Christi Beth Johnston Adams ran cross country and track for Belmont from 1998-2002 and was part of the first group of student-athletes who competed on the Division I level all four years. She later served as an assistant coach for the Bruins. After leaving Belmont, Christi Beth became a successful small business owner, owning and operating two Fleet Feet running stores in the Nashville area. BelmontBruins.com recently caught up with Christi Beth to talk about her time at Belmont and her life since leaving campus.
Why did you choose Belmont?
I had been on about five recruiting visits and all were positive, but I just felt something different when I walked through the campus at Belmont. Everyone said hello with a smile when they passed and it just felt like the right place for me. I also liked that it was a smaller school (at the time)!
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
It’s hard to pinpoint my fondest athletic memory at Belmont because my experience as a student-athlete was amazing year after year. I’d say the best times were traveling back to Nashville in the van packed with a bunch of stinky runners after a great race performance. We (including coach) would be in such a great mood which led to lots of downright silliness…. lots of inside jokes and interpretative dances were created on those van rides.
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Belmont?
I was so fortunate to have an upperclassmen, Jessica Harris-Telligman, and a lower classmen, Keely Weaver Corlew, who were not only absolutely studs when it came to work ethic and grittiness, but they were also the most inspirational and supportive women I’ve ever met. Jess was always there with a soul searching Thoreau quote delivered at my dorm room at just the right moment or a pre-race speech that could rally our team to tap into something inside of us beyond our athletic ability. Keely set the example of how you should treat a teammate – or any human being for that matter. She loves and cares for people so dearly and genuinely. It really is life changing to be the recipient of love from Keely!
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Belmont?
Hands down, the most valuable thing I gained at Belmont were the relationships. We went from being 18 year old girls worrying about our race performance and diet to grown women who have experienced marriage, child birth, divorce, job changes, cross country moves…and we still keep in touch. In fact, I’m meeting up with Lauren Williams Weaver for a run this afternoon! We all talk about how fortunate we were to have been put together on a team many years ago at Belmont.
What advice would you give to current members of the cross country teams?
As a general rule, I try not to give advice! I would say listen to your coach, work harder (because you think you’re working hard, but trust me…you’ve got more) and to be kind to your teammates. We all have the power with our words and actions to lift someone up or bring them down. Choose the former.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
That’s a tough question because I fall in the category of folks that LOVE school so I wasn’t one to skip class! I double majored in business and psychology and found all of my classes fascinating (alright, maybe not statistics or accounting). I’d say my favorite professor was Dr. Giordano. Dr. G was not only a phenomenal teacher, but he always asked student-athletes about their race, game or match. He kept up with us and was a thoughtful teacher!
Where do you live now?
I live in the Green Hills area of Nashville – just a stones throw away from Belmont!
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
I am self-employed. I own Fleet Feet Sports Nashville with two locations: Green Hills and Brentwood. We are a specialty store concentrated on runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts. We’re best known for helping folks find the best fitting shoes, sports and apparel. I have a very passionate and knowledgeable team.
Tell us about your family.
I have a 5 year old son, Mason, and a 3 year old daughter, Noelle…and they love to run. I’m already dreading the day they can run faster than me!