Running On A Passion For Fitness
By Natalie Skelton, Richmond Battalion
Photo by Sgt. Jake Etzel
Jan. 14, 2015
If there’s a difference between being fit and living fit, Staff Sgt. Nathan McElroy embodies it.
The Richmond Battalion recruiter began his fitness journey with a casual approach. Slowly but surely, it grew into a passion for running.
“I have always been a fan of fitness, but I never took it seriously,” said the Charlottesville center leader, who’s served 14 years in the Army. “I used to enjoy lifting weights more than running, but that’s because I wasn’t very good at running. I kept pushing myself to run more, and eventually I got to where I could run for hours.”
McElroy now runs in a handful of 10-mile races a year. Running an average time of 15 minutes per mile — McElroy admits he’s “not all that fast” but runs 4 to 6 days a week to stay in shape, even with his unpredictable work schedule .
“I balance training and work like anyone else would,” he said. “If I know recruiting is going to have me out late, I run in the morning. I live close to a park, and that helps. If I miss a run during the week, I will make it up on the weekend. I usually try to run at least one half-marathon per week.”
McElroy finished first among the Lynchburg Company recruiters who ran the Virginia 10-Miler in September. He finds running relieves stress.
“While I’m out running trails or in parks, that’s all I’m thinking about. I’m not worried about an applicant follow-up or a Future Soldier issue that may require my attention,” he said.
Though McElroy doesn’t consider himself an inspiration to people for getting into shape, he, likes to think he’s fostered some friendly competition in the office.
“Nobody wants to be the NCO who ran the least for the month,” he said.