If ever there was a fun-loving free spirit, Samantha Wood fits the bill. She came to Lipscomb from El Campo, Texas, and excelled as a Bison Cross Country runner. Today she lives in Colorado Springs and never finds herself far from the great outdoors. She visited this week with LipscombSports.com to allow us to catch up on her life since she graduated eleven years ago with a Lipscomb degree.
What years did you compete for Lipscomb?
I ran Track and Cross Country for Coach Clay Nicks (2003-2005) and Coach Karen Robichaud (2005-2007).
What teammate was most memorable?
My college roommate, Elizabeth Schall Norte, is my most memorable teammate. We arrived at Lipscomb a week early in the Fall of 2003 to start our first Cross Country season and to go through freshman orientation. From that day on we were great friends, and we remain so today.
What degrees have you earned?
I earned my B.S. in Exercise Science from Lipscomb in 2007, and I added a Doctor of Physical Therapy from U.S. Army-Baylor in 2011.
Why did you attend Lipscomb?
Two of my friends and teammates from my hometown of El Campo, Texas attended Lipscomb a year prior to my high school graduation. They put me in touch with Coach Clay Nicks, and after coming for a visit I fell in love with the campus and the people at Lipscomb.
What is your favorite athletic memory at Lipscomb?
There are too many hilarious moments to write them all. One memory that sticks in my mind is how Clay Nicks marked our intervals with piles of grass at the Steeplechase Cross Country track at Percy Warner Park. We would regularly run there during Cross Country season, and many times we would complete a lap and keep running because we couldn’t see Clay’s finish marker (because, of course, it looked like every other small pile of grass clippings on the course). He would have to scream for us to stop running.
On one particular workout, our entire team ran into several closed gates on the steeplechase loop. I can still remember seeing the puzzled look on Clay’s face as the entire team finished an unusually slow first interval. “Coach! We had to jump the fences like horses!”
Who influenced your athletic career at Lipscomb?
Weldon Ehlert and Zac Yanis were my teammates at El Campo High School, and they were my initial contact with Lipscomb University.
What’s your favorite non-athletic memory from your time here?
One of my favorite memories was getting to be “President for the Day” during my freshman year (2003-2004). Lipscomb’s President at the time, Steve Flatt, and I traded lives for one day. While I learned about the president’s duties, entertained donors over lunch, and toured the campus in depth, President Flatt took my Bible exam and attended track practice with the rest of my team. It was a very unique experience, and I imagine a great deal of fun for him.
What are the most valuable lessons you learned in your time at Lipscomb?
I learned much about myself during my four years at Lipscomb because the very nature of my academic career, my athletic career, and my social life demanded many new skills. The environment at Lipscomb was one where I felt supported in branching out and trying new things – a new job, new sport, exploring new geographical locations I’d never been, meeting new people, trying new areas of academics and changing my major. Lipscomb was an excellent stepping-stone from childhood to adulthood.
Above all, I gained confidence in myself. I learned that life isn’t so much about the goal but who we become in pursuit of the goal.
Who were your favorite professors & why?
- Kent Johnson was an excellent professor. I found him to be always challenging and supportive.
- Ruth Henry was another excellent teacher and mentor. I felt Ruth was someone I could go to without reservation if I ever needed anything.
- I am convinced no one teaches anatomy and physiology like Phil Choate. He made learning easy by telling a story to improve memorization and recall instead of simply sharing facts. I still remember some of his anecdotes today.
What do you do now?
I am a self-employed Physical Therapist in Colorado Springs, Colorado and a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves. I was active duty Army for seven years before transferring to the reserves and making Colorado my home.
I’ve been running since my days at Lipscomb, and this year I’m registered for the Leadwoman Race Series which includes a trail marathon, a trail 50-mile run, a 100-mile mountain bike ride, a 10-k run, and a 100-mile trail run within the span of two months. I’ve also competed for the U.S. Army in cross country, marathons, orienteering, and most recently, obstacle course racing.
Tell us about your family
I live the single, independent life, but I have a family as large as any. Aside from my relatives, I consider my friends and their families (even their fur babies) as part of my family. I am the resident dog, horse, and chicken sitter, and I have even been a live-in nanny in the past. Mi casa es su casa.
- Favorite food: Popcorn made with coconut oil
- Favorite movie: Tommy Boy
- Favorite scripture: Matthew 6:25-27 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
- Favorite sports team: All-Army Sports, check it out!
- Pet peeve: oddly enough, people extensively talking about themselves
- Person I most admire: I admire people with the courage to uncover their true self and become their own heroes.
- Favorite season: Autumn
- Pick one – salad or dessert: Salad, as long as it’s high-calorie!
- Dream vacation spot: Patagonia
- Early morning or late night person? Early morning
You can contact Samantha several ways:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: wood.ultra
- Twitter: @woodultra
- Instagram: @woodultra