“I got off the plane, looked out at the mountains, and just felt this sense of relaxation. Like this is where I’m supposed to be, this is where life is good. And it made no sense!”
Laura Skladzinski was a dancer and theater kid growing up. She, like many of us, hated having to run the mile in gym class. Then, at 24 years old, Laura became the youngest person at the time to complete a marathon in all 50 states, and she has gone on to run more than 100 marathons and a few ultramarathons. So, what changed? In this wide-ranging conversation, Laura talks about how she became a runner, and what her approach to running is like. She talks her decision to move from New York City to Colorado, and about becoming a town trustee in her new hometown of Superior, CO. She also talks about how difficult that role has been over the past few months, after fires tore through the town at the end of 2021. She shares what that day was like as both a homeowner in Superior and as an elected official, and about why she has decided to prioritize mental health needs both for herself and for her community in the wake of those fires. Laura works as a management consultant, and when she’s not working or on the run, she’s a ski instructor at Beaver Creek, a Meals on Wheels volunteer and driver, and a camp counselor at Experience Camps for Grieving Children.
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What you’ll get on this episode:
- On being a town trustee in Superior, CO — and receiving more votes than any candidate in history! (6:00)
- What brought Laura to Colorado (8:30)
- What Young Laura was like (13:40)
- How Laura found and fell in love with running (17:15)
- Why Laura decided to try and run a marathon in every state (25:30)
- How Laura felt when she completed the 50 states challenge (31:00)
- Laura talks about being featured in a national JetBlue campaign (34:15)
- How Laura got so fast, and what her approach to running is like (36:45)
- How Laura became a ski instructor at Beaver Creek (44:30)
- On taking a break, taking a leave of absence from work, and prioritizing mental health (48:00)
- What it was like being in Superior, CO, during the fires a few months ago (52:00)
- Why Laura chose to prioritize community-wide mental health needs after the fires (57:45)
- On being a volunteer counselor at Experience Camps for Grieving Children (1:05:30)
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