“You convinced me to come out for a run. And thank god I did. Everything has snowballed from that run.”
What a treat today to get to welcome two of my favorite friends to Friendship Fest on the Ali on the Run Show! Jess Movold and Conor Nickel are New York City-based run coaches who met one fateful day several years ago at Mile High Run Club, where they were each auditioning to be instructors. Now, they are not only the best of friends, they also continue to work together: Conor is the Chief Operating Officer at The Fortitude Strength Club, which is co-owned by Jess’s husband, Kyle, and is where Jess is also a coach. In this conversation, we get to know new-to-the-show Conor — a former runner at the University of Pennsylvania who has worked in the running industry for his entire adult life. (You’ll love his stories from working the start line of the New York City Marathon!) And we get an update from fan-favorite Jess, who gave birth to her first baby, a boy very appropriately named Battle, when she was just 26 weeks pregnant. (The day we recorded this, Battle turned 11 weeks old! He’s still in the NICU getting big and strong, and Jess continues to prove her strength by navigating new motherhood as a NICU parent.) Jess and Conor’s friendship is filled with pride and admiration — and plenty of laughter.
Also: There’s a part in this conversation where Conor is talking about the tunnels underneath NYC, and Jess mentions people living down there. My mind went to fantasy-type stories — perhaps I’ve been watching Trolls too much lately with my daughter — but Jess shared the title of a book, The Mole People, which is about the homeless population that lives beneath NYC. I ordered myself a copy and am looking forward to digging in and learning about something I, clearly, had no idea about. (When Jess mentioned this, I responded, “Cool!” because I thought surely that wasn’t real and was thinking it was adventure-seekers below the surface. It’s not that at all. The more you know indeed.)
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What you’ll get on this episode:
- What brought Jess and Conor to Mile High Run Club the day that they met (9:20)
- How Jess and Conor became friends (15:00)
- Why Conor resisted Jess’s invitations to strength train with her — and what happened when he finally gave in (22:20)
- Is Conor single? (32:45)
- Conor’s best stories from the New York City Marathon start line (35:35)
- Conor and Jess share their takes on adult friendships (48:00)
- Jess is a mom! (57:00)
- Conor and Jess share the moments when they felt proudest of each other (1:03:30)
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