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Mindy Smith Bayless, 2005-2009
Note from ACT: Dearest ACT alum, So many accomplished alum make for difficult decisions! I finally landed on selecting Mindy Smith Bayless as our first ACT Alumni Spotlight because she holds a special place in my heart. Mindy was on the Alternative Spring Break Leadership Team (as we called it back then) my very first year working in ACT (along with her now husband, Tim Bayless). I had so much to learn and Mindy was so helpful, kind, energetic, and hilarious! I wanted to share a glimpse into Mindy's world because she is SO INSPIRING and I think everyone needs a little Mindy in their life! Read below for her full story...and stay tuned for future alumni spotlights...ACT love, Kate & the ACT Team Family
Name: Mindy Smith Bayless, '09
Major: Public Relations & Spanish
Current job: Outside Recruitment & Marketing Manager for the Girl Scouts
Current community involvement: NC Mountain Trail Runners (trail maintenance, event support, beginner running program); Girls On the Run - coach and EmCee for 5ks and help in other events; soon: Young Professionals of Asheville.
How has ACT impacted your career and/or who you are today: Being involved in ACT helped me learn just how big my heart is to help and to make others' lives better, easier and more vibrant. Through ACT, I learned my passion for nature and getting youth connected to nature, and now, my professional work aligns with just that and my personal hobbies include getting everyone into nature!
What did your work with ACT mean to you: It meant friendship, fun and pushing boundaries into sometimes uncomfortable zones...pretty much what life is all about.
Favorite ACT memory: Meeting my now-husband on my ASB trip in 2007. I co-led a trip to FL to work on trails and this cute guy was so flirty... fast-forward a few months and we were dating. Fast forward a couple of years and we were married!
What are you doing now:
I just ran my FIRST 100 mile trail run race in early February and I am *still* alive and am back to running and gearing up for my second 100 mile trail run race in September. So, when I am not recruiting Girl Scouts and volunteers, cooking, cleaning, or walking the dogs, or hanging out with my hubby, I am most likely doing something pertaining to training (running, lifting, biking, etc.). I ran my first 100 miler in 27 hours and 10 minutes (and some seconds), and no, I did not sleep or stop, and yes, I ate while running and hiking. And yes, I loved it. :)
I find ultra running is very much parallel to life: lots of ups, downs, confusion, fun, dance parties, quiet moments, crying, laughter, pain, happiness, and relief. I run because I am blessed with health that allows me to push my limits and to see just how far I can go and because others are not as blessed as I am. I encourage you to do the same. :)