November 2019 Member Spotlight
Meet Christi Mondrik, from Austin, Texas. She’s a beef-loving, bike-riding, adventure trip-taking tax attorney who loves a night out dancing, practicing Pilates, and hanging out with her husband, Dan, and huskies, Sabrina and Nikita. When not living life to the fullest in these capacities, she also enjoys gourmet cooking, belonging to a couple social groups with enticing names like “Cooking with Wild Abandon” and “Extreme Picnicking,” volunteering for community groups including Keep Austin Beautiful and Capital of Texas Food Bank, and serving as the presiding Chair of the Tax Section for the State Bar of Texas.
Christi started cycling in 2004 and added running to the mix for her first triathlon (Danskin) in 2009. The impetus to experiment with triathlon came during a “ladies’ night out,” where the margarita-drinking and mediocre Mexican food-eating started feeling a little a lackluster. Christi rushed right home and signed up for Danskin Tri, recruiting her neighbor down the street to help her learn how to run and practicing the swim in the neighborhood pool.
Since then, she’s done other sprint distance triathlons and numerous other runs and bike rides of varying distances, including the MS150 (five times!). If you ask her, “how many races,” she says it would be a wild guess based on the sheer volume of t-shirts, bib numbers and finishers medals collected over the years. This summer, Christi and her husband traveled to France for a 200-mile cycling tour in Normandy and Brittany. “It was an amazing experience of exploration on a road bike – just the right mix of exercise, sightseeing, history, art, natural beauty,” she says.
When asked what she’s currently training for, Christi answers simply, “Something. I’m always training for something, but most of all, I’m just trying to keep moving. It keeps my energy level up, makes me feel better and, ultimately, sleep better.”
Read on to learn more about this inspirational Texas Beef Team member in her own words:
Three Things You May Not Know: 1) I was a Girl Scout in Oklahoma growing up and in one camps we had water moccasins in the swimming area and another had rattlesnakes where we hiked (yikes!); 2) I ran around the elementary school telling everyone I was going to have my own law firm when I grew up – and now I do (Mondrik & Associates, established 2007); and 3) I’ve been scuba diving for a couple of years now. It’s amazing to explore the world beneath the ocean!
Favorite Beef Team Memories: I had a blast at the NOLA Inaugural Women’s Half Marathon. I was in New Orleans for work and decided to sign up for the run. I saw several of our Texas Beef Team friends and got to know them better. It was so much fun being out of town and seeing friendly faces and having friendly folks to hang out with during and after the event. Also, I’ve really enjoyed all of the hosted dinners, especially the ones at the Texas Beef Council office in Austin. One particularly memorable event was the backyard screening of the Farmland movie!
Favorite Races: As for Beef Team sponsored races, I really love the Rosedale Ride. It’s one of the first few bike rides of the season and benefits Austin ISD’s special school for children with multiple disabilities. The teachers and even some of the children come out to cheer us on and keep us safe. The Longhorn Band plays at the starting line – Hook ‘em Horns! Also, I really enjoy the DC Bike Ride. I’ve done it twice and think I was the only Texas Beef Team rider both times! How often do they shut down the roads and overpasses in DC so you can bike past the Pentagon and all of the monuments? There are also fun stops along the way, like the BBQ and Blues trailer and an inflatable unicorn.
Top Beef Cuts: Brisket and flat iron steak are what I eat most, but my favorite is a Black Angus Porterhouse.
Beef Recipe: I’ve made a delicious Beef Wellington with the chateau loin we get as a Prime Cuts reward – lots of shopping and preparation with the layers of mushroom duxelle, pate foie gras, and pastry, but so worth it!
What I’ve Learned: When vacationing at a dude ranch with family in Colorado, I learned the secret of melting a pat of butter on top of the grilled steak toward the end. The most useful information I’ve learned about beef is how packed with nutrients it is!
Inspiration: I’m inspired by all those folks who are older and stronger than me!
Training Groups: I’ve been on Team NoMas (a group of friends) and the Starbucks DoubleShots (Starbucks employees, friends, and customers – like me) for the MS 150 ride. The DoubleShots sometimes train together and is a fun group.
Proudest PR: One year I made it to lunch on the MS 150 Day 1 before any of my other team members! Whoohoo!
Making the Most of Obstacles: I don’t have a lot of free time in my profession, so I wake up at 5am or 5:15 most weekday mornings to exercise before work and then sometimes after work if I don’t have another event planned. Living in Steiner Ranch, this is also an excellent traffic avoidance technique! I will also ride my bike to work when I can, ideally once a week. Sometimes, my husband Dan rides with me – we split off for the last mile or so and then meet up at a specified location at the end of the day to ride home together.
Post-Race Reward: I usually enjoy hanging out at the finish line with teammates and friends (and new friends). I love it when there’s a good finish line with snacks, drinks and entertainment.
Favorite Event Type(s): I’d say the most fun is the sprint triathlon. I also love half marathons, even though I can never figure out how I get to the finish line. But, my very favorite “sport” is bicycling.