“A successful leader will take a diverse mix of unknown people with unknown skillsets and abilities and make them want to make the impossible, possible.” -Mohammad Schultz
We often look up to the elites and the fast folks in our running world. We are fascinated by their stories and we want to follow their every move. While it is fun to see what they can do on a daily basis, I am more often than not fascinated by regular people. People that work full time jobs, that have families and that manage to fit in their training after long hours at work. I am fascinated by their story, and always wonder what makes them tick. What makes them keep on going?
One such individual is Mohammad Schultz – Mo, a service disabled veteran from Virginia. I met Mo through social media. We kept in touch for several months before I had a chance to meet him at a local running club Fat Ass race. Mo’s story is interesting and I wanted to learn more. I was able to catch up with him and learn more about what makes him tick.
In his civilian life, Mo is married to a wonderful woman that is his true plus one, his better half. Together they have two “high maintenance princesses” that make their days go by really fast. Mo grew up in Kansas City, and through his schooling, professional and military career ended up in Fairfax, VA. After proudly serving in the Air Force (1997-2003), where he gained great experience and learned a lot about himself, Mo left the military in 2003 as a service disabled veteran. Having 9 different degrees from IT to Accounting is nothing short of amazing, and it surely something that helped Mo land a job with the US Department of State (To learn more about Mo’s impressive professional life check out his LinkedIn profile).
As a service disabled veteran, Mo struggled with the discomfort for over 10 years, learning how to cope with it during any physical activity. He decided to get back into running in 2012, when he signed up for the North Face Endurance Challenge 10K in DC. That race got him kick started to explore more trail running and eventually ultra running. For Mo, “road races are okay, but not nearly as satisfying as running on trails in the mountains.”
Getting involved with the Team RWB in 2013 was a big step for Mo. Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. Mo started attending their functions and met many other veterans that were in a similar situation to his. Team RWB is a very unique organization that truly fills a void, and makes that very important connection with the community and the veterans. Many veterans are looking for ways to get back into the society, and there is nothing better to connect people than physical activity. As Mo puts it himself, “This was exactly what I was looking for after almost a decade of rehabilitating my legs.” Mo is an ambassador for Team RWB and tries to participate in as many activates as possible. He even uses their CrossFit and Yoga sessions as a form of cross-training.
Mo’s rehabilitation is a continuous process, but that does not stop him from signing up for new challenges. Already this year he has completed several ultras, one of them being a local 50K, his first ultra. Meeting Mo, even briefly was a great honor and privilege. While I was just manning an aid station that day, I witnessed his determination and joy as he went through several times that day. His eyes are now set to December when he will attempt the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miles in San Francisco. The TNF 50 San Fran has been a marquee race for several year, drawing many fast runners from around the world. For many it marks the end of the running season for the year, and it will certainly be a culmination of hard training for Mo.
I was very amazed by what this man can fit into his busy schedule. Besides his involvement with Team RWB, and being a Carbo-Pro ambassador, Mo is averaging 60-70 miles a week. He does this with the guidance of his coach and nutritionist Keira Henninger, who is a professional athlete and race director. The staple of Mo’s current training are back to back runs that really help him speed up recovery, which is a critical piece preparing for races.
Setting long term goals and bucket lists is always one of the topics, we ultra runners like to have. Mo is no stranger to that. His heart is set to moving to Greater San Francisco in the next 5 years, getting more involved with Team RWB and competing in races of 100 miles and more.
Learning more about runners in our community can only fuel our desire to run more. We often try to find excuses, but seeing what someone in a similar or worse situation than ours is doing, can be very inspiring. While talking to Mo he shared a mantra that keeps him going and keeps him inspired, “Fuel well, Breathe Well, Stay focused. You got this!” Perhaps all of us can learn something from it.
You can find Mo on all social media outlets.