From: Wake Forest, NC
What do you do for a living?
RRCA Certified Running Coach, New Balance Running Coach – Raleigh, Musician, Writer
How did you first connect with Herren Project?
Once in a blue moon you meet someone and you immediately know they’re going to be one of your best friends. Sean Nielsen and I met on a nighttime training run for the Umstead 100 pacer volunteers in Raleigh. We were immediately drawn to one another from a group of well over 20 people and spent the next 12 dark miles gabbing about our alcoholism and recovery as if we’d known each other our entire lives. Shortly thereafter, he invited me on an impromptu road trip to meet Herren Project folks and run The Quad Boston with David Clark. When I first met Herren Project folks everyone was together in one room and I’d never felt so much positive energy concentrated in one space. The welcoming synergy and immediate connectedness I felt with everyone was one of the more profound moments in my life. I’d never hugged, poured my soul out, and bonded so quickly with a group of “familiar strangers” before. The weekend was emotionally-draining in the best of ways and I knew the planets had aligned for us to meet.
Who’s one of your running or athletic “heroes” and why?
Rich Roll is probably number 1. Early during my recovery, I had the intuition that some greater force had “pulled me from the wreckage”. My mind was reeling with a combined sense of gratitude and bewilderment. I read Rich’s book from start to finish in one fell swoop and that it was a decidedly sufficient compass which inevitably lead me to secular spiritual growth. I think that recovery is about strength through vulnerability, finding a way to ground yourself spiritually (in my case meditation), and a path of gratitude & compassion. My athleticism walks together with my gratitude and RR’s been a torch-bearer for me as I navigate the myriad facets and ever-expanding quest for betterment. Also, great influencers on me are also David Goggins for his indominable spirit and Charlie Engle for his boundless sense of adventure.
What’s your favorite running/race distance?
The biannual 50-yard dash at the beach with my wife & son. I’ll honorably mention that I’m also enamored with the cathartic 100-miler. It doesn’t provide me with the luxury of being tentative as I begin ultras with the sole intention of seeing the journey to its fruition (barring unforeseen circumstances that may become immediate health risks). It’s analogous to sobriety as it’s a black & white choice that I’ve made to walk a path with conviction, determination, and (hopefully) a little grace.
What are you most proud of?
My Immortal Beloved Mary and our beautiful son Scottie. She and I met at the mall when we were 17, have been attached at the hip ever since and have created one of the warmest empathetic humans I’ve ever met. They’re everything to me. The greatest gift The Universe has ever given me is our friendship which has morphed and grown with the stages of our lives. Pride is often associated with accomplishment and while I see our ability to navigate life together as an accomplishment – what truly makes me proud is that that “The Powers That Be” saw it fit to bestow this wondrous partnership upon me in this life. Athletically I am most proud of my winning the crewed division of The Tarheel 378-miler and 2 weeks later being first place in The Charleston 100-miler in December 2018. Lastly, I’m proud to say that my story has been featured in My story has been featured in USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, Ultrarunning Magazine and Endurance Magazine to name a few.