Sunday, June 17, 2012

Journey for a Better World

I got to meet Jason Lester today! I was so excited to meet this insanely fit Nike endurance athlete. I drove 2 hours each way to get to the Petaluma outlet stores to be able to meet him, run with him and be a part of this epic journey. For those that don't know, Jason is running and biking across the country, 4800 miles in 92 days to create awareness for improving our world. When I arrived I checked in, got me hand stamped and picked up my t-shirt for the 3.65 mile run. 

Nike really knows how to put on an event. I walked around the store reading their innovation story and checking out their different programs, like their Legend pants made out of plastic water bottles and their reuse a shoe program, because "every sole deserves a second chance" before the run began. When it was time to begin we ran two miles out to meet Jason, took some photos and then ran with him for two miles back.  

When we got back from the store we did a quick question and answer with Jason and learned about his passion, struggles and triumphs. He is a vegan athlete and I was especially curious about his diet. He has a chef along with him and also eats at various vegan restaurants along the way. I have been thinking of trying to be vegan because I just don't feel that great when I eat dairy  and I was impressed that Jason is able to lead this lifestyle and perform so well. I think I may give veganism a try soon.

After the question and answer session it was autograph time. I had Jason autograph a poster for me and we also took a photo together and had a brief chat. I was the only one there that had driven two hours to do the run with him so he was impressed that I came that far. However, he is the one who has run thousands of miles to get here, so a few hour drive is a breeze! After the photo it was time to refuel with water, trailmix and vegan cookies.

The best part of this event was learning about what it takes to be an endurance athlete and how every moment is a mental battle. This advice of being mentally tough will stick with me during my Nike Women's Marathon training. One of his quotes that stuck out was his motto "I don't want to chase dreams, I want to live them." Jason Lester is living his dream every day and achieving amazing things in his sport. I was honored to be a part of this journey and inspired to work on my mental toughness during my training. I wish Jason good luck on the final days of his run finishing up in my home state of Oregon in a little less than two weeks. Just do it!