Tell people a little about you and your background
I'm glad to have lived in the generation where playing outside was not a scary thing and was constantly encouraged by my parents. As a kid, I was ALWAYS outside climbing trees, rollerblading, swimming, or just running around. I dabbled in a few sports throughout my adolescence, but I found my heart in fast-pitch softball. I played from age 4 through 18, often on multiple teams at a time. My love for the sport kept me on a few recreational leagues as an adult and then inspired me to coach. Flash forward to age 31, I'm a relative rookie on the scene of OCR having only emerged a year ago, but I've got the warrior woman attitude with face paint to match! I've always been hyper competitive, but adding to that, standing at a mere 5' tall, I generally feel like I have something to prove, something to conquer. "Face your obstacles and slay" is my self-proclaimed catchphrase so OCR is a perfect fit. I split my time on the course between feeding the competitive beast in some races and recording my journey with my fellow racers in others.
First OCR or Mud Run Event?Share your thoughts of how you got into it, what got you hooked, and what your favorite thing is about it.
Spartan Sprint, Fort Campbell, August 2016--7th place AG When my co-workers at the time set this race as a goal to motivate each other to adopt a healthier lifestyle at the beginning of 2016, I laughed in their faces when they suggested I join them. Already an avid exercise enthusiast, though having raced competitively, the idea of torturing myself over nearly 5 miles of terrain, obstacles, and FIRE sounded like the very definition of insanity. Naturally, that competitive beast took hold, and I signed up soon thereafter. Training for the event led me through many firsts including my first 5K race and first unassisted pull-up. The day of the Spartan I decided to run as a lone wolf. I let out a fierce battle cry with each major accomplishment--scaling the 8 foot wall, ringing the bell at the top of the rope, and smashing the monkey bars with ease. Shakily accepting my finisher medal and banana I told my family that was there to cheer me on that I'd probably not do it ever again, but we all know that was just the exhaustion talking and the rest is history.
Plans for 2018?
Last year, 2017 was a HUGE year for me from completing my first Spartan Race Trifecta, earning a few podium spots, competing in my first half-marathon, planning my own OCR, and even accepting a writing gig at MudRunGuide. Needless to say, it will be a tough year to top. In 2018 I plan to re-focus my attention. As a newly ACSM-certified personal trainer and student entering my last few courses in the Exercise Science program at Western Kentucky University, my goal is to apply my knowledge and affect change in the sedentary behavior crisis that plagues the nation, particularly in my home of the South. In line with this goal, I plan to expose my clients to OCR and the community in the interest of their health and to grow the sport I’ve come to adore. Don’t fret, nerds--you’ll still find me on the course this year. I just may be leading a group through their first event, or you may find me behind the scenes doing media for MRG. As always though, I’ll be sporting my war paint and the best gloves in the biz!
Finishes or achievements you would like to share?
Bonefrog Talladega: 3rd Overall Female, Open Challenge Division
Warrior Dash TN: 3rd Female, Competitive Division (Pro Division Qualified for US OCR Championship & ORCWC)
Muddy Mammoth: 1st Female, Competitive Division
Mud Run Nashville: 3rd Female, 10K Competitive Division
EPD Foundation SWAT Challenge: 1st Female, Heat #1
Finishes or achievements you would like to share?
2018 OCRWC Qualified 2017 Spartan Trifecta Lucky podiums in 2017: Warrior Dash (3rd, competitive division), Mud Run Nashville (3rd, competitive division), Bonefrog (3rd, open division), Muddy Mammoth (1st, competitive division) 1000+ miles logged for Charity Challenges in 2017
Your favorite obstacle?
I live for the hotdogging on the monkey bars, dominating the slant walls, and striking a killer pose at that fire jump!
Your least favorite obstacle?
Mud for mud sake. Blech. Or the bucket carry. Whoever came up with that is no friend of mine.
Why you like DGEAROG and our gloves?
First of all, tiny hands demand tiny gloves and DGearOG XS is a PERFECT fit. My first pair of gloves played a key role in my podium finish at the Bonefrog. I truly believe these gloves gave me the edge in the completion of many of the obstacles that other racers were commonly failing, like the multi-rig. The fact that these gloves are specifically designed for the OCR course, but can be used for training speaks to me, too. That attention to detail--like the quick pull off loops--is just the thing that can give a competitive racer the advantage. And the OG20Ks are tough to beat for this kinesiology nerd!
Other teams you are a part of or sponsorships that you'd like to share or tell about?
Team: Social Misfits, an Instagram-based group with members from around the world who delight in OCR, physical challenges, and raising a little money for charity along the way. Find us on IG: @TeamSocialMisfits
People can follow me where?
For shenanigans and feats of badassery, follow me on Instagram @nerdragefit Not that anything interesting happens on Facebook in my realm, but here you may stalk my profile: https://www.facebook.com/hillaryjessmess Twitter/Snapchat: What? I just don't get it...
I'm a huge nerd so my focus is training my body and mind for survival when the inevitable zombie apocalypse hits. OCR and apocalypse training go hand in hand. Now that I am an ACSM certified personal trainer, I’ll help nerds level up in health and wellness by training them for these types of events. Strong nerds are the key to humanity's survival--contact me to join the squad!