Making Dreams Reality: The Future of Strength Running
Posted Aug 16 2012 10:30am
by Jason Fitzgerald
Average people follow their dreams, distance runners chase them down and beat them into submission.
For as long as I can remember, people have asked me:
What do you want to do when you grow up?
What can you do with a Government degree?
Is that job what you really want to do?
Are you getting a promotion soon?
These questions follow the typical “dream –> college –> career” path that most people find themselves on. It’s a natural progression to go to college, get a job, try to get promoted, get a new (and better) job, rinse and repeat.
It started for me when I went to Connecticut College and double majored in Government and Urban Sociology. I graduated and went to work for a major e-commerce firm in Boston in their Finance Department. I quickly learned that crunching numbers wasn’t for me.
My girlfriend (who is now my wife) Meaghan took a job as a teacher in Washington, DC and I moved in with her in 2008 right outside the city in Silver Spring, MD. I started working at an environmental non-profit doing work that I was more interested in pursuing.
Less than two years later, I needed a change of pace so I transitioned to an environmental consulting firm working on some of the government’s biggest efficiency projects like ENERGY STAR. It was interesting work and I learned a lot.
But no matter what I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about a joke my uncle made when I got my first job:
Uncle: “Hey, how’s the job going?”
Me: “Not bad; it’s a little boring.”
Uncle: “Well, only 40 more years!”
That stuck with me. Do I really have to work a job I’m not 100% passionate about until I’m old and gray? Apparently, according to conventional wisdom, I do. It’s how things work. It’s standard.
But it always irritated me. I could never answer the question, “What are you really interested in?” because my interests aren’t those that will get me a real job: I like running, coffee, partying with my friends, traveling, and spending time with my wife.
Some of my friends said, “I really like the financial analysis models I’m making now. Fascinating stuff!” That’s great, but it’s not for me. I was never passionate about that stuff.
You’re probably asking yourself, “Jason, you’re rambling – have you been drinking? What does this have to do with running?”
I’m sober (I swear) but let me get to the point.
I started Strength Running in March, 2010 because I thought I could help other runners succeed where I had failed. It was a tiny blog with no readers and an ugly design. I was embarrassed to tell my friends and family about it.
But since then, it has steadily grown and I’m fortunate to work with many talented, passionate runners to help them accomplish their goals. People like Ryan, Sam, Lydia, and Andy.
I’ve busted my ass over the last few years to make SR your best source of running information online. I’ve released a ton of useful guides, workouts, and resources:
A Master Shopping List, circuit workout, and more (free – available to subscribers)
The feedback I’ve received from these resources has been nothing short of humbling. The impact this site is having on real runners is the most rewarding part.
“I’m running without pain and stronger than ever. You also saved me the cost of physical therapy (time and money).” – Charlie
“After several months of ITB rehab I have not had a single problem. Oh ya, and I PB-ed my 10km this weekend (by over 3min!!) after 5weeks of including other strengthening videos you suggested through my training plan. BOOYA!” – Melissa
I love hearing this kind of feedback and it encourages me to keep working on building the best running site on the web (I’m coming for you Running Times!). But until recently, I’ve done it while having a full-time job, which isn’t ideal if SR hopes to continue growing.
To make Strength Running as great as it can be – which means more useful stuff for you – I’m excited to announce that as of today, SR is now my full-time job.
I can finally answer the question, “What do you want to do?” with a resounding “Help runners dominate!”
I could not be pursuing my dream if it wasn’t for you. Your support over the years has enabled this to become my reality and I am deeply grateful for your help.
These seemingly simple gestures are huge in helping SR reach new runners. I’m so appreciative of your help in supporting our shared mission of becoming better runners.
Those members of my private email newsletter will be getting a note from me later today with some additional information (and a new addition to the Runner’s Gear Bag!). Stay tuned!
But regardless of how you interact with this site, I want to thank you for reading these words and being part of this great community. Without you, I wouldn’t be here today doing what I love.
I’m beyond thrilled to work harder than ever to create more resources to help you crush your running goals. Expect a lot of new things around here in the next few months – get excited!
First, I’m going to keep busting my ass trying to write the best running articles I can muster. While I’m very proud of what I’ve done so far (check out the “Popular Posts” section on the right sidebar), I want to do even more.
Video is one medium that’s been lacking on Strength Running and my goal is to record more videos. They can be more useful than simple text and many people prefer video to text.
You may also see that Strength Running will likely grow even more quickly in the months and years ahead. I’m getting more and more requests to contribute to other running publications (both offline and online) including Active.com, Lifehacker, and a few that I have to keep secret for now
This doesn’t mean I’ll neglect any aspect of SR – it is and will always be my top priority. Just be nice to the newcomers and say “hi” in the comments!
As always, I have some projects that aren’t public yet that I’m really excited about. My newsletter readers will find out about them first and have opportunities for advanced notice and other benefits like I’ve done in the past.
For now, I just want to say thank you. I’m thrilled, optimistic, scared, excited, and hopeful for what the future holds and it wouldn’t be happening without you.