This is a piece by one of our most popular writers, Cait Chock, on Nick Hauger and the lessons that learned in his first marathon last year as he debuted at the 2021 Cal International Marathon.
Nick Hauger: Impact, Intent, and Gratitude
By: Cait Chock
Nick Hauger moves through this world with impact and intent. Which, naturally, is just how he runs. As a freshly turned pro in 2019, Hauger was dealt with the blow of a stress fracture that kept him unable to run for eight weeks. He was left on the sidelines when he planned to be grinding it out with his new NAZ Elite teammates. Yet he never wavered from his true north: impact and intent.
“I truly believe the impact is everything when it comes to pursuing one’s goals,” shares Hauger. “I don’t know how running will pan out for me as the end result is always unknown. So, the way I view my own pursuits, I want to ultimately inspire people to believe they can achieve more than they think they can. I’ve always surprised myself in running, and it comes from discipline and a belief in myself.”
The stress fracture healed, and Hauger went from barely being able to hang on to the back of his teammates to keeping up. And along with the benefit of fitness that came with being able to run with them came the invaluable amount of knowledge they could share with him now that he could converse with them while running. “Teammates are everything in this sport…they changed so much for me, from instilling wisdom and guidance as I ventured into my first marathon to providing good banter on easy runs or even just showing me how hard we can actually work. I have an inspiring group of teammates—and at this point, friends—who make this running thing a lot easier.”
This brings us to the marathon. And intent. The 2021 track season was one that left Hauger gutted yet inspired. He channeled his disappointment and shifted focus to his marathon debut. The definition of intent is both purpose as a noun and resolution and determination to do something as an adjective. In duality, the intent of the marathon was the kindling Hauger used to re-ignite the fire inside him.
He delved into the grind that is marathon training. Thankfully his teammates had prepared him for the journey. “I think a mental piece of the marathon grind was knowing that there will be days when you are emotionally and physically exhausted. Knowing this was a piece of the day-to-day prep that allowed me to accept it…