Two-sport star Lauren Blake was the epitome of excellence whether it was collecting one of her 207 career hits on the softball diamond or scoring one of her 38 career goals on the field hockey field. The Oakland, Maine, native has moved across the country, where she is pursuing a career in the insurance industry and harboring a passion to coach.
What are you up to now?
Living in Denver and trying to be outdoors as much as possible. I just started working at Cigna in Denver. I'm a Sales and Marketing Associate and really beginning to learn about the health insurance industry.
What do you now do for fun?
Since I moved to Denver I'm really trying to explore the area. I went to a few Broncos games this year and I've been trying to visit microbreweries as much as possible. It's such a unique area that it's difficult to stay indoors. I'm hoping to do a lot of hiking this summer and eventually once I get my feet under me I'd love to get back into coaching.
What do you miss most about your time at Clark?
Being able to walk to see all my closest friends.
How hard was it for you to play two sports?
It was tough at times but I actually felt like I was better at managing my time whenever I was in season.
What was your favorite part about being a part of two teams?
My favorite part about being on two teams was that I constantly had a support system and group to keep me motivated. There was never an "off" season so I never had a lot of time to get into too much trouble.
You have to decide - which sport was your favorite and why?
Before I came to Clark I wasn't sure that I wanted to play field hockey actually. I had always had an amazing connection with softball and I didn't know that I would have the opportunity to continue playing both after high school. When I met Coach Wage I knew that I had a unique opportunity to continue two of my passions. That being said, softball has always been my number 1. I have always felt so comfortable on a softball field. Once I graduated, I even went on to coach for a travel softball program in Connecticut, which was one of the best opportunities I've ever had. I always would tell my girls that softball required an extreme amount of preparation and repetition but what makes you great is when you can find a way to balance feeling confident, focused and relaxed. When I described that feeling to some of girls I realized that that was what I should be striving for in my life as a whole. Softball really showed me how it felt to be the person I strived to be off the field as well.
You only played three seasons of field hockey because you went abroad in the Fall of 2008. Do you have any regrets about that decision?
Playing three seasons of field hockey was one of the toughest decisions I had to make in college. Going to Africa is never something that I will regret. Studying abroad allowed me to take a breath and really take in everything around me. Before Africa I had never been off the east coast before. This experience opened me up to try new things and take risks that never knew I wanted to take before. I met some amazing people who allowed me see the world in a new light.
You spent a great deal of time with coach Linda Wage. What do you think was the one thing you think she he taught you that stays with you even until today?
Linda Wage taught me what it meant to be a leader. Being a leader doesn't mean you hold a special title like captain or MVP, it means that you are there for people no matter what. Amanda Mundt was a great leader and inspiration to me as well.
What is one thing you wish you had known as a freshman that you know now?
College is about learning how to learn not necessarily what you are learning. Most 18 year olds have no idea what they want to do for the rest of their life when they enter college. My advice is to try as many new things as possible during college and try to find something that inspires you.
You are sitting in a restaurant with a Clark shirt on and someone comes up to you and tells you their son or daughter is interested in Clark. What do you tell them?
First, I'd ask what their kid is interested in to decide if they are worthy of being a "Cougar Crazie" then I would go on for hours raving about the friends I made there, the education I received in and out of the classroom, the diversity, passion and imagination bursting from the campus gates.