An Amazing Run
CIA student Annelise McAuliffe runs for many reasons. In high school, she started to run in the spring to stay in shape for soccer…and she kept on running. She runs for the challenge and competition. She runs as a stress reliever, after a tough day in the kitchen. But most of all, she runs because she loves it.
“Even though I started doing it just to get in shape for soccer, cross country ended up becoming my new passion,” she explains. “I enjoy the workouts, and it’s satisfying going to bed tired and a bit sore from a good running session.”
When she arrived at the CIA, Annelise was happy to see that the college had a competitive cross country team, but was a little hesitant her freshman year. By sophomore year she got up the nerve to try it, and quickly realized there was nothing to be nervous about.
“I love the camaraderie that forms between teammates and even with coaches,” she says. “We always say that misery loves company, and it’s true—doing something so physically difficult definitely brings a team together. I have a great bond with my teammates; we get along really well.”
So well that they’ve parlayed their “misery” into a team dynasty in the Hudson Valley Women’s Athletic Conference. The Steels won the 2012 conference championship in cross country, marking the third consecutive conference crown for the women’s cross country team.
“The best time of season is championships,” Annelise says. “Coach (Lowell Fisher) has us training to peak later in the year, and it’s paid off. He spends a lot of time tracking each mile and teaching us how to pace ourselves. He’s very motivating, and puts pressure on you in a positive way.”
Annelise has found CIA mentors to be just as helpful in the classrooms and bakeshops. “Chef (Stéphane) Weber has been a big influence on me,” she says. “In cakes class, he told us what he saw in us and how we could improve. Everything had to be precise and clean, and I like that. I’m a bit of a perfectionist.”
That attitude has paid off during her bachelor’s degree experience. “The freshman and sophomore years were more physically and mentally taxing, but the latter portion of the program has challenged me in different ways,” she explains. “I’ve had to really concentrate on other areas like my writing. But there’s a strong sense of team here, and you learn how to organize yourself both in the kitchen and for your career.”
And if things get a little too taxing in class, there’s always running. “It really helps to ‘run it out’ on the track,” Annelise says. “It’s a chance to mentally sort through my day as I’m running eight or so miles and also allows me to check out for a bit if I need to, to focus on something that requires all of my physical and mental being.”
Her focus will soon turn to her senior year and beyond, as she begins to explore career options in the foodservice industry. One thing is certain…wherever she ends up, Annelise McAuliffe will hit the ground running.