“This is all started by just heading out my front door and running around my block.”
Joey Tajan never set out to become a competitive ultra runner, he just was looking to get over a bad break-up. Needing to find some way to escape his grief, he turned to running. And over XXX,XXX miles on tough and twisting terrain around the Northern Sierras later, he’ll tell you he’s as surprised as anyone to be a Merrell ambassador.
“I’m not a big deal in this sport. I’ve never won a major race.” notes Joey. “I’ve never even finished in the top 10. I’m just someone looking to get better at it.”
Given his humble origin story, it’s easy to see why he chose “joe.ordinary” for his instagram handle. Being ordinary is something he embraces because his story is like so many others.
“I think a lot of people get into this sport for the same reason I did. That need to get out do something when you’re not feeling your best. You might not think you’re doing anything to solve a problem you’re dealing with when you’re out running around outside, but you are.”
Joey added that while part of your mind is busy negotiating obstacles, the more unconscious part is busy coming up with ways to get over obstacles standing in the way of other areas in your life. And the best thing is that this remedy is available to everyone for free, twenty-four-seven.
“I think the important thing is to not overcomplicate it. You don’t need all the gear and accessories to get started. You don’t need a gps watch or hydro pack. Go out barefoot or in an old pair of shoes. All it takes is putting a few steps together and after a few minutes, you’ll feel the change. Like you have a lot more control over how you feel.”
Asked to provide any training advice, Joey thinks the most important thing is to focus less on mastering the technical aspects of running and more about picking something or some place that inspires you as goal or destination.
“If you love being in the mountains. Go run in the mountains. If you love the beach, go run on the beach. It makes a huge difference to train where you feel most alive and happy. If you hate running on a treadmill in the gym or in the city or suburbs, don’t do it. Jump in your car and find a place where you feel more inspired.”