Oct | 1
Brooks Athletes

A Beast’s Book: Nick Symmonds’ ‘Life Outside the Oval Office’

Many of you know me as a two time Olympian and elite runner for the Brook’s Beasts, but you might not know me as a writer. I was blessed with greater talent to utilize a pair of spikes than a pen, but I can, with the help of a good editor, put together some really good writing. 


I have learned over the years that to be good at anything requires a lot of hard work, running and writing included. This became most apparent to me while I was a student athlete at Willamette University. I chose this Division III school because it allowed me to be a student-athlete in the truest sense of the term. I ultimately emerged with a degree in biochemistry, seven NCAA national titles, and an interest in writing.  


Long after my graduation from college I continued to write. I wrote not only for myself, but also online as a blogger for sites like The Final Sprint and Runner’s World. After practicing paced runs and form drills each morning, I would return to my home to practice telling stories and forming arguments in written word. Ultimately, I felt that I’d had enough practice and wanted to test my skills on a larger scale. I set about writing a book. 


They say to write what you know, and what I know best is my own story. So in the fall of 2013 I inked a deal with publisher Cool Titles to tell the story of my first thirty years on this planet. That story, Life Outside the Oval Office: The Track Less Traveled, will be for sale starting Oct. 21. Spoiler alert: Keep reading to see how you can snag a copy before they go on sale. 

Life Outside the Oval Office Introduction Excerpt

Catch a sneak peek of the introduction to ‘Life Outside the Oval Office’ above.


Some parts of the story are inspirational, others are outrageous, and some will make you wonder how an easily distracted kid from Idaho ever made an Olympic team. However, through it all there is an underlying sense of gratitude. Each day that I struggled to write, I reminded myself that my story needed to be told, not for myself, but to give credit to all the people who have helped me become a successful athlete and man. From my parents who indulged me in my various interests and fantasies to Coach Sam Lapray who has resurrected my running career several times, there have been so many people who have helped me along my journey. No athlete becomes an Olympian by his or herself, and I am no exception. This story is for them. 


The final bit of gratitude that I would like to pay out goes to Brooks Running. Without their loyalty and support I believe my running career would have come to a premature end. I am fortunate to have them as a partner and continue to run happy each day as I log in more miles and write more chapters.


Want to read Life Outside the Oval Office before it’s available everywhere? Enter into the sweepstakes below for a chance to win an advance copy of the book. All you have to do to enter is follow the prompts below and  comment below on what you’re most excited to learn about me. Brooks and I will send prizes to 15 random winners when the contest closes after Oct. 8.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Nick Symmonds
Nick Symmonds is a Brooks Beast who specializes in the 800-meter run and is a two-time Olympian and world silver medalist. When he's not training on the track, you can find him fly fishing the rivers of the Pacific Northwest.
  1. marylees

    I’m looking forward to learning what motivates Nick to get out there and run when he really doesn’t feel like it. I’m sure we all battle those days!

  2. Mitch Black

    nick, as a D3 800m runner, you are by far the biggest inspiration to me. Your posters fill my dorm room. All I can say is Thank you.

  3. Sam Million-Weaver

    I can wait to read this. I’m excited to hear how someone with a science background applies his perspective to writing, running, and life in general. Biochemist to olympian is hardly a typical trajectory!

  4. Bain

    I’m never going to be an elite athlete (mainly because I don’t want to dedicate the time and resources to make that happen), but I do like reading when those who are have things to say. Your background is such an interesting mix, I’d love to hear your story.

  5. Gillian

    I’m interested to find out how he maintained the balance between “student” and “athlete” and whether there’s anything he would’ve done differently now looking back. Can’t wait to read this!!

  6. Rob

    Nick, as a runner who has faced a lot of adversity in his running career, and taken a very different route than most collegiate competitors, I am interested to see how you explain overcoming the adversity in your career (such as becoming a sponsored athlete after running division 3) and I am excited to hear the true-life details that many professional runners tend to leave out of their interviews, blogs, books, and more. Thanks Nick!

  7. sta11is

    I can’t wait to read about some ridiculous stories about how elite athletes or forced to live their lives. I also love the name of the book, so clever.

  8. Jordan

    Curious to hear how you became inspired as a DIII athlete to not only make an Olympic team, but to take your career further than just on the track and help fight for professional runners’ rights.

  9. Jake

    Looking forward to learning how Nick trains and has adapted his training from changing coaches and transitioning from college to professional track.

  10. Katharine Johnson

    To be honest… I’m looking forward to learning about your family and personal life. All runners know perseverance and struggle, but I’d like to know more about the environment that made you the man you are today.

  11. Court9

    This book would be the best surprise for my boyfriend! He loves to read others perspectives and testimonies on the sport he enjoys so much and gets so inspired by those who have accomplished so much. It is a great source of motivation for him to keep working towards his own goals!

  12. stephanie torres

    #1 I love to read, so relaxing. #2 I am amazed at his talent and enjoy learning from the professionals about commitment and consistency.

  13. Derek Templeman

    I look forward to learning all about Nick and his everyday day life and the everyday struggles with running at a professional leveled

  14. Rick Mabe

    Very interested to learn what it takes to be a great runner like Nick Symmonds. I have a son with Autism that is 18 years old and discovered running three years ago. He is hooked and he is trying to specialize in the 5K. He is training hard each day and has a true Game On Attitude. He shared with me once that when he is running with many runners that do not have a disability, he feels normal and that he belongs on the course with them. Looking forward to your book. Congrats on your continuous success.

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