Growing up, I loved to run.
I ran everywhere. In middle school I fell in love with track and field, enjoying the longer distances over the sprints. My grandfather was always there to provide insights and advice. He was a track coach at the high school where he taught and drove around in a car with a vanity license plate on the front that said:
Run A Mile, Live A While
Every year he ran the local Thanksgiving Day road race and Santa run wearing his trademark winged headband. He is the original Winged Ling.
In high school, I became distracted with the noise of life. I stopped running for the most part, but every once in a while I would lace up, and take off down a trail for the freedom in provided.
Limited on options from a less than stellar high school career, I enlisted in the Air Force to get out and see the world while I figured myself out. I put in a little fitness work before basic training and still remember the 2 trail runs I took last before leaving home to make my mark on the world. I think they will forever be burned into my memory – the long germinating seeds of the person I was always supposed to be – or at least ended up finding my way back to becoming…
For 8 years I lived rather un-spectacularly. I smoked a lot of cigarettes and ate poorly. I only exercised to maintain my military fitness, although I periodically tried to take up distance running in earnest, never seeming to break more than 6 miles without succumbing to knee and back pain.
In 2011, on a deployment to Afghanistan I kicked the last of my poor habits to the side, took up running in Vibram Five Fingers, and made a dramatic shift in who I was, and the life I was living.
I returned, and started trail running barefoot, building miles, making mistakes, and learning from them as best I could. Going minimalist and relearning to run eradicated the chronic pain I used to feel, and brought a new found enjoyment to the sport. I took on the winged headband and completed my first 5k in 2011, marathon in 2012, and although the wings are now retired, I continue forward.
I began this blog for three major reasons:
- Give back. I often find inspiration and fantastic insights and lessons in the reports, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and stories of other runners. I want to offer my content to the running community, in hopes that someone finds some use in it.
- A good blog requires good content – Making myself responsible for the content of this blog means I need to have good content, obligating me to fill my own life with good content.
Are we both going to the same race?
Want the original high resolution images of any photos you’re in?
Need a pacer? Crew?
Coaching or training?
Drop me a line!
I have also recently joined the team at Beast Pacing! Pacing Bio
-The Winged Ling