I used to run when I was in the Army, but most of it wasn’t by choice. When it was by choice, it was to improve my Army Physical Fitness Test score. When I retired from the Army in 2005, I said I would never run again. In fact, I rode the four wheeler to the mailbox. I had no intention at all of ever running, or exercising again.

My wife started CrossFit and decided she wanted to run a 5k. I thought, piece of cake. I’ll run a 5k with her. After all that is only 3.1 miles. I thought I had better go see if I could remember how to run so I went to the local park and ran ¾ mile and thought I was going to die! Taking almost 10 years off of exercising has a big impact on you! I got back up to where I could run the 3 miles for a 5K and thought, that wasn’t all that bad, glad I could support her and run with her. Now, I can go back to doing nothing. Little did I know this was laying a foundation to get me running again.

My wife, Astrid, decided she wanted to run the Marathon Relay in Fort Smith in 2015. I didn’t have a team, didn’t really know anyone that ran or anyone that would want to, so thought I would train with her and I would do a half marathon.   While training with her, I met some of her CrossFit running buddies. This is where I met Anthony Turner, who put all kind of running thoughts in my head. He was training for the American River 50 miler, and I was training for a half marathon. He was talking about nutrition while you run, run/walk cycles, and listening to music while you run. This was all new to me. In the Army, you don’t eat or drink when you run. You don’t listen to music and you definitely don’t walk until the run was over!

I started having fun running; this was a whole new experience! After the half marathon was over, he convinced me to sign up for the Little Rock half because they have a nice medal. This is where we met Todd & Kimberlee for the first time promoting Outback in the Ozarks. Everyone we were with seemed excited about it and my thought was, what am I getting myself into? These runners are CRAZY. After running for a couple months Anthony and Kevin asked if I would be interested in running a 50k with them. I thought they had lost their minds! Who would ever want to run 31 miles? So, I told them I would train for it and see how it goes. (I’ll call it peer pressure…but all they really did was ask, and I caved)

After my first 50k, we started thinking about a 12-person team to run Outback in the Ozarks. We had more than enough people, so they decided to also form an Ultra team. When I was asked if I would be on the Ultra team with them, I said “hell yea” and was thinking what in the world have you got yourself into? We ran the race and had a BLAST! This was the best time I have ever had running; we had a great team that was just all about having fun. This sold me on ultra-running.

The first thing I learned is to never say never. I said I would never run again, I would just do a half and never run a marathon, and would definitely never do an ultra-run. Well, I have started running, ran a marathon, ran a couple 50k’s, the 200 mile relay as an ultra-team, and am now training for my first 50 miler. If you have a good group to run with, there are no limits. Never say never, have a good time, and always support each other. That is what I have learned from Team Badassery. I started running regularly in Jan 2015 and Apr 2016 I am going to run my first 50 miler. And yes, I am now one of those people that will try to con you into a good run, not one that you will get hurt doing, but one that will challenge you. And I will do all I can to talk you into forming a team for the Outback!