When someone goes viral it happens super-fast and that is exactly what occurred with Vivian Schoeller on a random Tuesday morning. The best part, she embraced it!! After a little snooping I was able to figure out her name, but it wasn’t until after Spartan and Biggest Loser had already contacted her. She quickly responded to my random Facebook message and I barely even got a chance to email her the questions. Vivian gave me my first ever direct message interview on Facebook. Whatever works, right?
WOR: Hi! I am a blogger for Women of Obstacle Racing. If you are free to chat and share your story, I would love to write about you.
Vivian: Ok! I love to chat with you! Should have been at a friend’s an hour ago, will do this soon. Get questions ready.
When she said to “get questions ready” I laughed out loud. Most people there is a bit of shyness and element of timidity. Not Vivian!
WOR: Email sent.
(A couple of minutes after.)
Vivian: Nothing yet. We can use this. (Facebook messenger)
(I send her a screenshot of the questions.)
Vivian: I wrote down the questions. I have to charge the cell. I’ve been on it all morning!
(A few hours later.)
Vivian: Sorry, I had to play with my grandson tonight. He’s three. We’re buddies.
Vivian: I am 63 and will be 64 in the fall. I got involved in racing because of a friend, he is 63 and has been doing Spartan races for a few years. He usually races with his two sons. My first race was the Sprint in Tuxedo a few weeks ago.
WOR: What is your motivation?
Vivian: I race because I don’t want to be frumpy dumpy. I use my bathroom scale every day.
WOR: Why the Biggest Loser race?
Vivian: My friend Phil has participated in the Biggest Loser event before and was registered for this past weekend. His ride had car problems and I noticed his post about it on Spartans of the Northeast asking for a ride. I told him I would take him. He then told me that they needed a volunteer at the Biggest Loser, so I said I would do it. I would take participants on the sprint, they set their pace, and choose if they want to do an obstacle and no burpees. Then I get to earn a free race from Spartan.
WOR: What is your athletic history?
Vivian: I always liked to go skiing, play tennis, go horseback riding, and train dogs.
WOR: What does your family think of your racing?
Vivian: My son said, “If you want to move heavy things you can use the four-wheeler.” I think he is proud of me. He also said, “Mom, if you want to go somewhere, just drive.”
WOR: That is so funny!! Love it.
Vivian: To be continued. Bedtime for Jake.
(An hour or so passes by.)
Vivian: Next question….
WOR: Why do you enjoy volunteering at races?
Vivian: I didn’t know I would meet such awesome people. I have volunteered at different organizations and Spartan gets awesome people together.
WOR: Is there an obstacle you despise? Do you have a favorite obstacle?
Vivian: Besides just running the obstacles are challenging! I found out I’m strong and I can climb! I like running the best. I don’t love cold water. I’m in awe of the women who have upper body strength for the walls. Luckily, with a boost, I’m over.
WOR: How do you train for races?
Vivian: My son told me to say, “I put ham slices on the bottom of my sneakers because it makes me run faster. Then, I drink 20 cups of coffee while watching Scooby-Doo cartoons.
WOR: I like coffee and Scooby.
Vivian: My son has a sense of humor.
WOR: I can tell. Biggest Loser and Spartan has contacted you?
Vivian: Yes. It is crazy that people think I’m so inspiring!! Me! LOL!! Wow!! Really wow!
It’s pretty incredible the people that show up to races for whatever reason it may be. It’s even more incredible that such a humble, fun, simple person can go viral with one great snapshot of one small moment on a course. Thank you, Vivian, for being so open and sharing your story. Tell your son we hope to see him in the future at races with some backup ham. You know, just in case the ham you have on your shoes falls off for some strange reason.