No guarantees

Screen-Shot-2017-01-23-at-2.41.57-PM“To do something great, you have to believe in yourself, and sometimes I lack that confidence. There’s no guarantees that I’ll ever feel as fresh as I did before running across America, and even now, I’m not quite 100% recovered. With that said, I’m optimistic in my body’s healing powers, and I’ll never take it for granted. If I’m having trouble motivating myself to run, I usually take a step back and think about why I’m trying to accomplish something and whether it still makes sense. I think about all the immediate reasons why I run — to release stress, to break up the day, to eat more— and how upset I’ll be if I’m not able to reach those goals within a goal. “ – HOKA athlete Pete Kostelnick who ate a nightly pint of Ben & Jerry’s (Karamel Sutra or Chubby Hubby) on his run across America.

In 2016, Pete broke the record for the fastest known time across the US in his Clifton 3Screen-Shot-2017-01-26-at-1.11.04-PM

Running out of the closet

Screen-Shot-2017-01-23-at-3.29.12-PM“Immediately after coming out, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Being in the closet was holding me back, both on a personal level and in running. I lacked confidence in myself, and that permeated every aspect of my life. Coming out changed that, and while I’m still not where I’d like to be on that front, I’m a heck of a lot closer now than I ever was before. Aside from a few nasty messages I received at first, I’ve been very well accepted in the running community. I receive private messages on social media all the time of people reaching out and expressing my positive impact on their lives. It’s humbling, and it makes me so grateful that I took the leap when I did. My only regret is that I didn’t come out and tell my story sooner.” – HOKA athlete Matt Llano on being the first openly gay distance runner in 2013

Check out Matt’s favorite training shoe, the Clifton 3. Shop Clifton 3 here.

Wanderlust

14650332_1310744635634688_788260353714195647_n“There’s always been a wanderlust in my blood. A desire to not stand still, to be in nature, in new places and to share them with my children and my husband. But as time went on, I was feeling so confined within a corporate job and only getting a few weeks of the year to travel. I kept thinking, ‘Is this it? Is this all we get?’ I have always had a strong work ethic, and I never thought I could ever leave a job to do something that on the surface seemed so wild, so irresponsible, so different from our cultural norms. And to do it with a family? I never thought it was possible, even though I dreamed about it for years.

Finally, the stars aligned and the universe was telling me—it’s time, it’s time to go. You can work your whole life, but you may never get another chance to go do something big like this anytime soon. I finally stopped caring what everyone thought, so we went.” – HOKA Athlete Jen Benna on her family’s move to Alaska.

Running for two

14956465_1340555899320228_408376669593499767_n“On marathon day, my friend Denise said, ‘Someday I may be in a wheelchair but not this day.’ I run because running is preventive medicine. I run because everyone has a story and you learn one’s story on a run. Running has saved me through difficult times and has let me share the joys of my life with friends. I ran the NYC Marathon for Stephen, who is the oldest aids survivor who runs marathons. But also, I ran for me, because running is just so much damn fun.”- HOKA Fan Nancy Budde

The seed of doubt

Screen-Shot-2017-01-20-at-11.37.19-AM“The biggest challenge of racing is not the physical toll. It is the seed of doubt. Physically you challenge yourself, yet mentally you give up. When you think about a bad patch, all of the sudden you dwell on the enormity of the race. You’re thinking ‘Gee, I’ve gone six miles on the bike and I have 106 to go.’ I always tell people to do what you can do with the moment and never look ahead. In other words, be present. When you’re present mentally you are allowed to relax. That calmness allows you to have clarity in your race. People will say, ‘Oh, you won the race six times, everything flowed nicely’. Well, hardly. I had a lot of bad, bad moments in those six wins. However, my favorite moment was during my last Kona race in 1996. I went into the race quietly thinking that at 42, I could possibly win. I didn’t have a good swim, but I was confident on the bike. Maybe 10 miles into the bike, my legs felt really sour. I started getting down on myself mentally and I wrestled with destructive behavior. About 80 miles into the bike, after droves of people had passed me, I finally said I have the opportunity. The opportunity was to run. I thought, ‘When I put those running shoes on, I’m going to smash it.’ I didn’t know it at the time but I got off of the bike at 26th place and then I finished in 5th. That was probably my greatest racing day.”– HOKA Athlete Dave Scott, 6 time Ironman winner