I took on my first book tour 11/29 through 12/7, landing in Boston, driving to Vermont to speak at Saint Michael’s College, driving back to Boston to speak at BU, driving to Rhode Island to speak at URI (Kingston), and back to Boston for one last talk at BU. You can find the first entry here, and the second entry here. The following details my journey Saturday 12/2 – Monday 12/4:
“Just act like you know what you’re doing.”
That’s what I told myself as I walked up the stairs out of the T rail on my second day in Boston. I was nearly confident with where I was going–which was a lot more confident than I had been 12 hours prior–but still trying to get things down perfectly and had to fake it until I made it.
Luckily, a week before this trip to Boston, I had found out at a Thanksgiving party that an Aquinas cross country alum had moved to Boston. Nick was my lifesaver, and I happened to be walking out to my lifesaver this very day I had figured out the T rail.
Nick came out to my presentation Monday, too!
Nick and I must have walked three or four miles that afternoon as he showed me the Freedom Trail around the city. Our walk included stopping at a shop for Cannolis before our main meal at a small Italian place. At the end of the second day of touring Boston (we went across the river to explore Harvard and the U.S.S. Constitution), Nick and I celebrated a great tour by meeting at a Senegal restaurant (Teranga) for dinner. I’m always down for trying new food—and it feels great to say that at last (eating disorder recovery rocks!).
My talk at Boston University was that Monday, but I wasn’t just nervous for the talk itself. I was wary about driving through the city again (I needed a car to carry all the Running in Silence books). When I was tempted to get an Uber, I thought, No! Do one thing each day that scares you.
I also thought, You might as well get in the driving practice.
I survived the drive (another confidence boost!), and relaxed and talked with Paula Quatromoni two hours before the presentation.
Paula, for those if you who don’t know, is one of the nation’s top experts on the intersection of nutrition, eating disorders and athletes (please check out all her amazing credentials and work HERE!). We met each other back at the Eating Disorders in Sport Conference in August, where she bought my book. She thought it would be a great idea for me to come speak in Boston, and when Emily from Saint Michael’s put together everything to have me speak at her college, I saw that Boston wasn’t too far away . . .
So here we were, Monday night December 4, working together!
About 15 minutes before the start of the presentation, Nancy Clark arrived (internationally respected sports nutritionist, weight coach, nutrition author, and registered dietitian who specializes in nutrition for performance, health, and the nutritional management of eating disorders). I have been a fan of Nancy ever since I read her book Sports Nutrition Guidebook back in my freshman year of college (I even mention it in Running in Silence), and here she was, with HER copy of Running in Silence, asking me to sign it and to listen to me speak.
The presentation itself went well–in fact, I feel like everything I’ve been working on these past five years is really coming together. I emphasize all sides of eating disorders–including binge eating, of course–and share the intensity of it (not just physically, but EMOTIONALLY and SOCIALLY), as well as ways in which we as a society (or coaches, parents, and peers) can improve on how we identify eating disorders going forward. I’ve become much more myself—bringing out my own humor (I think I can be funny sometimes, haha), and RELAXING (for someone with anxiety/perfectionism, this is GREAT).
After presentations I always enjoy meeting with everyone who attended. For this talk, it was students from Boston University, dietitians, athletes (including the whole soccer team who rearranged their practice time to attend the talk), a cross country coach (Art) who I’d connected with through a cross country Facebook group (it’s encouraging to see coaches—he was asking great questions, eager to learn more to help his own athletes, and, I found, about to publish his first book!), and others who have struggled with these issues as well. A few of us carried on the conversation at a restaurant across the street.
The people I’ve met and the connections I’ve made were some of the greatest parts of this trip. With that said, I must give a huge shout-out to Paula for being the one behind all of this. I’m thankful for her enthusiasm and believing in what I do, and for all SHE does in the realm of eating disorders in sports. She is the one who continues to push forward with these important issues, and is rooting for me (and the book!) all the way. She is likely my biggest promotor for Running in Silence, and has helped me to gain more confidence as I navigate this speaking-book-tour journey.
Order your copy of Running in Silence: My Drive for Perfection and the Eating Disorder That Fed It here.