Justin Grunewald

Ali on the Run Show Episode 279: Justin Grunewald

“I think the biggest thing with grief is knowing that some days you’re gonna be drowning and unable to breathe, and I think I’ve had 12- to 24-hour cry-fests where you literally feel like you’re going to suffocate or die of dehydration. But it does end eventually. And then you take that deep breath and drink a glass of water and look outside and the world is still there. And you can keep going. Just having the hope to keep going is the most important.”

Justin Grunewald is a doctor, ultra runner, and avid chaser of FKTs. He’s happiest running up mountains in pursuit of running the fastest known time on any given trail. (So far in 2020, Justin has run more than 15 FKTs — two of which he did since we recorded this episode!) In addition to his many accomplishments, both professionally and on the run, Justin is perhaps best known as husband to the late Gabe Grunewald, who passed away last year after a long and arduous battle with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer. On this episode, Justin shares what he’s learned about grief, and how he finds hope even when life feels particularly hard. He talks about feeling joy amidst pain, crying happy tears alongside sad ones, and about finding love after loss. Justin opens up about meeting Amanda Basham, and reveals some big news on their behalf.

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What’s making Justin happy right now? And where is he living? Plus what it’s been like working in a hospital during the past seven months (3:35)
  • How Justin met Gabe (16:25)
  • How Justin held onto hope as Gabe’s health worsened (18:50)
  • What the final days of Gabe’s life were like for Justin, and why he chose to share so much on social media during that time (26:40)
  • What Justin has learned about grief, and how he’s learned “not to sweat the small stuff” (33:30)
  • On “going public” about his relationship with Amanda Basham (40:55)
  • Taylor Swift talk! (58:25)
  • Justin pops in with some “wild and crazy news” (1:00.48)

Stuff we mention on this episode:

Gabe Grunewald on Episode 62 of the Ali on the Run Show

Brave Like Gabe Foundation

Ladia Albertson-Junkans on Episode 178 of the Ali on the Run Show

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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