Q: How did you get started with your career?
The daughter of coaches, I grew up around sports! My mom coached cheerleading at the University of Louisville and well as several high schools in our area and my dad was a track coach, so most days after school we were joining them for practices. I have great memories as a kid sitting on the sidelines at UofL, and I loved the game day experience. I carved out my own niche within track and field, which presented me the opportunity to compete collegiately at IU and also get a wonderful journalism education. While at IU, I interned in Bristol, CT for ESPN, which solidified my determination to pursue sports broadcasting.
Q: What is the coolest interview you’ve done?
This is such a great question and one that’s tough to answer because I have been incredibly fortunate to have so many unique experiences. I am going to go with two — both of which were very recent. I interviewed Colts owner Jim Irsay at the start of training camp this year just before he headed to Canton for the Hall of Fame ceremonies for Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James. I talked with Mr. Irsay about those two Colts legends, the greatness he sees for his current group of Colts, and also the uncertainty of navigating COVID for a second NFL season. My other favorite would be getting the first one-on-one interview with T.Y. Hilton once he returned to the Colts for a tenth season. I have covered nearly every season of T.Y.’s career, and this was the first time he’d explored free agency, so it was a very candid conversation about what brought him back to Indy, the role Reggie Wayne played in bringing him home and also Carson Wentz’s influence.
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Q: What has been the most challenging part of your career?
Not comparing your journey to someone else’s. It is so difficult to not gauge where you are in your journey versus a peer. There might be a job you apply for that someone you know gets, or a person who you worked with previously you suddenly see getting a high profile opportunity. You have to embrace your unique journey and have faith that is the best place for you at this time. Often things don’t happen as quickly as you want them to, so it takes a major shift in perspective to appreciate where you are rather than look at where you’re going or want to be.
Q: Even though sports broadcasting is a male-dominated industry, what do you see for the future with women?
Its exciting and encouraging to see the emerging opportunities for women in sports, not just in media, but also in front office roles, scouting roles, coaching roles, officiating, management roles — every single facet of sport. Within media specifically, I am thrilled to see more women as analysts in the booth. In that color commentary role, your value comes in the form of your knowledge, perspective, and opinions, so its great progress to see those roles diversified and a variety of voices in those seats.
Q: Do you have any advice for young women wanting to get into sports?
This could probably be a whole convo itself! I’d start with a few things: ask questions, seize opportunity, be willing to do the things that go unnoticed.
- Ask questions -no one expects you to know everything! Be curious. Whether that’s writing questions down as they come to mind and looking them up later, or finding people you trust who you can confide in to teach you!
- Seize opportunity – apply for internships, network, volunteer. When you’re assigned a task, make it the most important thing! If you are working in game presentation and you’re in charge of the t-shirt toss, make sure they’re perfectly rolled and sorted and fly efficiently and get to as many levels of the arena as possible! Attention to detail is HUGE! If you can’t master the seemingly “simple” task, the bosses notice and won’t trust you with bigger responsibilities.
- Be willing to do things that go unnoticed – this week, I will be on TV over a period of three hours. That’s what you see. What you won’t is the approximately 30 hours of prep and 15 pages of notes I did for a 3 hour game. You might see me 8 times during that game for 30 seconds at a time, so I need those to be impactful. The only way to do that is to be prepared. You don’t get insightful answers in your interviews if you don’t have well researched, thoughtful questions!
Q: How do you balance staying healthy with such a busy work schedule?
I think that this is always a work in progress and some days/weeks are much better than others! One thing I rely on is showing yourself grace. Yes, aim to eat healthy and be active and get plenty of sleep but also don’t beat yourself up if all of those things aren’t perfect in a day! I like to get up early and work out – one day this week, I was really tired when my alarm went off, so I gave myself an extra hour of sleep and I needed it! That afternoon, I got my run in and enjoyed a longer walk with my dog (because in the AM before work I am on a tighter schedule, so taking him later in the day allowed us to take our time!) and I felt better because I just adjusted my schedule a bit. As far as my schedule, it really helps me to keep a planner — yes, like the old school paper notebook planner! It not only helps me stay organized, but its a nice tracking sheet of what I have accomplished or get to look forward to. I also love to merge social time with my workouts by planning to go to a fitness class with my girlfriends – and then grab a coffee or lunch or a cocktail together after!
Q: What is your workout regimen?
- Running is my therapy — I run at least one mile every day and have for nearly two years. While I am proud of my “run streak,” it is as much for mental benefit as physical! People who ask about it, I always tell them — its about dedicating time to mindfully move your body. That can look different for everyone whether its walking, running, stretching, meditating.
- In addition to my runs, I do Peloton workouts about 4 times a week. My husband bought me the bike as a wedding gift (yes, I am totally like the lady on the commercial everyone made fun of when she got a Pelo bike for Christmas — LOL) and I am fully addicted! Most days I do a spin class — I even schedule rides to “meet” friends and ride simultaneous. Lately, I have also been adding in the HIIT and strength classes too. I love trying to get in a few yoga classes each month, either at Yoga6 or Yoga Studio!
Q: How do you balance your busy schedule and traveling for work with your new marriage?
Our entire relationship, I’d always been working game days and traveling, so when everything shut down four months before our wedding, I joked with my now-husband “we are really going to find out if you want to marry me now!” because it was the most I had ever been home! We got married July 2020 and I didn’t end up traveling last NFL season, because we did all of our radio broadcasts remotely from the control room at Lucas Oil Stadium. Now that I am back on the road again, we are finding that routine again. I’m so fortunate that my husband is immensely supportive and encouraging. He’s a master at doing projects around the house — so often when I am gone, he uses the opportunity to dive into those! Also, just this summer, he joined me in Eugene, OR for the Olympic Trials, so it was amazing to have him experiencing that with me! That’s something we will strive to do when its feasible. When I am home, I love to make dinner, so that’s always the time we try to carve out to spend together. We usually do a Friday date during the season too, so we get a night in before I switch into game mode — and it’s most often the taproom at Greek’s Pizzeria — balance and grace, right?! 😉
Talk about inspirational! Larra is such a positive influence and role model. It was a pleasure learning more about her life and how she balances everything that she loves.
Cheers to all the hardworking women who are living out their dreams!