I Went to Under Armour's Run Camp: Alison from Harlem
By Max Barrett
Posted September 2, 2016 via UA Record Blog
“I started running after a period of depression and used running to really overcome negative feelings about myself. My tagline, find meaning on the run, comes from this journey. I find running to be empowering and it allows me to push myself beyond what I think is possible. I run for my mental health; the physical benefits are an additional bonus.”
Like many other runners, Alison uses exercise to battle issues beyond physical. It serves as a therapeutic outlet and emotional release. These rewards from running are often overlooked. At UA Run Camp, this reward is amplified due to the extremes the athletes are willing to push themselves to. They expect to be uncomfortable, they expect to struggle but they know it will be worth it.
HOW DID UA RUN CAMP DIFFER FROM YOUR NORMAL TRAINING?
“The biggest difference was obviously the elevation. I had only had a few opportunities to run at higher altitude in the past, and I found my anxiety about it getting the best of me. My body was actually fine, but my mind was telling me it wasn’t. The entire camp, I was battling the part of me that told me I should quit.”
It’s all about self-discovery. When you realize what your body is capable of during UA Run Camp, it can translate into a demolition of self-doubt across all aspects of your life. Resisting that urge to give up on a run is an impetus to find that same strength when dealing with other adversities.
"Find meaning on the run."
WERE THERE ANY SIGNATURE WORKOUTS?
“When we ended up in the stadium, and it was snowing and we were doing partner workouts up and down the steps, I stopped for a second to think ‘OK, this is really dumb, why am I doing it?’ But I had to keep going for my team. And I’m glad I did. The value of teammates in that moment is something I won’t forget.”
Mutual reliance is another huge factor. While you feed off the energy and encouragement of others, they feed off you. This dynamic allows you to accomplish seemingly impossible physical feats. At UA Run Camp, you learn the benefits of mutualistic relationships and just how effective human support can be in achieving your goals.
WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD AS YOU BATTLED THE EXTREME CONDITIONS?
“‘Why did I sign up for this? Will anyone notice if I quit?’ I can’t remember if I had a specific mantra, but the combination of intensity/confusion/grit made me keep going. I wasn’t going to be that person to let the conditions get the best of me.”
Mental toughness proves to be as challenging as physical toughness. Facing extreme conditions is sometimes less daunting than facing questions of extreme doubt and hesitation. Fighting through these obstacles is typically the greatest point of pride for these athletes.
HOW DID UA RUN CAMP CHANGE YOU AS A RUNNER?
“UA Run Camp has proven to me that I can do more than I think I can. I tend to stop myself just short of greatness because I can be good enough without really trying. At camp, I couldn’t just be good enough because that would mean that I wouldn’t have completed the tasks. I found myself having to push to the point of discomfort, which really has unlocked a new level of training for me. I see this really as a mental shift that has manifested itself in a physical shift as well.”
Nothing encompasses the purpose of UA Run Camp better than this quote: You truly do not know what you are capable of.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE ATTENDING UA RUN CAMP?
“DON’T OVERTHINK IT! I spent too much time wondering what was next rather than focusing and zeroing in on what I was doing and the incredible moments I was experiencing. This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing — free your mind as much as possible, and immerse yourself to get the most of the experience.”
Leave intimidation at the door. Allow yourself the opportunity to realize the type of strength that exists within you physically, mentally and emotionally. You will be pleasantly surprised.
WHEN YOU HEAR UA RUN CAMP, WHAT COMES TO MIND?
Couldn’t have said it better.
Looks like Alison is going back: