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.
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.