STRIVE Behind The Lens: Shelly Murphy

 Photo Credit: Marvin Joseph

Photo Credit: Marvin Joseph

As the STRIVE Splash N Dash Camp & Race Season approaches, we wanted to highlight the creative behind the inspiring images of the STRIVE experience, Shelly Murphy. From day one the transformation that youth experience after the Splash N Dash has been chronicled through Shelly's lens. 

She is a member of the powerful women's tribe of professionals that make up the Board of Directors and also a Graphic Designer in the Washington, D.C. office of McKinsey & Company. In her 17 years with the firm, Shelly has served clients in diverse industries, including the public, private, and social sectors. Shelly has also been the Production Coordinator at a satellite radio network company.   

We talked to Shelly to get her insight on the process to create Strive 2 Tri's beautiful imagery.

Why do you think Strive 2 Tri is so visually impactful? 

Strive is an energetic program full of emotion and energy.  You see it on all in the faces of the athletes, parents, volunteers, and supporters that are their on race day. These kids are talented, courageous, and truly amazing. To consciously choose to live a healthy and active lifestyle is not easy but truly inspiring to see our future committed to doing so. The athletes are truly the reason behind the visual impact. Every one of them strive to finish the race and overcome whatever limitations or fears they may have at some point and that is impactful. Strive is such a great program, it helps kids build their self-esteem and encourages a positive mindset. To the first time racer to the returnee, they show up ready, determined, and courageous. The bonus is you see these young athletes support each other, it’s amazing. He energy is magnetic and so the photos speak for themselves.

You have created a unique style of showcasing the youth racing and training at camp that is full of inspiration. Is that how you felt while shooting the process? 

I wanted to make sure I captured these great moments which are full of energy and emotion. To see kids of all ages and background out there striving, pushing past their fears or challenges to finish the race is the true inspiration behind it all. I wanted to immortalize those moments and to remind each of them that they are fearless and limitless. 

I also wanted to show other youth of color that you too can do this. The program is for everyone, everywhere to challenge themselves to be better. It really is important for our kids see other kids, coaches, volunteers, and business owners who look like them doing amazing and impactful things and overcoming mindsets, fears, challenges, etc.

If you had to use one word to describe the effect you wanted your Strive 2 Tri images to have on the world what would that word be?

Powerful.

How important is it that Strive 2 Tri now offers race options for adults?

Great question, offering to adults is a wonderful opportunity to start (and maintain) your exercise regime with very attainable goals. For individuals interested in the sport of triathlon, swimming, or running the course is a great introduction. As adults it is critical that we stay active, eat healthy, and challenge ourselves physically and mentally. Participating in Strive’s Splash N Dash is a great opportunity to do just that. Most importantly, we are charged to lead by example and what better way to lead our youth than participating in the SND.  

What are some of your goals as a member of the Strive 2 Tri Board of Directors?

To further Strive’s reach in our communities. I am connecting with my tribe to increase our race and camp participants, growing our volunteer team members, and securing individual and corporate sponsorships. It will take a village to help our kids grow into healthy and happy adults. I am committed to doing what needs to be done to help our kids be successful. It is important for kids to believe they can do anything and the great thing about the sport of triathlon is you rely on your training and strength to cross that line. All the training, eating healthy, and discipline comes together as you cross the line. There are no losers or second places because you aren’t competing with anyone. You are setting yourself up to be a healthy and successful adult having a strong sense of self and ability. And that is the ultimate goal, for all kids from every background know and believe in their greatness. 

Why will the Strive Splash N Dash 2018 season be more robust than ever?

I believe we have a diverse and powerful Board this year. The Board this year consists of women from various backgrounds each bringing their talents, passion, and experiences to the table. It is inspiring to see Strive grow and be apart of the Board. Yolanda Nelson is the Executive Director which is s huge plus for Strive. Yolanda’s insight and experience gained from being a teacher within the PGCCS is immeasurable. She brings her never-ending energy, fantastic communications skills, and personal experience to the role and I am excited to see her take Strive nation-wide.  Having Yolanda full time is going to unfold new opportunities and ventures along with strengthening our existing partnerships to further the mission of Strive.  Strive has an amazing program and has done the work to make 2018 a breakthrough year.

Did I say I am excited! #Strive2Tri