My name is Molly Reif, and I’m a thirty-something Research Geographer who enjoys applying creative, geospatial solutions to our coast’s environmental challenges. I went to school to study biogeography and Geographic Information Systems and, lucky for me, it evolved into a rewarding career. I’m from New Orleans, LA and thoroughly enjoy life on the Gulf Coast… the music, the food, the wine, the beach… it never gets old, and I’ll never stop relishing each sound, morsel, sip (sometimes gulp!), and tranquil hideaway that crosses my path.
Lately, I’m finding that true joy can lurk in the quietest of corners, and I’m fortunate to have the man in my life that recognizes and shares those surprises with me. I love living a stone’s throw away from my favorite summer getaway as a kid, and most importantly, where I first learned to appreciate nature, adventure, the simple pleasures that make life so sweet, and the love of family. Speaking of which, I’m the youngest of four, ever the little sister, and the result of a unique and varied blend of family guidance and love.
I’ve always been enthusiastic about outdoor living, whether it’s running, hiking, paddle boarding, canoeing, sitting on a screened-in porch, etc., and when life reminded me that no plan or person is perfect and I had to change directions, it became an opportunity to realign my values with the way that I want to live and absorb each and every day. That is how I came to discover and appreciate triathlons (thanks to a few key friends, you know who you are)! They offer both variety and intensity that matches my thirst for outdoor adventure, unique challenges, and most of all… equal parts zen-tastic solitude as well as a shared bonding experience with amazingly positive and genuine people.
Although I’m new to the sport, I rocked my first two sprint distance triathlons this past year (BridgeFest Triathlon and Hub City Hustle). I found something new and exciting about myself in those experiences - both empowering and sometimes terrifying, but embracing it gave me strength and confidence renewed (WTH… a podium?!). I didn’t plan to try a half Ironman, but serendipity struck again, and here I am, training for my very first 70.3 in my own hometown.
The training, more than the race, gives me the chance to be present, truly engage, and make wildness a necessity in a way that makes me feel lucky and happy to be alive – it’s all about the journey, right sisterfriend? Even though anxiety and fear are ever present, I work through them, learn from my mistakes, and bet on myself, trying to make it as transformative as possible. And how lucky am I to have so many loving and supportive people in my life to share in this fleeting adventure!
In short, I’m an explorer, worrier, cat lover, wine drinker, arachnophobe, ponderer, lover of curse words, fast driver, nervous-ninny, dark chocolate hound, sarcastic, a little reserved when I don’t know you/funny and wild when I do, have a slight hippy streak, observant, sensitive, hip shaker, serious (glum guss at times), a little naïve, a lot stubborn, the baby, and most recently… a TRIATHLETE!