J — I would definitely have to say running. Just because, I mean, all throughout my childhood, I was involved in sports, whether it be football (American football, I guess - laughs), soccer, basketball, baseball. I wrestled… But I kind of just ran track as a way to stay in shape for football season. So I didn't really see it as something more than just exercise and camaraderie, I guess, and being involved.
Then when I just went to then community college near where I'm from, I joined the cross-country team for a season there and kept running more and more.
If you don't get your run in, like your day is just off, you don't feel the same.
So I just keep doing it as much as I can or more and more. I started entering races and I got better and faster and I started placing higher in races and it was something. The more I did it, the better I got. But I think I just also found some sort of peace while running and it became like a routine, a strict routine. That's where I think a lot of the discipline maybe I've learned throughout my childhood came into play when factoring in running and it's like, I need to get my run in, like if most runners can relate, like if you don't get your run in, like your day is just off, you don't feel the same.
J — Finding myself working at a running store at Runology, I wanted to do the creative stuff. I wanted to help order apparel or do stuff for Instagram, but I just wanted to get out of the box and do shit that other running stores aren't doing and not make. I don't think running stores have to be boring or basic or just sell Brooks Ghosts to 52-year-old people. I think we could be edgy and I think we could, I don't know, give the brands a run for their money when it comes to marketing their products and then they can be like ‘wow, this local community store is crushing us and what we pay people six figures to do’ so I start helping. We started with a photographer kind of outside the shop and we would like hit him up whenever we needed and I took on the role of like planning the photo shoots.
Later on, I decided to start to go around with a 35mm camera we had in the shop at run clubs and take like portraits of people sticking cameras in their face saying like, “ah say cheese.”People started to tell me like, “I love these pictures” or like “you really have an eye”… and I was like “I'm just taking these pictures for fun” After doing that all summer, I was like, “why don't I just buy legit camera” so I got the Sony I wanted and as I believed on it and other people did, I just pulled the trigger.
I don't think running stores have to be boring or basic or just sell Brooks Ghosts to 52-year-old people.
So somehow is not that my photography became centered around running, it's like my running almost became centered around photography. It wasn't like I was taking pictures before photography, or it wasn't like I was taking pictures of anything else.At the end I think trying or believing in yourself to that point to try is the biggest part where, you know, I'm going to make this happen and if it sucks ass, it sucks ass, but it could fucking be cool.
J — Running has kind of become my life to be honest. Is it a way to disconnect from work? Running is my work. So, I guess yes and no. I mean, going for a run myself kind of disconnects me from focusing on other people's running. But yeah, work-life balance is pretty weird because I feel like everything I do some way revolves around running. Unless it's going to like going to the bar to get a beer on a Saturday night.
I mean, maybe I do work a lot, but I think it would be way different if I was working in likean office at like a bank or in like in some sort of corporate role and my work-life balance was like this because I wouldn't really be enjoying that. But I kind of choose to like make my life this much running, because I like it so I'm not mad about it. I do think it's a source of inspiration. I think I've learned so much about myself and about others and community and discipline from running… it's kind of molded me into the person I am. I don't know who I would be if I'd never started running or running was never in my life.
I think I've learned so much about myself and about others and community and discipline from running
I think running inspired other things, like my writing and writing inspired the running, and I guess I just kind of love creating things that you can feel or see or hear. I love things that kind of evoke feeling like I want to like see a picture that moves me or listen to a song that kind of, you know, shakes you to your core or a movie. So, I think everything has kind of affected each like one another in a way that has inspired me to like keep creating and that kind of all relates back to running in a way for me where, I'm inspired by it and it's inspired by other things that I like to do too
J — I love music but I never listen to music when I run. Never. It was always the thing where I didn't like having headphones in. I feel like they fell out. Also If I think about the way I run… is a bit dangerous, like I'm a little reckless running around downtown, like across the street, like running in front of cars or almost getting hit by cars. I think it would be dangerous for me to listen to music because I wouldn't be able to hear what's going on around me or cars beeping at me or people yelling at me from a car…so I like to be very observant and aware of my surroundings when I'm running.
I don't carry my phone either when I run. I, I rather just be kind of my watch on my wrist and just run. I like for running to be a pretty simple thing in my life and I don't want to complicate it.
I like for running to be a pretty simple thing in my life and I don't want to complicate it.
I feel like a lot of people listen to music when they run to kind of make the run go by faster or to distract themselves from like maybe pain from the run. But I rather kind of be one with that shit. Let's, let's face it head on. Let's listen in on the pain. But now don't feel much pain when I run. So when you do it so much, so I just like to, I just like to look around and listen.