Hi Laurel! Please tell us about yourself.

ME ME ME!  HI!  Let’s see, I’m your basic Alaskan girl – outdoorsy, independent, etc.  I hate traffic and I love ice cream.  I’m pretty silly, but that’s to balance out my serious profession.  

My ENTIRE family (with the exception of one cousin) lives in Anchorage.  MimiBob (Grandma) will turn 95 in July!  I’m planning to live to 112, hence my commitment to lifelong fitness.  

I consider myself insanely lucky to live in such a beautiful place, surrounded by amazing friends and family, running a business I’m passionate about, all with a pretty cool guy by my side (and I do mean my husband, not the dog).  

My life really boils down to spending time in meaningful ways, or doing my best to.  I want the conversations I have with people, the money I spend, the trips I take, the clients I help, the runs I do, the books I read, the energy I expend, I want it to mean something. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I strive for a purpose-driven life.  I am intentional with my time because it’s the one resource we can never get back.  It is precious. 

I apply this philosophy in the work I do – encouraging people to live unique and wonderful lives.  The hopes and dreams are up to them, I simply help with the money side of the equation (pun intended).  I spend roughly 1/3 of my time doing this and the rest is friends/family or fitness related!  It doesn’t take much for me to be happy.  

I know how much you love to read. What book are you currently reading? 

I wouldn’t say I love to read, but I do love learning and reading is a decent way to do that.  I usually have a couple books going..one fun and one work.  I’m currently reading “Secrets of Six-Figure Women” by Barbara Stanny.  I guess it counts as work AND fun!  I would recommend this book to all women, not just entrepreneurs.  

At the risk of getting on a soap box, women undervalue themselves professionally (personally too I would say).  This book is about knowing your worth, pairing that with your passion and not apologizing for becoming successful.  It’s inspiring to learn from the journeys of other women and see how fulfilled they are.  I hope that Steph, Lela and Charlene will be featured in the second edition.

How long have you been attending FF, and what initially motivated you to seek us out?

Over 2.5 years now, which is longer than I’ve been married!  Charlene can keep me honest on this, but I’m pretty sure I’ve only missed two 6 am workouts since joining (one sick day and one sleep in day).  

I was committed from day one.  My initial motivation came from missing ski team workouts, specifically high intensity combined with strength training.  I missed the feeling of sore muscles and sweat dripping down my face.  I also missed the confidence that being strong gives you!  It’s empowering!  

I had absolutely NO idea how integral this gym would become to my life.  It’s unreal and truly a gift that keeps on giving.  

What are a few of your favorite exercises that we do at Boot Camp?

Oh man, I do love a good hurricane.  Does everyone say that??  I always feel so much energy when we do them!  It’s a winning combination of camaraderie with your line and motivation from everyone you’re doing the same exercise as.  I

‘m also not opposed to an entire hour of Tabata!  I go into a workout trance partway through and when it’s over I don’t remember what happened.  Basically I black out.  

Why is fitness such an important part of your life? What do you enjoy most about being active?

Fitness is an essential part of overall well being and you simply can’t have too much health.  I spent too many years being unhealthy and I refuse to live my life that way.  

The more I take care of myself, the better wife I can be, the better friend, the better sister, the better advisor, the better teacher, everything.  Show up FULLY for life and show up FULLY for others.  

For me, part of being active is being fearless.  When I’m fit and taking good care of my body, I’m not afraid to try a difficult hike or a new sport or to run a marathon.  I trust that my body is prepared to handle it and being in shape means I’ll enjoy it that much more.  

Staying fit and being active means I can see parts of this world that most people can’t.  I can walk along the Great Wall for miles (haven’t yet) or swim in the Great Barrier Reef (haven’t yet) for hours.  I never want to be limited in what I can do or see!  

You do a lot of volunteer work with the Girls on the Run organization. Can you tell us more about this program and why it’s so special to you?

Well, I was only partially involved with GOTR this year, but it was a blast!  Hilary invited me to join her GOTR team at Bowman (where I was the only coach who didn’t also teach at the school).  

I deeply believe in their core concept – building confidence in girls through meaningful dialogue and RUNNING!!!!  This non-profit works with 3rd – 5th grade girls all over the country and they have a separate program for middle school girls.  What’s not to love about teaching the next generation of girls about mental and physical health?  Call me a feminist, but I’m all for programs, activities and organizations that focus on setting girls up for success, both short and long term.  GIRL POWER!

Who or what inspires you?

Generally, people who are happy.

Specifically, Oprah…I think she’s finally happy.  

Honestly, I try to surround myself with people who inspire me.  My 95 year old grandmother – she can do the New York Times crossword.  My mom – she runs the health department for this whole city AND is raising two teenagers that aren’t biologically hers.  My friend Molly Brenner – she isn’t from Alaska, but she’s insanely involved in this community!  Tim Ferriss – I don’t know him personally, but his voice often lulls me to sleep.  He has dedicated his life to learning from others and has a lot to share.  Doug Carter – he’s a personal and professional coach of mine who travels the world training people and organizations how to better serve their clients.  His approach is intuitive, genuine and extremely goal-oriented.  

Running seems like it’s a big part of your life, what races do you have coming up that you’re most excited for and why?

Running IS a big part of my life!  It’s really the only “sport” I’m good at.  Funny you should ask this because I made a conscious decision NOT to do many races this summer, however, that hasn’t worked out thus far.  

I PR’d in both the Gold Nugget and the women’s run this year, which I am excited about!  FF certainly has something to do with that : )  

The last 3 years I’ve been marathon training, but I’m taking it easy this year.  Looking forward to Lost Lake, as always!  If you haven’t donated to the FF team yet, now’s your chance!  https://www.crowdrise.com/laurelrenkert#fundraisers

I’m excited to be part of such an awesome group and to help Sabrina find a cure for CF.  I’m emotionally invested.  

You participated in the FF Winter Transformation Challenge and did very well. What are a few things you learned from that experience and how have you applied those changes to your post-Challenge life?

You mean aside from the fact that JMac is amazing?!?!  

Challenges are all about bringing awareness to specific areas of your life, which is SO necessary.  I always knew I preferred a simple life, but purging things from my house reinforced the idea that less is more (at least when it comes to material possessions).  I am allowing myself this entire year to purge and simplify.  If I didn’t give myself that amount of time, it would be easy to get overwhelmed.  With each item I give away, I am a little bit more free.

What else…I’m still pretty aware of my sugar intake.  It’s hard for me to stomach certain things now because they’re just too sweet – that’s how I know I’m making progress!  I haven’t thrown away my scale yet, but it’s advisable.  Nothing F***S with my head more than boys and scales…throw them BOTH out!  

What new goals are you working toward for the remainder of 2017? 

It’s really just one BHAG – getting my CFP.  That stands for Certified Financial Planner and it’s basically a master’s degree in financial planning.  It’s a 21-month program and I am shooting to finish in 12.  The national exam is only offered three times a year so be thinking of me July 2018!

Thanks for reading!  I consider all of you inspirational friends.  Come get a hug whenever you need one or for no reason at all.  I’m here to share the love ~