How a world champion triathlete earned an Oscar nomination

    Lesley Paterson and writing partner Ian Stokell attend the Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles last month.

    (CNN)It's while running in the moors and hills of her native Scotland that Lesley Paterson sometimes sees her two careers become conveniently aligned.

    A professional triathlete and screenwriter, Paterson has long inhabited two livelihoods that, on the surface, seem worlds apart. But in the quiet moments of a windswept run or a long bike ride, the occasional flash of inspiration can form the basis of her best ideas for film scripts.
    She counts among those the opening scenes of the Oscar-nominated "All Quiet on the Western Front," an adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's anti-war novel of the same name published in 1929.
      The film begins in the trenches of the First World War, where much of the action is situated, before we are soon transported to a provincial town in Germany. There, Paul Bäumer -- a young army recruit and the story's protagonist -- notices how his new military uniform carries the name tag of another solider.
        Unbeknownst to Bäumer, who is awkwardly told that the clothes were too small for their intended recipient, the soldier has apparently been killed in the war and his uniform recycled.
        "It really sort of encapsulates the entire message of the film -- that the uniform's more important than the man," Paterson tells CNN Sport.
        "It's just one of those moments where you know it's good and you think: 'Oh my God ... where did this come from?' You feel so lucky that you've thought of it."
          The scene, first visualized on a run in the Scottish Highlands, proved prescient. Last year, Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine complained of having to buy their own uniforms amid a shortage of basic equipment.
          "If we can hold up a mirror to what's going on to try and prevent more from happening, that truly is my goal as a storyteller -- to effect change," says Paterson.