This final episode of the year is a “best of” compilation of highlights from 12 of the most meaningful and impactful conversations that I’ve had over the past 12 months. As I’ve written in years past, putting together this episode is equal parts exciting and impossible. It’s a real treat to revisit all of the amazing exchanges I’ve had over the past year but it’s a tough task to pull out twelve that stood out above the rest. The honest-to-God truth is that they’re all pretty special otherwise I wouldn’t have had them in the first place. Each and every person that has been gracious enough to give me an hour or two of their time for this podcast has taught me, inspired me, entertained me, moved me, or changed me in some way—and it’s my hope that they’ve done the same for anyone who has taken the time out of their day to listen in on our conversations. They are, in order of episode release date: Bolota Asmerom, Luis Grijalva, Amy Leedham, Phil Shin, Nell Rojas, Tommy Rivs, Jinghuan Liu Tervalon, Tommie Runz, Peter Gilmore, Alison Mariella Désir, Chris Mosier, and Marielle Hall.
I recently had a conversation with Nell Rojas, sixth-place finisher and top American at last fall’s Boston Marathon. She’s currently getting ready to line up for this year’s race on April 18.We covered a lot in this one. Nell filled me in on where she’s at in her Boston preparation and how it’s differing from her approach last fall. We talk about the role running has played in her life and how that’s evolved over the years. We discussed identity and why “runner” isn’t even one of the first things that comes to mind when Nell introduces herself. She told me about her relationship to her dad, the legendary Ric Rojas, who is also her coach, we talked coaching and what she’s learned from the amateur athletes she’s worked with, and a lot more.