If you’re wondering who to thank for your packages arriving in a timely and accurate manner, allow us to introduce you to Rosa Moriello.
What's your role at Topo Designs and what does it entail?
I’m the Shipping Supervisor for the warehouse which basically means if there’s something that needs to leave our facility, I help make that happen. Typically, it involves getting a team of our awesome warehouse crew together to make sure our customer orders are out in a timely manner and our wholesale accounts get their orders as asked.
How did you end up at Topo Designs?
Former Topo employee and a good friend of mine, Peter, moved to Denver a few months before I did. He started working at the DIA store and recommended when I move out here to take a look into working at Topo. I’ve almost exclusively worked with companies that have ties to the outdoors so it was right up my alley!
We hear you're into running?
Into it…it’s mostly my life…same thing, right? I’ve been running consistently for just about 15 years now. I ran competitively in cross country, track and field, and road running for 13 of those years – meaning, I ran in high school, college, and what we like to call “semi-professionally”. No contracts but almost just as elite. Since then, I’ve backed away from that world and am exploring the world of trail running! Still pretty competitive but definitely less intense than I use to be about training and racing.
Tell us about your coaching business!
I have my own business! I started coaching as an assistant for 2 colleges in Boston. I took up personal one-on-one coaching during that time too and really loved it. When I moved to Denver, I met my now co-founder/owner/head-coach David who, I learned, was also doing personal running coaching. We would meet up at coffee shops and talk about our coaching styles, our athletes, and “joking” about one day starting a business. Eventually, we caved into that idea and took the first few months in 2020 to put together our business. We launched East by West Distance in June 2020 so it just turned 1! It’s been SO fun.
My dad ran in high school and really wanted one of us to be a runner as well. My brothers were big baseball kids and I was very average at most sports. I tried it out in 2006 and at first…was REALLY bad. Like walking in the woods when nobody was around because I couldn’t breathe well. But as I kept with it, my times got faster and placements got better. I saw it as a way to get myself to a good university – if I was good enough, I could get a scholarship. Fortunately, it worked out. In college, I realized how much I love this sport.
It’s been a great outlet for me. I’m incredibly competitive and take most (or all) of that impulse out through running. It’s also a time for me to escape the world for a little bit and be with my thoughts. It’s a bit of my self-therapy time. But the thing I love the most are the people. The people in the running world are also so incredibly amazing. The community I’ve had and the friends I’ve made over the years has been a huge reason why I keep doing it.
Do you have any tips for people who either want to get into running or want to go deeper with their running?
A lot of people ask me “how can you do that?” when I tell them how much I run in a day, week, month, etc. My answer is almost always the same – I’ve been consistently working at this for years. I’ve been patient with training and slowly build over time. I run the way I run because I’ve practiced a lot. So my tip to new runners or runners looking to go deeper with their own running is that consistency in training is key. It’s not just training often but also being patient and building slowly. Part of being consistent is preventing injury. Starting too fast or running too much in the beginning will likely cause injury and set you back.
As an employee, you've been hearing about The New Outdoor™ for a while now. What does it mean to you? How do you live it in your own life?
To me, The New Outdoor is about finding the balance between a walk in the park and summiting a hard mountain and deciding that all those activities are “the outdoors”. It’s encouraging more than just the hardcore adventurers to go outside and explore what’s around us.
Balance has always been an important quality to have in my life. Being an “old outdoor” runner while working as a full-time professional and making time for non-intense activities: hiking or park days. The New Outdoor finds a place for all of these things to be considered “outdoors”.
In your mind, what does The New Outdoor™ of Running look like?
The New Outdoor of Running wants to be more inclusive and promote hard work, patience, mental strength, life balance, overall happiness, etc. rather than centering your entire life around looking like a “runner" or how fast you are. Overall, I do feel that there’s been a shift in running towards a more inclusive sport where if you run, then you are a runner and you are part of this community.
Book with the greatest influence on your life?
The greatest influence on my life has been people. Aside from my parents, the greatest influence I’ve had has been my college coach. He was a coach, a mentor, a friend, and honestly felt like family. He firmly believed that you are a person first, a student or professional next, and an athlete (or whatever your hobby identifier is) last. He believed that in order to have success in your career/passions/hobbies, you had to first be happy with/accepting of yourself. He knew success meant different things to different people and I am grateful to have had someone like him to take the time to help me work through what my passions were and how to find success in my life.
Keep up with Rosa and her coaching business on Instagram at @exwdistance.