Sarah Ofner: Moving to the Right Beat

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Sarah Ofner
Senior Brand Manager for Pasta
Riviana Foods

How did you get involved with The D10 Houston?
When I registered I didn't know a soul other than [D10 Founder] Dave Maloney, who had contacted me on LinkedIn. We scheduled a workout together. It was a very nontraditional way to find out about it, I suppose. Once it was on my radar, signing up was something I did completely on my own.

I like to work out with a goal in mind. I like to meet new people and network. Philanthropy was something of a void in my life, and The D10 married all these things.

I’m a Mom to four-year-old twins. I work full time. Last year I wasn't positive I was going to be able to make it to Game Day, but I got out there, and I did better than expected. It was less about accomplishing an athletic feat, and more about competing again, while also living my crazy, jam-packed, excitingly chaotic life. I’m pretty proud that I was able to make it work.

Do I feel stretched thin? Yes.

Is it worth it?

Have athletics and competition always been a part of your life?
Growing up, I was always an athlete. I started sports at a young age and played soccer, recreational and select, through high school. Gymnastics was a pretty big part of my life from age 7 to age 12. I credit gymnastics with giving me the foundation of body coordination, spatial awareness and strength to excel at other sports at a young age. 

I took a break from sports in college. I considered walking on to the track team at Vanderbilt, but I was much more interested in college life and the social scene at that time. After college, 
I remember thinking, I’m supposed to work out in a gym? I don’t know how to do that...So I played co-ed indoor soccer, ran a few half marathons and tried out different bootcamps. Over the past decade, I really just dabbled. 

So I was searching for that next goal, that next motivation, when The D10 came into my life.

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How does having one D10 under your belt inform your training and fundraising approach for 2018?
I have benchmarks now. I have goals. I want to perform better than I did last year in all of the events. I didn't train for the Bench Press last year. I didn't train for the Vertical Jump. I was flying blind; it was more, Can I do this?

This year, it's Oh yeah, I can do this, and I want to do it even better.

Last year, I joined a team (“Houston’s Finest”) fairly late in the training process. This year, with Dan Blum [captain of team “Don’t Stop Believin’”], I have a chance to train with a team the whole season.

We’re also hoping to make a bigger impact with the fundraising this time around. Similar to my competition benchmarks, my goal is to increase donations. As a team, we're creating a behind-the-scenes training video to share with donors asking them to support the cause. 

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You said it can "stretch you thin" to make time for D10-style athletic training in your jam-packed life. Tell me why it's worth it. 
When I get a D10 morning workout in, the day feel brighter. It wakes up all my senses. I feel stronger, more alert, I'm a better Mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better employee. 

Believe me, it is hard to wake up so early to make it to Terrence Wakefield's 5:30am track workout or Adam Nelson's 6:00am training sessions, but I have never regretted it when I do. It makes my day move to the right beat. 

I often have to remind myself that life is not about checking things off a list. Training for The D10 makes me feel physically and emotionally more capable. When I feel like that, I can spend more time relaxing and focusing on the present, instead of worrying about what's next. 

That's worth it. 

Help Team Don't Stop Believin' reach its fundraising goal by donating to MD Anderson here. Make it interesting by placing a sliding donation on Sarah's Marquee event, the 500 Meter Row. Registration for The D10 Houston 2018 remains open for teams and individual competitors.