Fillnow Coaching is honored and privileged to welcome aboard Liz Wort to its coaching staff! Get to know Liz in this interview!
FC: Liz, we are more then excited to have you! Thank you for your time today!
LW: The pleasure is all mine, Kelly! I am so excited to be joining this group!!
FC: Can you describe your athletic background?
LW: Athletics has always been a big part of my life, ever since childhood. I played a few different sports in high school (field hockey, basketball, swimming) before running found me, and I became excited to develop my abilities as a cross country and track athlete at Duke. I was tremendously blessed to have phenomenal high school and college coaches who not only developed my athletic talent and my personal character, but also fostered in me a love for running that has only grown stronger over the years. Both of them are still huge mentors for me today, and I would not have achieved ANY high school or collegiate accolades without either of them! Justina Cassavell, my high school coach who built a dominant program at Voorhies High School in Glen Gardner, NJ, recruited me from the high school hallways and coached me to win our school’s first (of many more to come by future Lady Vikes!) state title on the track in the 3200m and our 4x800m relay team also won a national title and set a state record my senior year. It was a great way to leave high school! At Duke, I had some absolutely tremendous teammates who pushed me athletically and challenged me in every other way, and I found my event in the 3,000m Steeplechase, winning an ACC title, an NCAA East Regional title, and earning two All-American honors in that event (and one more in the flat 3,000m indoors). I was also incredibly fortune to be a part of some of history-making women’s cross country teams, and served as a three year captain for our teams that won back-back ACC and NCAA Southeast Regional titles (2004, 2005), finished 2nd and 3rd at the NCAA Cross Country Championships (2004, 2005), and held a #1 ranking for the majority of our senior year (’05). I competed at the USATF Outdoor Championships in the steeplechase, finishing 7th in 2006 and 6th in 2007, earning a spot on the US Pan American team! My time at Duke was so much fun!!! Upon finishing my collegiate eligibility, I trained for one more year for the 2008 Olympic Trials. After running in the Trials, I turned my full focus to coaching!
FC: Wow, one star athlete! What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment to date?
LW: The experience of competing in the Olympic Trials is definitely second-to-none. It was an experience I will always cherish. Honestly though, I am much more of a team person, so my favorite running memories all revolve around any of our best team accomplishments: from winning the national title with my high school relay team, to the conference titles in women’s cross country at Duke and making it to the podium at NCAAs, I am the most proud of any efforts that require coming together as a team and striving towards excellence together. There is nothing like going through the ups and downs of an athletic season with teammates. It creates a bond that cannot be explained or duplicated in many other ways and even the every day struggles are some of my very favorite memories.
FC: What drives you?
LW: I have found my true passion lies in bringing success out of other people. I care deeply about the people I work with and am driven to help them become better versions of themselves. I feel so much gratitude for what my high school and college coaches did for me (as well as my parents, teammates, siblings and friends) and I want to be able to impact people in a similar way. Sometimes it just takes one person to see potential and believe in you, and I want to help others see their own potential and be in a state of constant self-improvement in as many facets of life as possible! I want to challenge others to live in a positive state of mind, make the most of life and thrive in their current circumstances, wherever they are!
FC: As your former teammate, I always admired your commitment to the team, your hard work ethic, and your life balance. Any tips on staying balanced?
LW: Life balance is hard! There are so many demands on individuals in our society today, and this is not getting easier. We only have 24 hours in a day and need to make active choices as to how to spend our time or the days and weeks go by and priorities can get skewed, often unintentionally. My biggest tip is to be intentional with your time! I like the quote: “Run the day. Don’t let it run you.” We do not always have the ability to control every detail of our lives (and this is a good thing! Surprises and change, both positives and negatives, are only opportunities to grow!) but living a balanced life requires thought and intention as to what your priorities are and a determined commitment to follow through on the things you prioritize, even when “life” gets in the way. Value people over material things, be inflexible about the time you have set aside for the people in your life that matter the most and then work the rest of it in and embrace the unexpected because it will come! Develop a winning mentality: the ability to view adversity as a positive challenge for growth and always find the things you have to be thankful for. They are always there!
FC: How did you decide to get into coaching?
LW: Quite frankly, coaching fell into my lap. After deciding to stay at Duke to train for the Trials, a position opened to work as an assistant coach for the women’s cross country program (an easy transition to be working for my former coach who I tremendously respect and admire!). Coaching was an excellent fit for me as I had studied psychology and education as an undergraduate at Duke (both very relevant in the coaching profession!) and have a strong love for college athletics, working with people and being active. I have been SO fortunate to work with some incredible athletes and phenomenal people in my coaching years at both Duke and TCU. College kids are so fantastic, and I loved every single minute of working with them!
FC: What excites you most about your new path?
LW: I am so excited to take my collegiate coaching experience and apply it in a new context! Fillnow Coaching has already done so many incredible things and positively impacted the lives of so many people in the Charlotte area (and beyond) that I feel very fortunate to be able to jump on board with something that is already thriving! Kelly and Meghan founded this company on principles that I strongly believe in, and we all share similar visions of how we want to help others and continue to expand Fillnow Coaching. Charlotte is a city that provides incredible potential for the business to continue to grow, and I have heard nothing but good things about it! I could not be more excited to be moving to such a thriving city but more importantly to be joining forces with two of my favorite people who have started something so great over the past few years. The opportunity to continue working with people and share my passion for living a healthy lifestyle is very exciting to me. Whether it is coaching the marathon or triathlon clients or helping someone run a 5k for the first time, I am very much looking forward to providing structure, accountability and enthusiasm for the clients I work with as a part of Fillnow Coaching. It is going to be so much fun!!
FC: Welcome aboard, Liz. We are beyond excited!!