HOKA: TIME TO FLY
Hoka “exists to ignite bold change and propel people forward”, and The Humans of Hoka campaign was created with one thing in mind: People. Humans of Hoka follows real life journeys of athletes worldwide who have overcome, pushed forward, and conquered. The Hoka “Time to Fly” series shares stories that inspire, unite, and empower all athletes through movement. Hoka as a brand stands for finding joy in movement, and we at Fit2Run resonate with that. At Fit2Run, we believe that everyone is a runner. All it takes is putting on a pair of shoes and placing one foot in front of the other. Stories from runners motivate us to keep putting one foot in front of the other every day.
FIT2RUN’S VERY OWN HUMAN OF HOKA: TIME TO “TURN PAIN INTO POWER”
We were inspired by the Humans of Hoka campaign and set out to find our very own “Human of Hoka”. Jacquelyn Jamason, a Fit2Run customer and F2R Run Club member, Half Marathon finisher, and soon to be 2022 Ironman athlete, is the definition of perseverance, inspiration, and motivation. Here is her story:
“Turn your pain into POWER”! It’s what the tattoo on my left forearm reads. This quote says it all. After the tragic loss of my two-year-old daughter in 2014 (murdered by my then ex-partner of 20 years; Justice4Elliana) I was left empty, lost, and searching for meaning in my life. Little did I know that in 2018 I would find meaning in a last-minute decision to cycle 165 miles from Miami to Key West in The Smart Ride. Couch to bike in under a month and I DID IT! Then, the following weekend I was asked by friends to join them at a local 5k. Still hurting from the weekend before, I decided what the heck, it can’t hurt more than it already does, right? If I can ride 165 miles, I can surely jog/walk/crawl 3.1 miles. I surprised myself by running the entire race without stopping.
At the time, I knew nothing about proper shoes, fueling, or hydrating. But what I did know after those two weeks was, I was ALL IN! It was the first time in 4 years that I met my grief match. I finally found something that I could relate to. As I began to fall in love with pushing myself and my physical limits with running, I also began to understand that running really isn’t much different from living life. Each day we wake up, we never really know what the day will bring. We are kind of tossed about and adjust as we go and if we give up or stop, we may not reach our goal for that day. For me, running was and continues to be a metaphor for life. When I lace up and go out to face my run, I never know what kind of run it will be. On the days that I struggle to push through heavy legs, fatigue, tiredness, or just not feeling it, I remember that all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other and I am running. There is always a finish line but where you stop depends on you! How far you decide to go is all up to you, just like in life. We all have the option to keep moving or to give up! I have chosen to keep going! I recently tackled my first half-marathon and will compete as an Ironman in 2022 at fifty years old. With each run, cycle, or swim, I become a new me. I never finish the same person as when I started and now I can’t wait to see who I become with each new day!!” Run like Jacquelyn in the Hoka Carbon X.
TIME TO “PICK UP YOUR CROWN”
Aliphine Tuliamuk is no stranger to perseverance. Sticking with Hoka’s philosophy of pushing athletes to act fearlessly and purposefully, Aliphine beautifully shows this truth. As a black Kenyan American long-distance runner, she has pushed boundaries, both cultural and physical, her whole life. Officially becoming an American citizen in 2016, Aliphine believes that “everything that is worth having, you have to work hard for.” Aliphine shows the true story of inspiration and the will to push through any hardship. She states that she was the first in her family to attend college and attain a degree. Black marathon runners, particularly black female marathon runners, are still fighting for their spot in the sport, and Aliphine states, “We have a long way to go, but I realize the good in people.” In 2020 she won the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon, becoming the first-ever Black American marathon champion, and will represent the United States in Long Distance running in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. While preparing for the 2020 Olympics that were postponed, Aliphine and her partner took a step back and decided it was time to expand their family, welcoming a baby girl in January 2021. She is motivated by the fact that she is now raising a little girl and wants to work even harder to inspire her to be the best she can be.
”Pick up your crown“ means when life throws obstacles your way, always remember to pick up your crown and keep going because you’re powerful and can overcome anything. Featured in Aliphine’s story is the Hoka Rocket X. One of the most energetic shoes HOKA has launched to date, the Rocket X is an incredibly lightweight, insanely responsive racer geared for elite athletes. Speed weaponry at its best, adrenaline will be pumping when lacing up this impossibly fast race flat. Run like Aliphine in the Hoka Rocket X.
TIME TO “KEEP MOVING FORWARD”
Magda Boulet, a Hoka Elite athlete, and professional ultrarunner, says it perfectly, “moving every day no matter how big or small will allow you to make progress towards something that is bigger than yourself.” Through her efforts with ”Running for a Better Oakland,” an organization that empowers K-12 students to set goals and build confidence through running, she inspires and motivates children to simply put one foot in front of the other and run. She believes in the philosophy that “ no matter how challenging each day can feel, you keep moving forward,” and this is the ultimate “why” behind her running. She feels empowered after going running and when she found that she was no longer being challenged with marathon running, in 2013, she decided to start training for ultramarathons. In 2015, just 2 years after beginning her training, she won six ultra trail races, including the first 100-miler she competed in, the Western States 100, a 100 mile run in California. Since then, she has won the Marathon Des Sables, a 155 mile run in Morocco, and the Nine Dragons Ultra in China. Winning is just an extra perk for Boulet, she mentions that running ultramarathons is about staying engaged with the sport that she loves.
Magda doesn’t let the everyday struggles of life keep her from being active and staying healthy. Starting is easy; take one step. Featured in Magda’s story is the Hoka Bondi 7. Built for breathable comfort, the Bondi 7 was created to help you through every step of your run. The supportive, locked-in fit allows for a smooth heel-to-toe ride. Run like Magda in the Hoka Bondi 7.
THE HUMANS OF HOKA
The women featured above show how to persevere and prosper during callous times and show the incredible power of running. All it takes is putting on a pair of shoes and taking a step to make you a runner. At Fit2Run, we are constantly inspired by those in and around our running community and value the stories people have to tell. Please share your story by connecting with us on social media!