My life’s story was on the same path as most others; a steady job, a house, and family. For several years I contributed to what society would consider normal. I worked hard for everything I had, and by all accounts was on my way to fulfilling that normal life. But it wasn’t what I wanted. I wasn’t satisfied and I knew something was missing. Then my mother passed away, very unexpectedly. My mom was a wandering free spirit. She passed down her dominant gene that pumps through my veins in a way I can’t relate to anyone else. Her loss shook loose in me a need I didn’t recognize but could no longer ignore. So, I ran. Not to run away from my problems but to find what was missing. I run to find clarity. In doing so, I quickly realized that time is precious and I still had a lot more to experience.
This brings us to JAdRunning: the result of my wandering spirit, my love of trail running, and the support of my family and friends. I sold most of my possessions in the fall of 2014, bought a van, and shoved off on a journey to fulfill what I call A Runner’s Life – A Runner’s Dream.
The idea – travel the country and trail run as many places as possible.
The result – three years of traveling in a van visiting all 50 States (49 in the van) and the western part of Canada, a race in Nicaragua, and the Netherlands. All of this taught me how to find the true meaning of happiness!
What I didn’t account for during my three years of traveling was the amount of inspiration I found along the way and the unforgettable people I met who inspired me and charged me up enough to get to the next destination. I can only hope I did the same for them. Fast forward to the now and my next big adventure. During the first year of my traveling, a crazy idea popped into my head. One day while running a section of the Appalachian Trail to McAfee Knob in Virginia I thought to myself, to complete my van life journey I should run across my home state of South Dakota. As we all know, life throws us curveballs and my curveball put that idea on hold. At the beginning of this year, I told myself 2020 would be the year to pull the trigger! The idea to run across South Dakota has been fully loaded to happen on October 2nd, 2020.
An opportunity presented itself to work with filmmaker Zeke Hanson to produce a documentary about my Run Across South Dakota. He is known for “MMIW: The Missing and Murdered (2020)”, “Lord of Tears (2013)” and “To Build a Fire (2019).” His lengthy list of work has been seen on PBS and film festivals across the country. I have no doubt that Zeke will do an amazing job in portraying my story! The documentary will follow my 415 miles run across South Dakota and intertwine my stories of traveling the country while living in a van for three years.