The steeplechase is one of those events that either confuses people when I describe the race or, if they are familiar with track, I get a lot of admiration for taking on such a notoriously difficult event. “How did you get into the steeple?” many people ask, not bothering to hide their incredulity. Well, I tried out track my freshman year of high school because my parents, both who ran in college, encouraged me to give it a chance. I thought, like many athletes with a team sports background, I would be a sprinter. And I was, for one meet, until I got decimated by the girls from the other city schools. The coaches convinced me the added discomfort of being a mid-distance runner would be worth the glory of excelling at an event. I was lucky enough to enter the University of Minnesota with a group of extremely talented women, many of whom were mid-distance runners as well (Heather Kampf and Gabriele Grunewald have continued their dominance in mid-distance events to this day). Coach Wilson made the decision that since I had played soccer, I’d probably be coordinated enough to jump over obstacles while running fast. Steeplechase has been my favorite event ever since because it takes coordination, a high pain tolerance, and strong muscles.