Lara Storm is a multi-talented individual.
The former personal chef and longtime distance runner is a Dawson County resident who is currently using her background as a clinical dietitian to help teach teenagers about good nutritional habits.
Not only that, the North Gwinnett High School teacher and assistant cross country coach recently took her culinary class to a county-wide competition that tasked students to create and prepare dishes to help feed those in need.
And in no small feat, she ran the Tokyo Marathon back in March, completing her quest to finish the six world marathon majors.
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So how did Storm’s fitness history culminate with the six biggest marathons on Earth, and how does it relate to her unique career path?
Storm and thousands of other runners were just days away from attempting the Tokyo Marathon three years ago when the race, along with every other sporting event in the world, was abruptly halted due to the pandemic.
All those months of training had to go somewhere, so she kept herself in form by entering smaller races and expanding her crosstraining.
Having already completed the New York, Boston, Chicago, Berlin and London marathons by way of different entries, Storm had to patiently wait to complete her quest.
The very same mentality that helped push Storm toward her goals as a runner began years before, upon graduating from The Ohio State University.
Shortly after wrapping up her college years, which included two seasons as a walk-on member of the cross country team, Storm moved to Georgia and began her career as a dietitian.
Soon, she found herself getting paid to cook for a family, then for entire companies, and eventually as an executive chef for a catering company.
Her constant drive to help teach others about the clean eating habits she formed over time as an athlete continued, even through a period of career change.
After Storm came to a crossroads in her food service career, she ventured out toward a teaching career, beginning on the homeschool level.
Even after leaving her longtime profession, Storm never stopped wanting to be a beacon of nutritional knowledge.
In 2016, she got the opportunity to be a part of the North Gwinnett CTAE program as a culinary arts and food science teacher.
And ever since, Storm has enjoyed both the class itself and the very different world that academia offers compared to food service.
“I had never been in an environment where people are constantly like ‘Are you okay? How’s life doing?’” Storm said. “I get to take everything that I like doing — running, health, cooking — and I get to pour that into them and hopefully impact them.”
She’s now taught long enough that she has seen some of her students not only pick up on the teaching in class, but also apply it in their lives.
In some cases, she has heard feedback from parents whose kids have started cooking at home after taking Storm’s class.
Between that and the recent food competition event for a good cause, Storm is seeing her work blossom in a meaningful way.
Through all those years of teaching, Storm also remained focused on finishing that world marathon goal in Tokyo.
Even after waiting three years, she never stopped wanting to finish what she started.
So in early March, Storm took the trip across the Pacific — making the bold decision to run soon after arriving so she could enjoy seeing the city.
Without the normal time to acclimate — running less than 48 hours after touching down in Tokyo — she still persisted through all 26 miles.
“You just figure out how to find the time,” Storm said. “You set a goal and you don’t let anything deter you.”