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A Word of Thanks and A Look to the Future

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Santa Claus icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About a month ago I wrote a post about how I needed to take control of my exceedingly busy and stressful life. I’m happy to report that I’ve decided to take my future by the horns and wrestle it in the direction that I think is right for me and my family. I’ve asked for and have been granted a one-year, unpaid leave of absence from my job as a tenured college professor and department Chairman – starting in May 2013 I will be “unemployed,” and I couldn’t be more excited (yes, call me crazy!). Will it turn into a permanent leave? I’m not sure yet, and what happens over the next 9-10 months will probably make that decision for me.

My main motivator for taking this step is that I love writing this blog, and it has grown to the point where I actually consider it to be a job rather than a hobby (and a very time-consuming one at that – in a good way!). I’m also motivated by the fact that I love working with runners – I enjoy small things like assisting people with shoe choices, educating about running science, and it is amazingly gratifying to have someone thank you for helping them overcome an injury or reach a new fitness milestone. I also enjoy the gait analysis work I have been doing lately with a local therapist, and I’ve come to realize that I cannot build upon this type of work at my current place of employment (long story…).

I won’t lie and say that this decision doesn’t involve some amount of risk (perhaps a lot of it!), but I would never forgive myself if I didn’t move forward with it. I will be taking a major income hit by taking this step (at least at the outset), but I don’t live an extravagant life (if you exclude my shoe collection!), and for me happiness is more important than money. If I can make do financially by pursuing what I love I will be more than satisfied. I’m now in a very good and happy place, and I’m as energized as I’ve been in a long, long time.

How have I reached this point? Because of you! All of the people who read and share my ramblings have shown me that it is possible to make a living as an on-line writer (this topic is something I’m also very passionate about and I need to write about more often!). You have shown me that good things can happen when you follow your passion, even if it seems like utter lunacy at the outset. Blogs don’t survive without support from their readership, and for that reason I am indebted to everyone who takes a few moments out of their day to read and share what I write here.

Thank you – your support means more than you can imagine, and I’ll be needing it even more in the coming year!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. winbassett says:

    Wonderful news, and I love seeing nothing more than someone embracing his passion. Cheers, and keep up the awesome work!

  2. John Sentz says:

    Congratulations! I am truly happy for you. I have been reading your blog since it’s inception and can honestly say it is the best, most well written running blog on the internet. I have been running healthy now for two years, thanks to you.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  3. Adolfo Neto (UTFPR) says:

    You are brave! Good luck!

    I am also a professor, a tenured University professor. Right now, I can’t think of doing something like this.

    If you need my help, just ask.

  4. Good luck!

  5. tami carpentiere says:

    great news, i would love for you to come to runner’s alley and help me pick out some shoes. and if you are working with brett, that is even better news. best wishes to you and your family

  6. Marc Schwartz says:

    Congratulations Pete! I wish nothing but the best for you in this new endeavor. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. Here’s to 2013 being a great year for you!

  7. Great to hear & wishing you & your family the best.

  8. markjsarmiento says:

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you so much for this blog! I first found this about 2 years ago through Google (of course!) and since then it has been one of my main information resources for running (shoes, form, etc.). I wish you good luck, but I’m sure you will do fine!

  9. Great decision and I hope it works out for you. I just left my academic job of 17 years at the university level (administration) to do more service-oriented work in a single college across the campus. Not quite as risky as your potential path, but a change none-the-less. You gotta follow what makes you happy. Love your blog!

  10. Kevin Schell says:

    Great blog. Great decision!

  11. I’m very excited for you Pete. And if I’d be willing to admit it, I would say I’m a bit jealous. I have the same passions surrounding running: research on shoes and their impact on our running health, gait analysis and its impact and helping other people develop in the sport.

    I can’t wait to see how the blog develops from this point on. You are blessed to have a supportive family as well. Happy Holidays!

  12. Pete, you already know how much I support your decision. I’m psyched for what lies ahead for you. This is going to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Congrats and Happy Holidays.

  13. Merry Christmas Pete! Hope that however things turn out you and yours are happy! God bless.

  14. Marry Christmass Pete.
    Thanks for a great blog, and sharing the news.
    I am sure things will turn for the best.

    Looking forward to more posts !

  15. Matt Phillips says:

    As Lennon sang, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Good on you Pete for choosing Life! All the best over Christmas and New Year. Thanks for sharing your time & passion with all of us.

  16. Best of luck, Pete. As a tenured college professor myself, I have long contemplated venturing on a different path. Perhaps your bravery will compel me to do the same:) Have a wonderful new year!

  17. James Constantine says:

    Best of luck Pete, maybe lucky number 2013 for you….I hope you find what your looking for, great blog, great reviews. I always enjoy it. Merry X-Mas and a prosperous New Year.
    James 🙂

  18. Best of success with your year off Pete, I know you’ll use the time well. Thanks for all you’ve done with the blog – it’s been amazing to see it take off and do so well over the last two and a half years!

  19. Jamie P Tierney says:

    Best wishes and best of luck to you. Congrats on being brave enough to take a chance on something you are passionate about. I can’t wait to see your work product here now that your efforts will be FULL TIME ha ha No pressure!! 🙂

  20. disqus_V2TgMAtsNV says:

    Mad props for following through with your dreams. You have the balls (sorry for the crude language) that most of us wish we had…

  21. Best of luck! I truly enjoy your blog and reference it often both for myself and to the few people who still listen to me… I’m sure you understand that statement. when you love running and want to talk about it (a lot), friends turn off their ears.

    Congrats on finding your ears (us) as we will love watching you evolve this blog in the coming year. Cheers to 2013!

  22. Best of luck with your choice. You obviously have a talent and a love tor this work. I hope it works out the way you hope doesoes

  23. Mark Cucuzzella says:

    Right on Pete, I’m half in right now still working my day job (as a Professor of Medicine) and like you trying to help others find their own path. At the end of the day you want to feel like you are helping people, and Pete you are helping people with Runblogger just like you are helping your students now. It’s just different. All the best and happy holidays and beyond from the Natural Running Center! Mark

  24. I know you will make it. Follow your dream and believe in the importance and power of the example you give to others.

    All the best from a Romanian runner who’s been reading your posts for a long time.

    Far away, so close.

    Seb, Bucharest

  25. Jim Killingbeck says:

    Pete, I’m sure you will do well with your new endeaver. Thank you for all your hard work. I look forward to more of your posts in the coming year. Merry Christmas! Jim

  26. Good for you Pete! A brave choice. I hope we will read even more from you. I can use your wisdom on my way to my third marathon September 29th along Lake Loch Ness.

  27. Kurt Stockbridge says:

    We’re behind you all the way, Pete! Thanks for all you’ve done for us over the past year. Having the opportunity to work with you is one of the reasons I love what I do!

  28. Noel Madrid says:

    Thanks for continuing to share your knowledge with us. For what it’s worth, my “running IQ” increases after reading your posts 🙂 May this new path lead you to great opportunities and wonderful adventures. Best of luck to you.

  29. Dr. Erson Religioso III, DPT says:

    Pete, thanks for your exhaustive research and writing. Keep up the amazing job. You and your family deserve it!

  30. Eric Villanueva says:

    Yay! As an avid reader I’m excited that you’re taking this risk. I’m sure there are more than a few students that will miss you though think of all of us as your new “students”.

  31. Chadisbarefoot says:

    Can’t wait to see what the future brings, Pete. Keep up the awesome work!

  32. Seamus Foy says:

    Awesome! Best of luck!

  33. Running Moose says:

    Peter that is an awesome choice! We made a similar choice a while back with my wife and she’s so stinkin’ happy!!!

  34. Great news! Made my first post here encouraging you to take this step so am thrilled to know you’re going to pursue it. Good luck!

  35. Good luck, Pete! This blog is one of my few habitual reads and the first place I come when looking for running advice.

  36. Five Sticker Rides says:

    Good Luck Pete. Just read Tread Lightly on a long train journey. Awesome. In my Top 6 Running Books Of All Time. What do you think of the new New Balance MT1010? Ross.

  37. Louise Bourque Cunningham says:

    Sorry that I am just getting around to leaving you a message. I am pleased to see you follow your heart and your dreams and venture out on a new chapter in your life, doing what is most definitely your passion! Wishing a happy and blessed New Year to you and your family! 🙂

  38. Andrew W. Lischuk says:

    Looking forward to Runblogger untethered.

  39. Juhn Bob Laurente says:

    We always look for something to fulfill us, and pursuit of happiness is one worthy goal. I hope you continue enjoying writing for this blog and sharing your experiences. Happy New Year!

  40. Awesome Pete! Follow your heart and you will be rewarded. You have helped many of us in the medical world get ‘out of the box’ and move forward toward critical thinking and a major paradigm shift. Your efforts are much appreciated. I check in every week to see what you are up to. Keep it up! -Dave

  41. Cameron Baillie says:

    G’day Pete.

    Good for you. Life’s no dress rehearsal and you will not regret jumping in the deep-end and following your passion. I’m sure (my local running gurus) Brian Martin and Mark Gorski will have some tales to share with you as well.

    Look forward to watching your project and success develop, (Now it’s about time I bought your e-book!)


    Cam Baillie

    (Melbourne, Victoria, Oz)

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