Where the Road Bends

#002: Greg Nance - Movement as Medicine

Episode Summary

In our second conversation, I talk with Greg Nance, an ultramarathoner and social entrepreneur, who recently ran across America to raise awareness and money for youth mental health. In addition to his big run, we covered a lot of ground in this interview, including Greg's recovery from a failed startup and substance abuse, why it's essential to have a great team around you even in an individual pursuit, the power of resilience and determination to see your vision come alive, and the importance of accepting where you are and committing to a process.

Episode Notes


Greg Nance (Ultra Marathon Runner and Founder of Run Far Foundation)

The second guest on Where the Road Bends is Greg Nance, an Ultra Marathon Runner and founder of the Run Far Foundation, a non-profit that funds youth-led volunteer projects in all 50 states to enable meaningful community service and help young people find purpose, have fun, and stay healthy.

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Where to find Steve Schlafman:

Where to find information on Run Far Foundation:

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In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Greg Soundbite

(00:36) Introduction to Greg Nance and Run Far Foundation

(02:24) Greg provides a background on Run Far Foundation

(03:16) Dark days of Greg’s beginning of addiction as a teenager

(04:18) Greg’s successes while doing drugs and alcohol for seven years

(05:15) Greg’s path to sobriety – movement as medicine

(06:10) The moment that changed everything

(07:25) Running takes a new meaning – actively pursuing a better version of himself

(08:50) Sensing something bad could happen becomes a motivator

(09:45) Feeling better when in connection with others  

(10:29) Crazy idea – Going to China to understand the culture and its people

(11:08) Helping kids finding the best deal of where to go to college

(12:01) Helping build a bridge between the US and China – the beginning of Dyad.com

(12:41) How and what to look for in a mentor

(14:38) Experience in closing down a nine-year run venture-backed company

(16:18) Covid impact and focusing on mental health

(16:43) Rebuilding a foundation of self

(17:20) Processing failures – Journaling / Therapist / Tough Conversations

(19:13) Clarity and inspiration of what comes next inspired by a daily running habit

(19:48) Daydreaming relapse led to sharing stories

(21:15) Finding a new calling in youth mental health

(22:00) The reason and vision of the Run Far Foundation

(24:08) Why run across America – an expression of brokenness

(26:15) How to prepare to run the equivalent of 120 marathons (across the US)

(26:45) Every day is a training opportunity 

(28:00) Running a marathon before work

(29:32) A team of three that helped Greg in his big goal – Best Team Wins mantra

(32:20) Asking for help for things that seem like an individual for endeavor

(32:55) In places where you’re most redescent to ask for help, that’s where you need support

(34:15) A special encounter running across America – meeting people outside of your bubble

(38:35) Final days of running across America – a dream 10+ years in the making

(40:05) The final mile running across the U.S. – the mission is just beginning

(42:40) Enjoying the moment and being at peace the day after

(44:47) Biggest surprise from running across America

(46:35) What keeps Greg going and working with the Nisqually Land Trust

(48:00) We all have gifts but they expire

(48:27) Running seven marathons in seven days and in seven continents

(50:04) Greg’s potential next big run along Mississippi River

(51:30) Replacing one addiction with another – needing to channel energy

(53:00) If running was not possible – the difficulty in transitioning in life

(54:45) What an early version of Greg would think about Greg now and biggest surprises

(57:02) Trying to get sober for the 101st time – try and try again – we need what the path is delivering

(59:10) What is next for Greg and the Run Far Foundation

(1:00:42) Closing and how to learn more about Greg and the Run Far Foundation

(1:01:44) A few more things from Steve (newsletter and long-form essay topics)