Thanks for taking a look around my site! Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I'll give you a little history and share some of my story with you.
This will be a bit like the interviewee who gives their entire life story in the interview.
I was born in 1980 and grew up in Osseo, MN. I am fortunate to have grown up in a loving home and attended Osseo Elementary, Osseo Jr. High and Osseo Sr. High School. OE isn't around anymore so it's pretty cool.
In High School I was an athlete. I played on the football team and baseball teams. Once I was finished there I moved on to Southwest Minnesota State University where I also played football and baseball. I was a wide receiver and returner in football and an outfielder in baseball. In fall 2000 I was injured while returning a punt against University of Minnesota Duluth and my college sports would never be the same. Now, the hamstring injury I sustained just reminds me when I'm over-training so I back off a bit.
In 2002 I married my high school sweetheart and we moved to Dallas, TX. It was quite an adjustment as we were newly married in a totally new environment. I held a couple of jobs in Dallas before I found where I was supposed to be serving. I was an elementary school PE coach and I worked at a golf course close to home for awhile. In summer 2003 I reached out to a young baseball academy to become a baseball instructor and in December I got a call to come in and interview for the job. On January 31 I started my DBAT journey. As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed a large Escalade with 20" rims parked there. A man got out and held open the DBAT door for me. I said it's my first day and he said, "Me too." That man was Torii Hunter of the Minnesota Twins!
While at DBAT I had the opportunity to watch and train with some incredible ballplayers. I even got to workout with Scott Podsednik of the Chicago White Sox in the winter of 2005, the year they won it all. I hit a lot of baseballs and studied the game day and night.
In 2006 my life changed when my first born Son was born. My wife is a teacher and when she went back to work I had the opportunity to stay home during the day and work in the evenings. Katie and I hardly ever saw each other. As soon as she got home from work I headed off to work and didn't get home until after 10:00. I was working seven days a week and all of our family was here in Minnesota so we were kind of on an island.
In 2007 my first daughter was born. Her name is Elliana. Katie went back to work and my exhaustion soared to a whole new level. Any stay at home parent knows how simple it can be to navigate one nap time and how challenging it can be to navigate two. And it was still off to work as soon as she walked through the door. We were both wiped out and I was managing stress with alcohol.
So, in summer 2008 we decided the time was right to move back home. Our time in Dallas, TX came to an end and we lived out of suitcases for a few months while we got resettled and looked for a home of our own. We were moving twice a week between our parent's homes until in November 2008 we bought a home in Maple Grove, MN.
After working landscaping until the weather turned I got a job at Sunset Hill Elementary helping as a special ed paraprofessional. I learned a lot and that's when my transformation really began. The support of our families and the supportive work environment, I believe, saved my life.
In the winter of 2009 I lost 35 pounds, began my career as a runner and was hired on as a Personal Trainer at Life Time Fitness. What a blessing!
In 2009 I ran my first half marathon, then in October I ran my first marathon. The following spring I finished my first 50k trail race, the Superior 50k. From there endurance training has been a steady rhythm in my life. I enjoy the challenge and the people.
in 2011 I finished my first 50 mile, Superior 50. It was a tough race and I was lucky to have great support with me along the way. Oh, and my third child, second daughter was born in April. Her name is Hannah Joy.
In 2012 I toed the line at my first 100 mile attempt, The Ozarks 100. It didn't go as I had planned and I learned that the 100 mile distance is a whole different animal. I dropped at mile 72 as the cold temps overnight brought on hypothermia and I didn't make the time cutoff.
In 2013 I left Life Time Fitness and started my own business, Training Edge Sports, LLC. My vision was to provide performance training to athletes. That vision shifted as I got connected to PGC, a business founded in 1950. I began doing personal training on site there and now we have built an amazing culture of wellness using Career Integrated Wellness ©. I ran Superior 100 for the first time in September and dropped at mile 72 - Sugarloaf Road due to dehydration and overheating.
In 2014, On my third attempt at the 100 mile distance I finally made it to the end! It took 37:30:34, I saw dark twice but the support I had and felt is something I'll never forget. During the summer of '14 I was in the best rhythm of my life. I began creating the life coaching programs Vision, Block/Rhythm, Action, Nourish and Energize. They are based on the habits/rhythms that had the greatest impact on me finishing Superior and apply to life in business, family or athletics.
In 2015 I invested in personal branding. We modernized the Howard shield, kept the font lowercase and friendly and added topographical terrain to some of the background imagery. I was a sponsor at Superior Fall and for the third time in four years failed to complete a 100 mile trail race dropping at mile 72 - Sugarloaf Road.
In 2016 my youngest daughter started kindergarten in the fall which has been one of the biggest transitions in my life to date. I finished Zumbro 17 mile, Superior 50k, Afton 50k, dropped at 25 miles at Voyaguer and dropped at mile 63 at Superior Fall. My focus is growing my business and enjoying this phase of my family journey.
As I write this it's early in 2017. I've hired a running coach and it's nice to have my workouts in my calendar and put there by someone who has experienced success on the trail. I'm looking to set PR's in both the 50k and 50 Mile distances and I'll take the year off from any 100 milers. The kids are getting older and I'm working to balance being an example for them and train hard at the same time. It's the first time in a long time that athletic performance has been my goal. I am motivated to run fast and look forward to sharing my journey with others.
In 2017 I finished every race I started. That's the first time that's happened since, I think, 2014. Good stuff. My races consisted of Zumbro 17 Mile, Superior 50k, Afton 50k, Voyageur 50 Mile and Superior 50 Mile. I jumped on as Coach Coordinator for the Wayzata Girls Basketball Association for the next few years. That'll be a fun ride. Business is always growing, changing and evolving. I'm still looking to grow and develop every day.
In 2018 we took a trip out west where I was able to run the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon in Estes Park. It was a beautiful event and we scheduled a pretty sweet vacation around it too. Superior was in September. Since I was able to get a good big block in mid August and ride the elevation training from Estes I finished Superior in about 34 and a half hours. It's always nice to finish in the light... in fact that's the only time I've finished a fall Superior before dark.
In 2019 we took a trip out west where we traveled over 5000 miles, saw 9 national parks and of course we found a couple events in Colorado Springs. I did the first one, Pikes Peak Ultra 30k and bailed on day two due to some altitude issues. I ran too fast. In September I picked up another Superior buckle. This one I gave to my brother Jesse. Thanks for all your efforts out there brother. Here's to many more adventures!
After Superior I spent from Thanksiving to Christmas recording my adventure in audio form after launching my podcast. My first six or seven episodes are basically a process diary and then I have a couple interviews and talk about some of the things that I'm up to. You can listen to "A Tale of Two Trips - My Superior 100 Story" read in one shot over at my blog, Relentless Courage on iTunes and I'm on Soundcloud too!
In January I attended Wolf Ridge with my second child, Elli. After that trip I headed up the North Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota, USA for a few days of skiing over MLK weekend. I was able to cover 50k on day one, seven hours averaging two mph after a fresh snowstorm on day two and 50k on day three. It was, to this point, probably the most restorative trip I've ever been on in my life. I am thankful for Katie and my children for holding down the fort until I returned.
I turned 40 in February and shortly after, the world was hit with coronavirus (Covid-19) and everything has changed for me like I'm sure it has for you. We look for the good every day and try to show up as a real, vulnerable, authentic person who just wants to see people succeed and stop getting in their own way.
Success is okay. Live today with Relentless Courage!
The rest of the story is still being written, one day at a time. "An Athlete's Diary"
Connect with me:
Facebook: Jon Howard - Athlete
LinkedIn: Jon Howard
YouTube: Jon Howard
Training Edge Sports, LLC