There are several people who have truly inspired me over the years. Most of them I have never met, they are famous authors, actors, philosophers, or well-known elite endurance athletes who got their story out there for the world to see. A handful of inspiring people I have known personally, some of them have passed on, some I’ve fallen out of touch with, but a few of them I still keep in contact with. One of the latter is a guy named Greg Shore. Greg’s story is amazing, inspiring, and shows what mental toughness and determination will do for you.
I met Greg in 2005. I was a fitness boot camp instructor at the Medical University of South Carolina and he was one of my “recruits.” Greg had not exercised for over twenty years, was obese, and had hypertension and diabetes; he was there on orders from his physician. Although uncomfortable with being in a gym and around people exercising, Greg knew it was either get in shape or face an early grave. Greg completed the mile time trial in just over 15 minutes. But he had a fire burning deep in side, he found a bottomless wellspring of determination, positivity, and mental toughness. As a group, we met weekly to run over the Cooper River Bridge and back. Greg showed up to every session and could barely make it to the top of the bridge at first. After months of working at it, enduring chilly 24 degree weather (in shorts nonetheless), Greg ran a little rather each time and eventually was able to complete the out and back. As Greg continued to see improvements, he entered a 5k road race and finished in 56 minutes, the dead last finisher (DLF). One year later, Greg finished a 5k in 30 minutes. Greg ended up losing 63 pounds, was taken off of his medications for low blood pressure and diabetes. In two year’s time, Greg has run over 50 races, including a 15k, half-marathon, triathlons, 2.4 mile open water swim, and the Marine Corps Marathon.
Greg’s story gets even better. He is currently a certified running coach and owns Charleston Runs, a run coaching business out of Charleson, SC where he works with clients of all ages to become faster and healthier. Since 2009, Coach Greg works with anywhere from 10 to 26 clients, ages 10 to 80, and hosts weekly group runs and track workouts. He develops individualized training plans for each runner training for the mile up to full marathon distance. He is also the cross-country coach at North Charleston High School, and has coached runners for the Charleston Running Club, and at official Cooper River Bridge Run training clinics.
Greg is a genuinely nice guy, who cares deeply for people and knows what the human mind is capable of achieving. This carries over into his coaching philosophy. When asked what the most important part of coaching is, he said “relationships are everything.” He believes that the key to making it work is trust between athlete and coach. Although Greg is not running much anymore due to arthritis, he is out on the course with his athletes providing water, words of encouragement, and actively supporting their training. Currently, Greg gets his endurance fix on his bike, grinding out miles and miles on gravel roads.
Greg has the heart of a champion and is an inspiration for everyone he comes into contact with. He has helped countless runners in the Charleston area and continues to be an influential member of the Charleston running community. To read more about Greg and Charleston Runs, visit www.charlestonruns.com.