Director of Toughness | Lauren Steele

Lauren Steele is a Midwestern farm girl turned migrant. Throw in a love for fitness with sense of adventure and a tendency to tell tales, and you’ve got yourself a writer who will run to the top of a mountain to get the story. That’s Lauren.

SEE ALSO: Introducing Directors of Toughness

Her body of work includes stories about everything—from the history of knife makers living in Brooklyn to a guide on pooping in the woods. After leaving the family farm to attend the University of Missouri School of Journalism, she has rambled across the country reporting, from Santa Fe to Manhattan. And her love for running has come in handy while putting in those miles (FYI, her favorite race distance happens to be 50K).

She began her career writing and editing at publications such as OutsideMen’s JournalMen’s FitnessRolling Stone, and New York Magazine. Just like an ultra-marathon or a mountain summit is comprised of many steps, she lives knowing that life is comprised of many stories. Chasing those stories from the Atacama Desert in Chile to the Mont Blanc Massif geared her up for her latest gig as Columbia Sportswear’s Director of Toughness.

You can follow Lauren’s journey on

Learn more about Lauren’s fellow Director of Toughness, Zach Doleac.