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We were training for another race – a 50-mile Ultra Marathon. I, Triston, was slated as a pacer for only 17 miles of the 50, but Tavin was signed up for all of it! Our run that Saturday morning felt like any other run we had done up Provo Canyon – until we met Ed. As we made our way up from the mouth of the canyon to the top of the hill, we saw a man jogging with his dog and we exchanged waves. He seemed happy to be running. After another mile, we rounded a corner and saw the same dog running in the opposite direction with his leash wrapped around his body and legs and this same man standing, holding his forearm up to take a look while picking out the dirt and wiping off the blood. We stopped and said hello, and he mentioned that he had just taken a fall. Haven’t we all! We ran with this man, Ed, for the next several miles, our dogs, Moose and Gus, running circles around us.
As we got to know each other, we learned that Ed coached track and cross country at BYU where he also ran as a student-athlete back in the 1980s. Later, we looked up his bio online and wow, it is amazing! This is a man who was an NCAA champion, an All-American runner at BYU, an Olympic runner and a decorated coach at BYU. He’s a legend!
I had a chance to sit down with Coach Eyestone after our initial run-in and ask some questions about his experiences and advice as a runner.
Ed mentioned that working with his student-athletes is something that he gets excited about. “When you have someone who you believe can do something and together map out a plan and see them execute it and surprise the vast majority of the pundits…these are some of the golden moments of coaching.”
He mentioned his coaching and personal relationship with Jared Ward who finished 6th in the Rio Olympic Marathon and moments like “Rory Linkletter at the NCAA championships last year…and even…the smaller moments when someone makes it to the regional meet who didn’t think they had a chance to make it.” He spoke about his athletes, trials they have faced and the effort they put in. It was impressive to hear.
Looking for advice, I asked him if I should be trying to run on the front of my feet because I tend to shuffle and drag my heels. His advice for all runners is “Your body chooses what works. It’s hard to maintain something that isn’t natural for your body. Get out and move. Let your body choose what it naturally does. The more fit you become, you will find your true stride.”
He added, “Men and women are made for movement – there is something emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually good about movement. The mind-body connection is aided when we get in contact with our physical side. We don’t have to be an Olympic athlete or an NCAA champion to enjoy the benefits of this, but if we can get off the couch and into the game of life, good things can happen.”
We learned many things from Coach Eyestone through our run together and in that meeting, and were also reminded that when you fall, you get back up. With his college and professional running career behind him, Ed is still out on the trail running and logging miles. We imagine that he will be for years to come and that when he falls, he will keep getting back up – so will we!
Coaching Corner – Ed Eyestone
Dr. Triston Morgan is a director and owner of the Center for Couples and Families with locations in American Fork, Provo, and Spanish Fork. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist and is originally from Oregon. He and his beautiful wife, Cristina, love to travel and see the world.