About AJ

Until a bio is written, here is a note sent to members in response to common questions...

 

As the program gets bigger and I get less time to spend casually chatting with people, there seems to be more and more confusion and mystery between me and all of you. Many people also come into this thinking that I must have a child with special needs. 

I don't have children - the inspiration for this program is decades old and comes from my own experiences with running; it comes from my unmet needs for support in navigating life and understanding the world around me, which also resulted in the gamut of negative side effects; it comes from the place where the two have merged to aid in my growth and development; and it comes from my desire to bring the "magic" of running to others like me. While I have no diagnosis, I identify very much with the challenges those with autism and developmental disorders live with. Running has been my everything and played every role in my life at some time or other.

I have been struggling for 2 years to put together a bio about myself so members know more about me and "why Verge?".  Part of the problem with explaining is that there is such a long and complex story of my development (how do I shrink that to bit size?) and the fact that I am so different now, people tend to stare at with me with this "yeah, right" look on their faces. So I say little or nothing. Someday I'll figure out how to communicate it in a paragraph form, but at least now you know I didn't start this for a child of my own. Here's the other, easy bullet list stuff:

I was an architect and had a 10 year career in architecture (til 2008) with an education from the Boston Architectural College. In running, middle school and high school cross country was my ticket out of my internal world. After HS, it was over 10 years before I found that again in racing triathlons. I was an elite amateur long course triathlete; a USA Track and Field, USA Triathlon, USA Cycling certified coach; a personal coach for beginner and competitive athletes, a college tri club, girls running club, women's tri program. I've also organized kids multisport events. I never connected with humans until I started coaching 10 years ago and found I was almost hyper intuitive and empathetic. My coaching strength is coaching individual competitive mid, long, and ultra distance athletes. 

Injury ended my racing career, I took a break from coaching and sport, and I did not return to architecture after a layoff. I now spend my time working on Verge as it is growing beyond what I imagined. It has brought purpose back to my life and gives me a place in the world that I can function and live healthily and happily. I look forward to the day where I can focus more on the coaching than on the organization, fundraising, and outreach.

Extra tidbits: I love hiking 20+ mile day hikes in the White Mountains solo, snowshoeing the Whites, traveling to new places with Matt, super long bike rides, I took my first glider plane flying lesson last year, and pretty much do things in life either because they scare the crap out of me and I want to get past it to see what lies ahead, or because I'm curious, which I guess is the same thing minus the fear. I'm an ice cream junkie. I have a huge range of interests but find it very difficult to have conversations about them as I struggle translating my thoughts to words to speech so I still mostly live in my head. This may help explain my fumbling with words at practices. My husband, Matt, and I have been together for 19 years. We are nothing alike, but complement each other like PB&J, and his remarkable ability to talk endlessly makes up for my silence. 

Verge scares the heck out of me - it's success so far, it's potential...and not knowing what lies ahead as I take it day by day toward a vision, guided by the needs and wants of members and the limited resources I have. It's another journey and it keeps me growing, smiling, and connecting with humans. I hope it does that for our members too.

- AJ