“Seeing the White” is a common phrase among serious athletes. It describes a moment, a moment when you’ve pushed yourself beyond what you thought you were capable of. It’s as if a spotlight has been turned on, and suddenly you are capable of great things.
In the 1960s, Bill Starr, the coach for the 1968 US Olympic weightlifting team, transformed “The White” into “The White Buffalo.” White Buffaloes are considered sacred among many Native American tribes, and if warriors were to see one before battle they felt victory would be theirs.
So what does that mean for us at White Buffalo Training? It means we train every single day, just for a glimpse of the White Buffalo. Even if that may not come for years, we still train. We train for ourselves, we train for our family, and we train for life. We train for a unique purpose. We put an emphasis on character and work ethic, over talent and superficial things. We put an emphasis on passing this along to others. Because anyone can find their White Buffalo. You just have to know where to look.
So who is White Buffalo Training?
Laura knew from a young age that her body was meant to sprint. In high school, she swam on the local club team, and that’s when she started to gravitate towards the shorter races. In college, that ability took off, where she was a division III champion in the 50 yard freestyle. But that wasn’t enough. Because of Division III rules, she was not allowed to swim under her coach in the off-season, so she picked up the 400m hurdles for the first time. Four outdoor track seasons later, she won another NCAA title in the 400m hurdles, proving swimmers can in fact be amphibious. This all led to her winning the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year award, an award given to student athletes of all divisions that excelled in academics, athletics, leadership, and community service, traits she carries on even today.
After college, she struggled to find that same competitive team atmosphere she had in college. She spent two years in CrossFit, the closest thing she could find to a college sport. She qualified for CrossFit regionals twice in those two years. Shortly after her second regionals showing, she went to her first weightlifting meet and qualified for USAW nationals. Now you’ll find her on the platform 6 days a week, in her new home: weightlifting.
But the weightlifting road has been pretty bumpy so far. At 2014 USAW nationals, Laura tore her ACL and medial meniscus, taking her out of the game for over a year (and spent 4 months hitting PRs, not knowing her ACL was detached). Just 10 months after surgery, she came back to qualify for the American Open with the new and tougher totals (in the 75kg weight class).
Today, Laura combines her engineering education and multi sport background to write specialized strength and conditioning programs. She also writes nutrition plans for her athletes to better optimize their time in the gym. And now, with White Buffalo Apparel, she gets to use her crafting abilities she’s used as stress relief since she was a little kid.