.

    This past spring, Tes launched Run Social, a focused effort to bring together running and social events to encourage more people to get involved with running! Rumor has it, there’s even a new half-marathon in the works!

    Find Tes or sign up for one of her races:

    Run Social Website


    Run with Tes: West Midtown Run Club

  • Welcoming a new baby into your life is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life. But for around 15% of women, it’s actually one of the darkest times in their lives because of post-partum depression. Today’s guest, Clare Schexnyder was a successful career woman who found herself in the midst of that dark depression after giving birth to her daughter, Sophie.

    As with most people in depression, the person suffering from post-partum depression often doesn’t recognize what’s going on. It wasn’t until Clare was forced out of the house to join a group of moms for a daily walk, that she began to recognize the problem and understand how much if affected women. She began to see that exercise and community were a lifeline for new moms, whether or not they were struggling with post-partum depression. An idea was sparked and soon Oh Baby Fitness! was formed. Clare never returned to her job at CNN.

    Hear more about how Clare took her experiences with post-partum depression and turned into a business that has the changed the lives of thousands of moms and moms-to-be.

    Complete show notes available on our blog. Find out more about Clare’s recent work with the Postpartum Support International Georgia Chapter here.

  • If you have met Charlie Baxter Graham, you would remember. Charlie is a yoga instructor, runner, store manager, and social activist, and is out to influence the world for good.

    This popular instructor is a light to many but has a deeper story to share about her past, and how she came to recovery and sobriety seven years ago. Listen as Charlie talks about her time in a dark place and how the loneliness and isolation was overwhelming. At her lowest moment, Charlie found that telling the truth changed the course of her life forever.

    At first she transferred compulsive tendencies to activities like yoga and running. After that path led to injury, it opened the door for Charlie to ask herself some bigger questions about her life. After struggling with addiction she realized she needed to emulate other women in her life who were doing the things that she wanted to do. "Act like the person you want to be and eventually you will become that version of yourself." Eventually those things led her to finding balance over time.

    Armed with a magnetic personality, Charlie found that she had a responsibility to help others and inspire them on their own path.

  • Allison Macsas and Gabe Steger didn't set out to start a vacation company. This couple fell in love while traveling in Southeastsia. There they discovered that they both shared a wanderlust spirit and love of adventure. After returning to Austin, TX and their full-time jobs, Allison as a running coach and Gabe in corporate America, they decided to take some friends on an adventure vacation based around trail running. The trip was a hit.

    Fast forward a few years and Gabe and Allison have both left their other jobs and have grown Rogue Expeditions into a full-time business taking people on trail running adventures to some of the most beautiful and exotic places in the world including Patagonia, Kenya, Morocco, Croatia, and Slovenia.

    Allison is an elite level runner who went all the way to the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2016. (She'll be making another attempt at the team in 2020). After coming close to burn-out from running, she discovered a way to combine her love of running with travel through the launch of Rogue Expeditions.

    Gabe was on his way up the corporate ladder when he decided to take a sabbatical and explore the world. He knew his adventurous spirit could not be contained in the confines of a 9-5. One thing you'll notice about Gabe is his passion for introducing others to new experiences.

    They also talk about what types of trips Rogue Expeditions offer and what type of person is a good fit. Here's a hint, the trips are open to a wide-variety of people from beginner runners to those training for ultra runs. The trip is focused around the adventure and is adapted to the needs of individuals. If you're interested in learning more about one of their trips, you can visit their site here. Get all of the scoop about the trips by listening to the podcast.

    You can get the complete show notes on our blog.