My first job within the running world started my senior year of high school, about 4 months after I started my running journey. I’ve only known running as simultaneously a passion and career. Starting the passion of running to change myself for external reasons, running simultaneously was a very healthy yet unhealthy choice to commit to. When I was part of a community within the running store this shifted my view. Running became a vehicle to meet new people, see new things and focus on self-improvement that wasn’t focusing on changing myself but focusing on bettering myself.
Working in the running industry is admittedly a dream come true. For the last six years I was in a running store talking to runners all day and working with incredibly like-minded people who are now my best friends, yet the only thing that was missing was time to run. It was always bittersweet to talk about training and trails all day while you’re inside watching people run by the store.
Now that I've been working at Craft, I get to be outside working and running at trail and road running events that I would have never gotten to do and experience new people, new places and new running philosophies. Over the last 6 months I’ve been able to join just about 40 events in 10 different states of all different but truly welcoming communities. It has been eye openiong to see that no matter where I go running during my work travels communities are just as warm and inviting as the first one I knew. This one common interest made complete strangers into friends with common goals without a word having to be said.
That’s not to say working in my passion does not have its downsides. With the travel and lack of concrete schedule it can be hard to plan and gauge how many miles I can get in a week. Tired legs and tired eyes after a long drive are common for me and wherever I land I do not have the convenience of my local loop or trail. Like all things, finding the silver lining is important. Using this whacky schedule of mine as a chance to not think about milage and really run every day by feel has been hard but ultimately for the better. Breaking away from a rigid running schedule has changed my mind set to allow for alterations in training and not be rigid. Don’t get this confused as lowering the intensity but understanding the importance of flexibility in life has been critical to me when balancing my profession and my passion. Learning that a tempo run can be done on different terrains or taking a unplanned day off can be more productive to my fitness than forcing a run and something I would never of experienced or learned without this type of work.
Making your passion your career can be mentally and physically incredible if you navigate it correctly. Like many things in my life moderation is very hard for me but learning how to adapt to, and yet still enjoy, having less time to run just a shifted perspective training has been the most valuable lesson learned.