An Olympic Taekwondo Athlete & Four-Time Battlegrounds Competitor
Lauren battles through life like a balancing act. She is a full-time student, a Community Through Athletics charity board member and an Olympic Taekwondo athlete. Her biggest battle is an internal one, but the obstacles she faces, she chose – and she is determined to conquer them.
What 3 words would your friends use to describe you?
Tenacious. Resilient. Diligent.
What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your life?
I have battled a broken skull and broken fingers requiring surgery, but nothing compares to the battle I’ve faced in my own head. I am a full-time pharmacy student, part-time hospital intern, part-time charity board member for Community Through Athletics, and full-time taekwondo athlete. I compete at a national and now international level in Olympic Taekwondo. Trying to manage my time can be hard, given the amount of studying, work, and mental-focus required to place towards my crafts. I’m certainly not always motivated to attend class for 6 hours, then drive an hour to get taekwondo, to train for two hours, then to drive an hour home…But my obstacles given are my obstacles chosen. Where my mind may fail, my diligence and will-to-win (to progress) takes over. I will continue to inch my way forward. I’m not dead yet.
What does life’s better when battled mean to you?
If you aren’t struggling, then you aren’t improving. So many people like to preach “balance”, but if your life isn’t a little off-balance – and if your goals don’t make you a little uneasy – then you’re not progressing. You’re settling. You’re choosing to walk around the obstacle rather than face it head on. More often than not, the fear of failure is worse than the fear itself. There is no failure in effort. In fact, I’d say success is not outcome-based. Rather, success is found smack-dab in the middle of the battle, when we decide to push past the “suck” and the “can’t.”
What’s your favorite Battlegrounds obstacle?
My favorite obstacle is The Gauntlet because it is the most pivotal moment of the race. You have almost completed the course, yet you still have one huge, individual obstacle lying ahead of you. To choose to tackle this, at your seemingly most weak, makes this obstacle one of the most challenging.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
The charity I work for is Community Through Athletics, a nonprofit organization designed to raise funds in order to provide scholarships for underprivileged youth wanting to become involved in athletics. We’re always looking for volunteers or some added support.