As a magazine editor, I get to talk to a lot of really cool people. Hearing their stories is the best part of my job. The drawback is that, due to time constraints, sometimes I have to resort to phone or email "meetings" when a one-on-one isn’t possible.
So when I was given the opportunity to spend some time with our cover subject, Suzy Favor-Hamilton, I was more than a little excited. A 7-time U.S. National Champion and 3-time Olympian with 9 NCAA titles, she’s a legend in the running world. As a Stevens Point native and UW-Madison alum, she’s one of Wisconsin’s darlings — a beautiful, talented woman we love to claim as our own.
But as you’ll see by reading our feature story, there’s more to Suzy than titles and trophies. In the short amount of time I got to spend with her, I became an even bigger fan. She has to be one of the nicest, most down to earth and unpretentious people I’ve ever met. Funny, whip-smart and even a little bit mischievous, she was game for anything during our photo shoot and very generous with her time. In her conversations, she’s candid and completely endearing.
As a novice runner, I was inspired beyond belief. I’ll think of her as I push myself even further while training for my first half marathon in May. The wife and mother in me are in awe of her time management skills and seemingly boundless energy. (She balances a successful career in real estate with another in motivational speaking. She’s also a loving wife and mother to a 5-year-old.)
But it is her willingness to reveal her vulnerability and struggles that make me respect her even more. Suzy Favor-Hamilton is living proof that even when you are seemingly at the top of your game, succeeding beyond every expectation, things may not always be as they appear.
So what do I hope readers take away from our feature story about Suzy? That no matter how dark things in your life can seem at times, it won’t always be that way. That having a passion for something — anything — in life works wonders to motivate you.
Finally, being willing to seek out support when you need it, and keep an open mind to the possibilities, go a long way toward healing.
Take each day as it comes, one step at a time. These are lessons Suzy’s learned that we can all benefit from.