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New Life, New Blog.

Hi Everyone! 2013 has been very busy with lots of changes in the Wheatley household(s)- I feel that it is appropriate to start this new chapter of our life with a new blog!

Be Epic

As you can see, I will be posting my blog updates here on epicendurance.co, my new coaching website. I have combined my experiences and passions for exercise physiology, triathlon, and teaching into a coaching business, and I’m lucky enough to be guiding some hard-working and dedicated athletes this year who are looking to conquer some EPIC challenges! I have had some help along the way- Steven Barcus has done an incredible job guiding me with a business/marketing plan and a website- his services have been invaluable. Sean Thornton is the creative mastermind behind the Epic Endurance Logo- I couldn’t have asked for a better logo to represent my company! Please take a look around the website- it is still a “work in progress”, but I would love feedback and suggestions. I still have availability to take on a few more athletes, so if you have questions or would like to discuss this opportunity, let me know :)

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Another big change is that I am now living in in Salt Lake City, Utah! I was accepted into the Ph.D. program in Exercise Physiology at the University of Utah, which will I start in late August. I will be studying under Dr. Jim Martin, a renowned engineer, biomechanist, and cycling guru. It is a 4-year program, so I will be living in these beautiful mountains for awhile! I also just found out yesterday that I was officially offered a graduate assistantship in the PEAK Health and Fitness Clinic. PEAK offers many fitness, nutrition, and performance services to the U of U community, including assessments, training, classes, and events. I am THRILLED to continue working in an applied learning environment similar to the ISU Exercise Physiology Lab that I hold dear to my heart :) I think this will be a great fit!

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This is definitely a (calculated) leap of faith- I wrapped up 11 years at Illinois State University (4 years of undergrad, 2 years of grad school, and 5 years as an instructor/lab coordinator) and had to say goodbye to my coworkers who served as my professors, mentors, and friends. It will be an endeavor going back to school after being on the “other side of the desk” so to speak, but I cannot wait to uncover a whole new world of knowledge, experiences, and research. It is my professional dream to make a difference and impact in the athletic community- nothing worth doing is ever easy, and I am up for the challenge!

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I also had to say goodbye to family and cherished friends. My family has been so supportive of my dreams and goals, no matter how lofty or “inconvenient” they may be at times; there is no way I could be at the start line of this incredible journey without their unconditional love and encouragement. I will sorely miss my friends in Bloomington-Normal, particularly those who introduced and help me grow in the sport of triathlon, which has become my life-long passion!

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The most challenging good-bye was to my wonderful husband Dan. This was an unexpected twist in our plan. Dan is pursuing a promising career in Orthotics and Prosthetics, and has just finished up his Orthotics program at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. With some major changes going on in U.S. Healthcare (and it’s implications for small healthcare companies, like O&P clinics) and education in O&P, it has become VERY difficult to obtain a residency in a clinic, which is essential for becoming a certified Practitioner. Fortunately, Dan was offered a residency! Unfortunately, it is in Elmira, New York…1800 miles away from me in SLC. Right now in our lives, it is very important for us to pursue the best paths for our respective careers (that we are very passionate about), and we know that it will all work out in the (hopefully near) future. The residency is one year long, but depending on what he needs to do for the next step of his schooling for prosthetics, we may be apart longer. This was NOT an easy decision, but we both want the best for each other, our careers, and our long-term life together! We survived the deployment, this should be a cakewalk ;)

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In the week and half that I have been here, I have realized that albeit being a little lonely (for now), Utah isn’t a bad place to be ;)

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I’m looking forward to sharing all of my epic adventures along the way! Until next time!

Laura

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