in•spi•ra•tion: n. an inspiring or animating action or influence
So this is how the running thing started for me…
I graduated from college in 1996 with several All America honors in track and field, but none of them for running. I was a jumper, sometimes a sprinter. When I graduated, I had never run more than 4 miles and I had certainly never run any of them smiling. I was one of those people that huffed and puffed and just didn't like running. I was terrible at it and I figured it wasn't in my genes. I think everyone else figured that too.
After college, I took a job coaching at my alma mater and loved it. I worked with some extraordinary athletes and gained an immense amount of knowledge and experience. But my least expected reward from that job came in the form of inspiration from a brash freshman. He was cocky and arrogant and didn't want to work on things he wasn't good at. After a few weeks of back and forthing with him, I finally got him to cave at practice one day by saying:
Sometimes you have to do the thing you think you cannot do. Then, you will see it is the thing you CAN do.
I felt like Buddha as I drove home that night.
I felt like a hypocritical jerk the next day when he asked:
Coach, what are you doing that you think you cannot do?
So I started to run.
I ran my first marathon in the fall of 1997. It was amazing. I stood at the finish line (with goosebumps and tears streaming down my face) a changed person; I had just done the thing I thought I could not do. The awards I had collected for things I knew I was good at held value, but not like this. Finishing the marathon was my own personal lesson that I really could do anything.
Inspired, I continued to coach and run and in 2004, created NRG.
In addition to a BA in Journalism, I have a certification in Sports Medicine and Human Performance from the University of Washington and a USATF Level I Certification.
I've been coaching for 16 years.
Before starting NRG, I spent 5 years coaching at the college level, a couple of years working with high school track teams, helped get a major running club off the ground in Minnesota, taught clinics and worked with several people on an individual basis. I also created and currently teach the popular I Want to be a Runner class for beginning runners in the Seattle area.
I have experience at the front of the pack and the back of the pack in races ranging from 5k to ultra marathons. In addition to running, I like to hop in the occasional triathlon, adventure race, cycling tour or swimming event. I'm a six time NCAA All American in Track and Field and a ten time Boston Marathon Qualifier.