If you hear "CAR UP!" or "CAR BACK!" on a Wednesday night run, there's a pretty good chance you're hearing the call from our brilliant, safety-minded, vegetarian East Nasty of the Week, Stephanie Mayers.
Stephanie learned her chanting ways as a high school cheerleader in the small town of Geneva, Alabama. But, she gives a serious disclaimer with that knowledge. "I admit, I was a cheerleader," she says. "But were tough! We did all kinds of gymnastics and went to the national competition two years in a row."
Now, far removed from sis-boom-bahing, Stephanie spends her time as the Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator at Vanderbilt's Memory and Alzheimer's clinic. When she's not eating at Far East or enjoying a cup (or pint) of Jenny's Splendid goat cheese + cognac fig ice cream, Stephanie's traveling. She's been to Savannah, New Orleans and Seattle to run half marathons, and to the Peruvian Amazon, Machu Picchu, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and across Europe—10 countries and counting. And if she's not traveling... she's probably at home, making up songs about her 14-year old puppy, Tiggy-tum-tum.
Though she moved to East Nashville in 2002, it took nine years for Stephanie to finally venture out to an East Nasty run, cajoled by her good (we think great) friend Andrea. "I was going through a difficult time," Stephanie says, "and I needed something positive to put myself into, to feel good about me." She started training in January 2011 for her first half marathon, and hasn't stopped since. The running, she says, has improved her physical and emotional health, and has warded off pain that plagued her in years past. Plus the post-workout beers aren't bad.
Stephanie had a PR in her last half marathon in Seattle at 1:51:12, and is currently training for the Bourbon Chase, Ragner Relay... and her first full marathon. Her excitement about all things East Nasty is pretty obvious—but in case you need further convincing, she used 21 exclamation points when she e-mailed me about her experience with our crowd. Case and point.
So the next time you hear that friendly, encouraging reminder to haul your you-know-what out of the way for an oncoming vehicle—smile, and remember that it's probably Stephanie, just maintaining her cheerleader voice.
p.s. Don't forget to congratulate Stephanie sometime this week!