Julie Nunn at her first park run

Submitted by Kevin Grogan

There are very few people around Clermont that have seen the National Training Center (NTC) really evolve the way it has through all of its phases. Julie Nunn is one of them. She

Meet Julie Nunn

has grown up in the NTC and actually has come back to work as a performance coach in the NTC post-grad.  From her Breakaway youth track program days to her collegiate running career and now coach, Julie Nunn has always remained close to what the NTC is all about; taking fitness and sport to a whole new level!

Tablet: You have grown up in the National Training Center. What was your athletic background and how long have you been training here yourself? 

Nunn: Growing up, I participated in gymnastics, softball, soccer, basketball, and volleyball. But I feel like I didn’t find my niche in sports until I started running in middle school when I joined the youth club track team at NTC (Breakway Track Club). On and off, I have been training at the NTC for almost 15 years!

Running at UF

Tablet:   A college track and field runner (400m) for Kentucky & Florida.  Your younger brother Marshall also sprinted at Mississippi State.  Needless to say, a very SEC diverse family. Is this stressful on the family at all?

Nunn:  It was hard at first for my family to accept the fact I was leaving home to pursue a track scholarship out of state (especially since most of them are Gators!). But once they made the visits to Lexington and Starkville, they became all about the Big Blue Nation (especially during basketball season) and grew to love ringing cowbells; and now they have three teams to cheer for!

Tablet:   We see your entire family show up to workout together just about every evening; so cool!  Has it always been this way?

Nunn:  Ever since I began running with the club track team at NTC in 2005, my parents have been members of the gym. I truly think my siblings (older sister and younger brother) being involved in sports has helped my parents keep motivated to live healthier lifestyles and train their bodies as well.

Tablet:  You have come full circle.  Now training & coaching some younger athletes at the NTC (as well as members).  What makes you passionate about your job?

Nunn:  Having such an amazing coach (Dennis Mitchell) when I trained at the NTC has inspired me to want to help others as much as he’s helped through my high school track career and beyond. And with my collegiate track career not being as successful as I would have liked to be (two major injuries, coaching changes, etc.), I think my experience of fighting through adversity and never giving up on my passion makes it very relatable for athletes and members alike. I love helping others enhance their performance and mindset!

Tablet:   You’ve traveled a lot throughout the South during your running career. What brought you back to South Lake County?

Graduation day

Nunn:  After graduate school at the University of Florida, I had an opportunity to intern with Dennis and his Olympic athletes back here in Clermont. I was waiting on several job opportunities and I thought this would be a great time to learn what it’s like to train professional athletes and gain further experience. Plus I had been away from home for five and a half years, so it was nice to come back to South Lake County!

Tablet:  What do you enjoy doing when you’re not coaching & training your athletes?

Nunn:  I enjoy spending time with my family, running, strength training, being outdoors/with animals, and going to church. I also like reading and learning anything about the human body!

Tablet:  What is your greatest career achievement?

Nunn:  Earning a lead position at the NTC has been my greatest career achievement thus far. I started as a part-time performance specialist in April 2016. I was under the supervision of Karl Riecken when he was the Lab Coordinator for the Human Performance Lab. I assisted with various sports teams and individuals and helped him with whatever he needed. When he left to pursue medical school, the position became available. I honestly didn’t feel ready at the time to take the job but I felt like I needed to do it. I can say I have grown so much since I’ve started working here and I’m thankful for the opportunity!

Tablet:    Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Julie with her swimmer athlete Brady Estrada (ASU)

Nunn:  I can still picture myself being a coach in ten years. I am currently in massage therapy school and I would like to perform a combination of manual and movement therapy sessions for my athletes and clients in the future. I have seen and felt the effects of both modalities so I’m excited to see how they complement each other together! I’m very close with my family as well so I see myself having a family in that time frame

Tablet:   We have recently seen you at the Clermont parkrun.  What would you tell your South Lake neighbor thinking about making life changes?

Nunn:  Making life changes is how you grow. Running longer distances has been an adjustment for me but I knew the stage of competitive sprinting had come to a close. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and being sad that stage of life was over, I decided to find the positives and make a new story. It was difficult to deal with but I knew everything in that period of my life happened for a reason and that I was about to embark on another exciting journey.

Nunn family- Front – Mom Jean, Sister Breanda Back- Brother Marshall, Dad Russell, Julie, Brother-in-law John
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