“You run like shit.”
Not exactly something anyone wants to hear. If you’re currently in the process of running 80+ miles a week, this kind of news can be devastating. I stared blankly at the 50-inch flat screen placed precariously in front of our small group— maybe 16 people—and wondered why I looked so bad.
The full breadth of my stride was on display here; one foot trailing behind my body and the other reaching in front, driving forward. This was how I was supposed to look. This is how “good” runners look. All those Nike ads and pro-runner’s Instagram feeds had burned the images into my mind. I didn’t understand. All these people I emulate run like shit too?
There was clearly a disconnect here. The smartest man in the world of running, Dr. Nicholas Romanov, was tracing a laser pointer across the TV screen, advancing my lumbering body frame by frame to show everyone in attendance why I couldn’t run. In increasingly specific terms, he shredded my gait from top to bottom, eventually concluding that if I was going to run like THAT, I should probably just save my energy and not run at all.
As I sat there, disillusioned, disheartened and incredibly embarrassed, I realized this was, in fact, exactly what I wanted. Did I really spend a shitload of my money and time to fly to Miami (in August!) so I could hear Dr. Romanov tell me that I run perfectly? That’s an expensive ego boost, even if it is coming from The Most Interesting Man in the World. No, this was a good thing. It was time to figure out what I had been doing wrong. It was time for my education to begin.
About the Author: Bryan Jolly is an ultra-runner and a Cross Country + Track and Field coach in Santa Monica, CA. Among his other notable experiences and credentials is the NCAA Division III All-American at Claremont McKenna College, 2nd Place 2015 Santa Barbara Marathon and 3rd Place 2016 Bandit 50k. Contact Coach Bryan Jolly for more information and training.