If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, odds are you’ve heard me talk (write) about my brother in the past. If you’re new to my blog, let me tell you a few things.
First, his name is Jim Saint-Amour (I call him Jamie but I’m one of the only people in the world that calls him that.) Second, he’s my younger brother. The baby of the family. According to my husband, he has two moms, me and our real Mom. I admit it, I will always worry about him but that’s because I’m older and we’re close in age, only 15 months separate us. Mom always said that, growing up, I’d be the first to get in a fight-to-the-death with him, but I’d also be the first one to stick up for and defend him against anyone outside of our family. Third, he helped me to finish a marathon back in 2007. When he found out I was going to do it, he offered to run it with me, at my pace, which, believe me, was a LOT slower than his! He also carried a sign during the entire race, which he’d put over my head whenever we saw crowds, which said “Run Happy:My Sister’s First Marathon” to get people to cheer for me. I think you need to read this post of mine about that experience, to really see what I’m talking about. Did I mention he also carried an extra camelbak on his back, just for me, the entire 26.2 miles? He did.
While he’s younger, I can tell you that in at least one aspect of his life, I’ve always envied him and looked up to him. That aspect is his positive, just go-with-the-flow attitude. I’ve always been the one that needs to have things planned out. He’s the one that’s been able to go backpacking across Europe and move cross-country, without having a job lined up, only to have a job on an Australian cruise ship land in his lap 4 days later. (Ah, the life.)
So, over the past two years, while he was pursuing a job as a middle/high school special ed teacher in inner city NY, I could tell something was off. He was usually very stressed, and he sighed. A lot. So much so that when I visited him last year, I commented on how often I heard him sigh. Without knowing I’d said something, that same weekend, his friends noted the same thing.
Well, he decided to follow his heart and leave that job, to pursue a job working in the running/coaching industry full time. He now works for Urban Athletics in NYC. He works in the store and is also part of their coaching program. He is RRCA certified. He does one-on-one training, is the speed-and-form coach at their downtown location, online training, and yes, he does also work with beginners!
If you read his bio, you’ll hear about his first coaching experience a few years ago, when he worked with individuals who had never run before. I met a few of the folks from that program at the Philly expo last November. Three of them were planning on running the half-marathon the following day. It was clear that they still looked up to him, and he’d helped them to nurture a true love of running, as I discovered at dinner that evening.
Here’s what I am really happy about. Every time I talk to him now, even if he’s tired, there’s a lift in his voice that’s been back. I know it’s because he’s doing something he truly loves. I can’t tell you how positive and knowledgeable he is, and how generous he is with that knowledge. He won’t judge you. He’ll work with you, and you will accomplish your goals, and probably a whole lot more than you thought possible.
If you’d like his contact information, just drop me a note in the comments and I can give you his personal email address. Or, of course, you can contact him at the store (I’ m not great with knowing where things are in NY, but I believe this is their downtown location.)
2 World Financial Center
in The Winter Garden
New York, NY 10281
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the photo above is from the 2009 Philly Marathon, where, again, he qualified for Boston in 3:07 and some change. And he was smiling.