Ashley Fenzl Crossman, Ph.D.
I began my running career in college in Boulder, CO and became hooked. After a running-sustained injury followed by surgery, my doctors told me I may never be able to run long distances again. I set out to prove them wrong and completed my first marathon one year later. To date, I have completed seven marathons as well as numerous ½ marathons, 10Ks, 5Ks, and triathlons.
In 2004, I co-founded Girls on the Run of Maricopa County, a non-profit after-school program that encourages girls in 3rd through 8th grade to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. The 10-week curricula address all aspects of girls’ development – their physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being. After founding the organization, I became a coach, then served on the Board of Directors, and am now serving on the Board of Advisors. Through this process, I have realized that many of the lessons taught in the program and many of the issues that young girls face today are relevant to women of all ages. I bring these important life lessons with me in my coaching.
I received my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder and my Master’s and Ph.D. at Arizona State University in the field of Sociology. During graduate school, my research focused on adolescent obesity, of which my results received world-wide press coverage. After graduating and spending several years as a Healthcare Analyst, I realized that my real dream was to make a career out of combining my two passions – running and helping women.
I am a certified professional through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). I am also the official coach for SoleMates, the adult charity running program for Girls on the Run of Maricopa County.
I believe that running is a very powerful thing. Before I became a runner I struggled with many unhealthy behaviors, teetering on the edge of eating disorders, and hating my body. I give running 100% credit with saving my life and my happiness. Training for my first marathon gave me an entirely new perspective on my body and allowed me to alter my perception of myself and my capabilities. I was given this amazing tool and if treated with respect, it can do amazing things! This is why I think running to achieve something – whether it is a 5K or a marathon – rather than running just to run is so important. This is also why I like to incorporate lessons and tools on some of these very important issues in my training – to help other women overcome some of the issues that I struggled with and overcame through my running journey.