Meet Dan Walters, my running coach since 2017!
In this week’s episode of Are You Ready with Joanne Molinaro, we of course talk running, but more than that, I want to share the story of how this one time engineer turned his passion and side hustle into an incredibly successful career as the head coach of DWRunning, the Chicago-based running team that Dan today leads with his wife Allie.
DWRunning currently boasts 288 race wins, 496 Boston Marathon qualifying marks, 5 Olympic Marathon Trials appearances, countless personal bests and age group wins, and even a Beer Mile Champion! The diverse team of approximately 150 athletes is composed of everyone from former college track stars to university professors, from an age group world champion to a lawyer and content creator.
Personally, after working with Dan for only one year, I PR’d (personal record) in every single race I ran in 2018, including 3 marathon personal bests. But even putting aside all the PRs and race medals, I’ve long counted my decision to join DWRunning and to work with Dan as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, because he continues to teach me that it’s when you set aside your ego that confidence finally has a chance to grow.
Dan is a mentor and a friend, and his inspirational story is a blueprint for building the career of your dreams.
I remember the day I asked Dan if I could have a spot on the team. I’d joined Anthony–who Dan was already coaching–for his Wednesday workout at the track. It was so early in the morning that the sun had only just peeked out from behind Cricket Hill, the grassy mound that observed countless runners complete their loops each morning. It was cold, probably in the low 40s, but just about everyone was running in a t-shirt and shorts. I wandered over to the grassy area inside the track. Dan was still holding his stopwatch as he chatted with his runners, several of them still bent over as their frosty exhalations joined the air above them.
I introduced myself in my typically awkward way, “Hi. I’m Anthony’s girlfriend,” I said. “I was wondering… do you only take fast runners?”
Without missing a beat, Dan answered, “We take runners at all levels.”
And, if you listen to the podcast, I’m confident that you’ll know what I felt in that moment, because you probably felt it too as soon as you heard Dan’s voice:
Eventually, after years of weekly coaching sessions, weekly long runs, and dozens of races with Dan Walters, I would also add the words:
Challenged. Pushed. And Empowered.
Hear my inspiring interview with Dan Walters!
Also on YouTube!
This Week’s Recipe Inspo – Banchan.
For this week’s recipe inspiration, I present you with banchan–the small side dishes that you’ll see on every traditional Korean dining table. Watch the full recipe tutorial for these two simple banchan on my YouTube channel!
Updates & Random Things.
- What I’m Watching. Believe it or not, we are now in Season 7 of Blacklist, and as a result, we haven’t really deviated much from our nightly sojourn through the James Spader-fest (other than to keep up with Succession). That said, I’ve heard a LOT of good things about BEEF, the new Netflix series featuring Steven Yuen and Ali Wong. If any of you have watched it, I would love to hear your thoughts!! Email me!
- What I’m Listening To. In case you missed it, I had the chance to speak with Vivian (@MyRichBFF), who recently started her own podcast, Networth and Chill.
- Signed Books. As I mentioned last week, I recently got to hang out with the amazing Michelle Zauner and sign a bunch of books with Now Serving LA. Make sure to pick up a signed copy here (Mother’s Day is right around the corner…!).
And that’s a wrap! Talk to you all next week!