We’re happy to share another inspiring athlete guest post, this week from Nuun ambassador Kristen Zaitz.
When Life Hands You Lemons
My late grandfather always said, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” This is a quote that I have learned to live by, and more often than not in my particular case, it is Strawberry Lemonade – Nuun of course!
I have been running now for about 13 years and running is my passion as well as my profession. I get to wake-up every day and know that I get to challenge myself by doing what I love, I get to be outside with nature, and I get to chase down my dreams looking them square in the face, unafraid. I feel blessed to be able to follow my dreams and know that my grandfather is looking down from above cheering for me.
The past 13 years have been filled with lots of heartache and yet lots of happy moments, that keep me going back for more. There have been many who have tried to tear me down and just as many who have nurtured me and my dreams. I have had many injuries, too many to count now, but always come back more determined with another lesson learned. I could have given up after my first injury in high school, shin splints, or my first college injury, a stress fracture. However, that is not in my nature. I do not give up on something I desire with all my heart.
I have always been a “glass half empty” kind of thinker despite having a mother who bred nothing but positivity into my life. It has taken years to actually live by my grandfather’s words, “When life hands you lemons make lemonade.” It has taken me most of my 13 years of running to learn that much of the time life doesn’t go as planned. I always thought it should and always got mad and frustrated when my season didn’t go the way my coach and I had planned, or my body didn’t stay injury-free like I wanted it to. I have learned that life is what it is and that we must learn to make lemonade out of any situation. While this is often easier said than done, it allows for what I like to call “free” running. It has helped me be more successful and more “awake” as a runner and as a human being. When I forget this “way of life” and go back to my old habits, the results 99.9% of the time are unlikeable.
My story is all my own and the bumps and bruises along the way have helped shape who I am today. I know that every personal best I set, every barrier I break through, and every hurdle I overcome, is because of the lessons I’ve learned: the best of which, is of course “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”
Kristen is a Native Ohioan who moved to Colorado about six years ago to pursue her professional running career. She currently lives in Broomfield, Colorado with her husband of two years, but prior studied at Miami University (Ohio) where she graduated with Academic All-American honors, a degree in Sports Organization, and a minor in coaching in 2003. As you might expect Kristen loves running, but she also adores spending time with family and friends, good wines, IPA’s and amber beers, crosswords, cooking, and anything that involves being outside!
Kristen races distances from the 5k to the marathon, but trains everyday with the goal of making an Olympic marathon team. In 2010 she represented the United States of America at the World Half Marathon Championships in Nanning, China. She is part of the Sherman Performance team based out of Boulder, Colorado and is also sponsored by Mizuno. And for the all important information: her favorite Nuun flavors are strawberry lemonade and grape!