Just Say Yes: Lace Up & Hit the Pavement with Alex Ho
The thought of lacing up and hitting the pavement seems far from enjoyable for your average person. With so many ways to stay fit, why would anyone pick running? From self-proclaimed non-runners, we tend to hear a lot of the same things: “running is boring”, “it’s hard”, “it hurts”, and “it’s lonely”. Our MoveWith run coaches hear you loud and clear. They have spent their careers helping people fall to love running and understand what’s holding them back.
Alex Ho, a MoveWith Strength, Running, and Mobility coach knows the struggle that non-runners face on cardio day. Believing that everyone has an inner athlete waiting to be unleashed, he will get you excited on how to use your surroundings to become fitter, faster, stronger, and healthier.
Earlier this past summer, MoveWith held a 5k Wonder Run and after the race, Alex and I had a chance to chat about how he had to learn to love running. Yup, thats right, this 1st place Big Horn Trail Runner (that’s 100 miles if you didn’t know) didn’t always love to run. We just had to get the lowdown on how he changed his mind (and his life) with running.
It all started by just saying “Yes.” In 2010 I was feeling stuck in a rut so I decided to have myself a “Yes Year.” My friend found an online deal for an outdoor bootcamp and asked if I wanted to do it. Of course I said yes and unknowingly changed my life.
In the classes we had to run, which was my least desired form of exercise. In fact, I hated running. I grew up with sports induced asthma preventing me from engaging in cardio intensive sports hence the hatred. But being a good client, I didn’t complain since the running came in between all of the strength exercises. Soon enough the running became the break, then it became my strength, then I realized I was actually decently fast.
After 6 months of the bootcamp, I decided that 2011 was going to be my year of running. I signed up for a 10k, half marathon, and full marathon. Then the training began. The 10k went well as did the half. After finishing the half I couldn’t imagine running twice the distance but had already signed up and committed to the full marathon. Training went well and once race day came I was ready and excited. The first 18 miles flew by but then I hit the dreaded wall. I struggled through the last 6–8 mile going deep into the pain cave but managed to finish on my feet. After 45 minutes of laying on the sidewalk the bootcamp trainer came up and said I should run the 50 mile trail race in December. Still not being able to move I brushed aside that notion and spent the next 2 weeks recovering. After fully recovering I signed up for the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile race.
This was my first foray into trail running and opened the door to a whole new experience. With trail running I found my happy place. Exploring the headlands and Mt. Tam (in the Bay Area, California) became a Saturday ritual as I built up to longer and longer distances. I met new people who were more experienced and gave me tips but discovered the true benefit of trail running, the community. The race went better than expected as I ran the whole way with a smile on my face and was hooked on ultra running.
Over the next year I dabbled in triathlons but always found myself itching to get back on the trails. Since that year I’ve found myself using running as an excuse to travel and explore new places. I’ve completed four 100 milers finishing all of them in the top 10 including a win. I’ve made lasting friendships and met people with amazing stories. Running has become my way to meditate, connect with others, connect with the Earth, and push my abilities. It has helped me approach life with a more relaxed pace and to not stress the little things.
If this doesn’t inspire you, not sure what will! Check out some of our favorite classes from Alex to get your love for running jumpstarted.
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