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SEED SQUAD SPOTLIGHT: TAYLOR SHANNON

INTRODUCING THE 88 ACRES SEED SQUAD SPOTLIGHT

88 Acres isn’t just a food brand, it’s a community. Our Seed Squad is full of incredible humans, who go above and beyond to support their body, community, and planet. Do you know someone who should be highlighted in our Seed Squad Spotlight? Drop us a note!

SEED SQUAD SPOTLIGHT: TAYLOR SHANNON

Spring is in the air, which means the 128th Boston Marathon is right around the corner! This 26.2 mile race begins in Hopkinton, MA, and ends on Boylston Street in Boston, MA. It’s the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events. In 2023, athletes fundraising in the Boston Marathon raised a record $40.3 million, and since the charity program's inception in 1989, more than $500.2 million has been fundraised.

As a local company with roots in Boston (our original bar recipe was crafted in Rob and Nicole’s tiny kitchen in Allston, and our first official bakery was in the inner city of Boston) we’re always excited when marathon season rolls around. Fun fact: Nicole ran Boston in 2006 :)

One athlete we’re rooting for this year is Taylor Shannon, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) at Boston Medical Center (BMC), a recreational runner, and a member of our Seed Squad! We sat down with Taylor to ask her a few questions about the upcoming race and learn how she’s balancing it all!

Taylor and friends at her Boston Marathon Fundraiser

Taylor and her friends sweat it out at her MyStryde fundraising event for the Boston Marathon!

 

Why did you decide to run the Boston Marathon?

It’s kind of a funny coincidence because I was shooting to run a marathon in the Fall, but a runner who was on BMC’s team had to drop out of the race. I offered to take her place and registered at the beginning of February. Most people register in September, so it’s been a quick turnaround!

Okay, so 26.2 miles is no joke. Have you run anything like this before?

I ran the Boston Marathon in my first year of undergrad! I moved to the city to attend Boston College and as you can imagine the marathon is basically a holiday for us. We used to wake up super early to cheer on runners at Mile 21.

In my freshman year, I signed up to run with a group that was supporting the Campus School, a special education day school located within the Lynch School of Education and Human Development on the Boston College campus. Fundraising and running to support a cause that is so close to my heart was an unforgettable experience. I’ll be moving out of Boston later this year, so it’s really exciting to have the opportunity to run again, and for the hospital that I’ve called home for the last 5 years - feels like a full-circle moment.

Your passion for supporting Boston’s community truly shines through. Why did you become a nurse?

At the heart of any nurse is a calling to help others. I’d always been interested in medicine impacting a person’s holistic wellbeing, and I became particularly interested in socioeconomic health disparities after spending a year as a nursing student in South Africa and Tanzania. The desire to alleviate patients’ pains and fears led me to pursue a graduate degree in nurse anesthesia. As a CRNA, I get to be the individual who patients trust during some of their most vulnerable moments. It’s an honor far beyond just a job.

Friends workout at MyStryde to raise money for Boston Medical Center

The whole crew! 

What’s your fundraising goal and what will the money you raise support?

My goal is to raise $7,500 for BMC, and I’m more than halfway there! BMC’s commitment to providing care and compassion to underserved members of our community resonates with my original purpose for becoming a nurse. Programs such as Elders Living at Home, Preventative Food Pantry, StreetCred for financial mobility, Curbside Care for postpartum mothers, mental health response collaboration with the Boston Police Department, and the Grayken Center for Addiction are just a few examples of BMC’s impact beyond its hospital walls. By raising money and awareness, I hope to continue advocating for BMC’s mission of improving healthcare access and equity.

What does a day in the life look like for you? How do you balance work and running?

Work life balance is never easy! With long shifts in the operating room, I love getting my workouts done in the morning, so I can go home and just relax. This means I’m typically up at 5am to get my miles in before starting work at 7am, typically with a running backpack on so I can commute to BMC on foot. I hate getting out of bed, but I love the positive energy I get from running to start my day. And between past injury and my job, I’m reminded daily that being able to freely move my body is a privilege.

Where did you find 88 Acres snacks and why do you love them?

I first discovered 88 Acres bars at Whole Foods. I have Celiac Disease, so finding bars and snacks on-the-go can be tricky, so I was super excited to find the Banana Bread Protein Bars.

Whether it’s running, work, travel, or errands, I am always on the move, so I love that 88 Acres is a convenient, nutrient-dense snack that is also allergy-friendly. It’s a mini celebration in the grocery store every time I find a brand that includes the allergy/celiac community, especially one that tastes real(ly good) rather than artificial!

 

 

What’s on your running playlist?

Oh man, my playlist is all over the place. Honestly, the music could be anything from country hits to Christmas songs. I also love to zone out to an audiobook. I plan to run the first half of the race with an audio book (helps with pacing!) and then swap over to music in the second half for an adrenaline kick! I did this for my 21-miler this weekend and it worked perfectly!

Do you have any goals for the race (time or otherwise)?

I was sidelined from running for a while because of a hip issue stemming from overuse. I took a year off to strengthen my hips, core, and back through physical therapy, so I’m just excited to be doing what I love again! My goal is to finish strong and feel healthy and happy the entire way through.

Taylor, thank you for sharing your journey your ongoing dedication to help underserved populations in our Boston Community! We cant wait to see you crush those 26.2 miles!

If you’d like to help Taylor reach her fundraising goals for the Boston Marathon, visit her donation page here.


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