Life During Lockdown: Aliphine Tuliamuk
I got to know Aliphine because she’s a member of the HOKA NAZ Elite professional running team, where I serve on the board. When you meet her for the first time, you’re immediately swept up in her personal force field of positive energy. Aliphine typically lights up a room when she walks in. You may know her from watching her win the Olympic Trials Marathon in February of this year. But her background is fascinating: Aliphine was born in a small village in Kenya, she has 32 brothers and sisters and she came to the US to run in college, graduating from Wichita State University. She became a US citizen in 2016, and she also has a thriving small business knitting and selling her signature beanie hats. For me, Aliphine personifies the American dream, and I feel lucky that she’s my friend & colleague.
Give me some highlights and lowlights from your first month and a half in lockdown mode.
Highs: being able to spend more time with my partner and taking days off if I don’t feel like running. Because, you know, I have a lot of time to get fit. Also, sleeping in and running at whatever time pleases me.
Lows: some days I have zero motivation to go out for a run. It’s like, “What’s the point of running every day and getting fit when there are no races on the schedule?”
Also, some times I feel like I’m not contributing to my purpose, because I am not out doing what I’m good at and inspiring people in the process.
How have you grown personally and professionally during this disruption?
I am learning to not stress too much about things that are out of my control.
I am finding joy in the fact that my job is easy and I can still do it every day if I want to.
Enjoying being healthy and realizing that everything is relative. For example, I might have had my Olympic race cancelled but I am still at a better place compared to others whose spring marathons didn’t happen and might be struggling.
Has your relationship with running and racing changed as a result of you being limited due to the pandemic?
I am now running for the love of running and to stay sane. I am learning to let myself enjoy running easy and not worrying about paces even for a workout.
Can athletes create positive change during a crisis?
Yes, athletes can encourage others to stay motivated and optimistic about the future. Also they can show that they are human and feel the negative impact of this while at the same time choosing to stay positive.
Athletes can encourage others that this is the time to start an exercise routine to release some of the stress caused by stay at home orders as well as develop a healthy lifestyle.