You may recognize our newest East Nasty of the Week from the beginning announcements at Wednesday night runs or from helping lead the East Nasty marathon training group. East Nasties, it is my pleasure to introduce this week's ENOW, Taylor Jamieson.
Taylor was born in Nashville, TN where he lived until moving to Dallas, TX at age 11. He lived in Dallas throughout middle school and high school. After college, Taylor moved back to Dallas for a few years. He had a few jobs straight out of the movie Office Space but soon decided he was sick of losing his stapler and found a job in the medical field back in his home state of Tennessee.
Hockey was just starting to get big in the south when he moved to TX, and Taylor quickly became obsessed with the sport. He played all throughout high school. Little did he know, getting up at 5 AM to practice before school was a nice sneak peek into what marathon training is like! Currently, Taylor is a retired hockey player and has an unhealthy obsession with the Toronto Maple Leafs (Check out his Twitter and Facebook pages for proof). According to Taylor, the Maple Leafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967, but look out world, they are totally due for one in his lifetime! We'll take your word for it, Taylor.
Taylor attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX (Ladies, do yourself a favor and Google a picture of Texas Tech's football coach . . . you're welcome). Despite being out in the middle of nowhere West Texas, it’s a beautiful campus and a great school. When he wasn’t in class getting his Management degree, Taylor was normally out drinking beer and playing guitar. There weren't a lot of great places to run out there, but he did exercise regularly at the time-- mainly to cancel out all of the good times on the weekends.
Taylor has lived about half of his life in Nashville. Recently, he made the choice to move back here because he wanted to get involved in the Health Care industry. Taylor works as a Medical Assistant in Cardiology at Centennial Heart. In case you haven't noticed, Nashville has a hospital or two. Helping people live healthier lives is Taylor's passion, and Nashville is just about the best place in the country for him to pursue that passion. He says the work can be challenging and the days long, but he never has any complaints. Even with the stress of working 10 or 11 hour days, Taylor can come home knowing that he played a part in helping his doctor take care of people who really need it.
As for when Taylor started running, he can’t remember doing a single recreational run all throughout middle school or high school. He tried a 5k around 2010 but wasn't sold on the whole racing thing yet. Taylor didn’t get into running until he moved back to Nashville in 2012 and signed up for the Country Music Half Marathon. He had never run anything longer than a 5k before then. After struggling through the race massively under trained (which, if you know Taylor at all, is hard to believe), he was hooked!
Completing the StumpJump 50k this year has been Taylor's biggest running accomplishment to date. When he first heard about it a few years ago, he joked about signing up for the race because it seemed like an idea that was so out of reach. However, he accepted the challenge, stuck with a good training program, and was able to crush his goal that, just a year ago, seemed so far-fetched. He says just like any other race--if you can muster the guts to sign up, there’s no backing out, and you have to do it!
Right after the Country Music Half in 2012, Taylor searched for ways to become a better runner. East Nasty was an obvious choice. He showed up for a Wednesday night run in long basketball shorts and a cotton t-shirt. Over time, he evolved into a more seasoned runner and let the shorts get a little shorter and the shirts a little more technical. Along with lessons in running fashion, he was amazed to find a group that had a lot of committed runners -- and was free! After trying East Nasty for a few weeks and discovering that you could get 2-for-1 beers at 3 Crow following the run, he was hooked.
The thing he loves about East Nasty (besides the post-run brews) is the short amount of time it takes for someone you meet on an East Nasty run to become a friend. The people he's met through the group are some of the most amazing and inspirational people. He's thankful every day that he made the decision to seek out a running group. He says you quickly form a close bond with fellow runners, and they turn into an extension of your family.
Taylor's most memorable East Nasty experience was meeting his girlfriend, Laura, on one of East Nasty's weekend marathon training runs. They ended up running an 18 miler together while training for the Country Music Marathon in 2013 and never looked back! This is what Laura had to say about Taylor:
Taylor is the most dedicated person. He never misses a run, and he has gotten so fast. When we met at 2013 marathon training, we ran 18 miles together. Now, I can't even keep up with him for one mile! But he's not just dedicated to running - he is dedicated to everything he does from working at Centennial Heart Center to cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs!
Aside from running, hockey and music are pretty big for him (Did we mention Taylor kind of likes hockey?). Nashville gets a lot of great musical acts, and he loves going to see a good rock-and-roll show.
Personally, I have trained with Taylor for well over a year, and you couldn't ask for a more dedicated, encouraging, enthusiastic, and just all-around great training partner and friend. Congratulations on ENOW, Taylor-- you truly embody the spirit of East Nasty!