As a fellow former skateboarder myself, I can see that your DVD takes on a Bones Brigade “Search for Animal Chin” vibe.
Yeah, exactly. Those are all the movies that I watched. That’s where the idea for the logo for Reckless Running came from. It’s from that background a little bit.
In the Reckless video, there’s a scene where you are using, what I think to be Jack Daniels’ AK-47, to shoot at your finishing medals.
That was actually Anthony Gallo’s AK-47. Jack had brought his pistol to the range. Anthony had brought a couple handguns and his AK-47. I didn’t know what to expect. I was just expecting to hang out with Jack and his handgun. Then his athlete shows up with a couple guns and an AK-47. It was actually his medal [Gallo’s] from I think the Sedona Marathon.
That’s got to be on the cover of your next video: You holding an AK-47, shooting at finishing medals.
[He laughs.] Yeah, we were just having a good time out there. That’s the beauty of Jack as a coach, too. We got to work together on occasion when I was at altitude. He enjoys the sport. It’s a fun atmosphere of where you have this ability and so let’s have a good time with it and see where you can take it. He’s a very intelligent guy. He’s well versed in every aspect of the sport. At the same time, he knows the energy and mentality that you bring to workouts in terms of having fun with it, is going to take you further.
Besides target practicing with an AK-47, running the steeple, and making videos, you are also making art. What have you been up to with that hobby? And is it possible for people to see it? Do you have any exhibits planned?
I just finished a couple paintings. I was working on a series of paintings. I haven’t put them on display or anything like that. I was thinking about an exhibit. I submitted an idea for an installation at the Venice Biennale in 2008. I think at the time they weren’t interested, because it didn’t fit into the whole idea of the Biennale theme of it. Recently, I got an email from USATF that had an invite for athletes to participate in this installation. I said, “Man, that’s my idea.” It was just tweaked a little bit. I was surprised that my ideas were being used in the art world, but I just didn’t step up to the plate to make it happen. So it was just inspiration for me to start following up a little more. It’s tough as an artist, because you are going to doubt yourself just like an athlete. It’s just like running: what’s going to make yourself good is practice. If you go in there and put the time and effort into painting, you are going to get the time and results you want. Running has been so consuming of my time that I haven’t been able to dedicate as much as I wanted to. But I recently got some of it done. I haven’t decided to put any of it on display or anything like that. If I do, I’ll post it up. The main thing that we are working on now, the thing that is consuming the most of my time, is that the Run Reckless DVD. It got such good response as far as inspiring people that we decided to do a full-out brand. Reckless Running is a full-out apparel brand that I’m going to race for in the future. There are a lot of positive aspects to having these apparel brands in the sport. For the most part, these shoe companies are the pillars of running because we have to wear their stuff. And that has enabled us to perform at the highest level. But at the same time, it kind of limits athletes as far as what we can do. The best way to put it is that there are only so many roads you can go down as far as making decisions as an athlete: signing a deal or having an opportunity. We wanted to create a new avenue where we could get big enough where we could sponsor athletes and do things for them that we thought were lacking. And so we are hoping that we can grow fast enough to do that. We’ve gotten a lot of interest. I think in the near future, probably December, I’ll probably race in the stuff. We are going to develop it as quick as we can. The whole idea of the brand is based off the race mentality of reckless running and running with reckless abandon. I think it would be the best way to get it out there to the masses, rather than just a small amount of people with the DVD. It’s funny, because people I assumed wouldn’t be interested in it are. It’s not just the elite runners or your younger runners. It’s Masters runners, it’s men and women of every age. I think there is an element to it that everyone can relate to. I think the fact that we are not a marketing campaign; we are by runners for runners. I think that aspect makes it more appealing.