When did you start running? Why?
While running in middle school and high school I learned that running is of great value to me. I consider it an ideal hobby, since it keeps my mind and body healthy, gives me a competitive outlet, is a great mode of transportation and can be fit into a busy schedule.
Throughout college, I wanted to be a consistent runner, just recreationally, but I consistently struggled to motivate myself to get out the door. Finally, after college, I took a drastic step. I started working a paper route in the winter in Duluth, Minnesota, hoping that would give me the motivation I needed to start running regularly. For over four months, I had to run at least a few miles through the snow every night tossing newspapers. The obligation to be out every single day, even when it was -20 degrees Fahrenheit, was exactly what I needed to build the framework in my life to become a consistent runner. I've been running ever since. My newspaper route strategy worked!
How long have you been running ultras?
I ran my first ultra in 2011, in Moab, Utah, which is my favorite place in the world for running.
How do you balance your life as a family man, lawyer and elite ultrarunner?
First, doing so requires having nearly all aspects of my life structured in the right ways. I take a whole-life perspective. Most importantly, my relationships and support networks, especially with my wife, need to be strong and mutually supportive. For example, I have to rely on my wife, Stacy, for so much in order to have time for work, running and my kids. To get so much support from Stacy, I have to make sure I'm returning the favor by being a supportive husband.
Second to that, I have to be careful to avoid activities that take up time, but don't help me reach my goals. I avoid driving any time I can run somewhere, so I have been a daily run-commuter for eight years. I also don't own a television and have given up most hobbies aside from running. The more minutes in the day I can put towards parenting, work and running, the better.
I don't always feel like I have balance, even when I'm truly thriving. Often the only way to fit everything in is to throw life out of balance for a short period of time by getting very little sleep. Then, other sacrifices need to be made to catch up on rest. For me, these sacrifices are worth making if it means I'm able to be a serious runner.
Most importantly, I see vast rewards in life come from committing to the things I care most about and avoiding things I care less about. This is a great lesson that running has taught me.