Being Ben’s older brother, co-host, former 1-2 punch, teammate, and many other things connecting us made his removal from the Michigan Track and Field Team due to budgetary restrictions difficult for me as well.
In leading off, I thought that Fats from the Fatstacks Sports Team would conduct a better interview for this than I would.
Fats delivered. He brings an element of understanding running and us as runners, but not fully getting it. I think that brings out some of the real questions that aren’t usually asked. Ben and Fats have a good chemistry and I don’t see many ways this podcast could have been any better.
Going back a few weeks before Ben visited Madison and we got to spend some time together is where I will type up my side of this story.
Ben texted me and just told me to call at some point that day while I was at the golf course working. I stepped outside to take a call figuring that he was going to let me know the plan about moving my uncle in and then coming to Madison after that.
Boy was I wrong…
Ben began telling me about how he was struggling with running and with the budget cuts coming up, how he thought he was going to call Coach Kevin Sullivan and let him know that it was time to step away from running.
Ben told me he was set over by Christian Hubaker on a call with us saying something about how it was unfair and that sadly some guys that are really into running will get cut and that sucks.
Ben wanted to put himself on the list to keep more of his teammates around if he had the opportunity.
That call was powerful for me to hear because really until the last 6 months, Ben and I had a pretty scuffed relationship.
After I had graduated high school Ben wasn’t very fond of me anymore. A combination of how I started to drink sometimes with friends, moving away from the guidelines of Corunna XC, and how every time Ben did something amazing, people tried to compare him to me which was always unfair to him.
Time heals and we both became more understanding of each other once Ben got to Ann Arbor and now thanks to the podcast, I would say we are closer than we have ever been.
Frankly getting that call from Ben meant a lot to me, because that is an extremely tough call to make to anybody.
I’ve gone through similar times as I have almost stepped away from running a pair of times, so I like to think I added some good points to hopefully help Ben.
After that, we both knew that this podcast would come when Ben was ready to talk about it, and we discussed this while he was in Madison.
Based on our relationship and the emotions it would stir in both of us, we both decided that this podcast shouldn’t involve me and it should be Ben talking about what he wanted to talk about.
In being a viewer for this episode, there was some great content to really soak up.
Ben talking about enjoyment and fitness was huge for me and I hope others as well!
I have been golfing a lot and really enjoying it, walking 9 holes is actually harder than you would think some days. Good way to spend some time on the feet, enjoy the sun. I’ve also gotten more into biking which has been an interesting spin for me.
In sifting through more of the content, I loved the response that Ben got from his teammates and how they want him in the house and involved and everything.
Ben would probably give me a little karate chop if he knew I actually reached out to Devin Meyrer to just say thanks and how appreciative I am of those guys (supposed to be our “enemies”) in this current time.
Ben said if people won’t be his friend anymore because he isn’t a full time athlete, then they weren’t his friends in the first place. That right there is some big truth.
The response after the release of the podcast literally just yesterday has been incredible. Ben has told me that many people have reached out.
What a great support staff we have. What great family, friends, teammates, and everything under the sun we have.
There is plenty to hear and love from this episode. I will likely listen to it again at some point, but for now I need to let it soak.
The final point was actually from Fats. He told Ben it is still pretty amazing to be in the top 1% in running in America, and that a little kid who wasn’t very into sports, got into running, would go on to win 2 state titles in 1 day, win a team state title, and be able to race all over the country is something most people would never get.
I just sat back and smiled at that. All the good times, the long car trips to Wisconsin for Footlocker regionals, New Balance Nationals indoor or outdoor, trips to North Higgins Lake State Park, and all the different places I’ve been so luck to travel with my brother.
Winning a state championship in cross-country as the Corunna Cavaliers with Noah and Ben Jacobs being the 1st and 2nd guy across the line for the team.
Both being all-state in the 1600 my senior year.
Watching freshman Ben Jacobs run 4:23 to somehow sneak into all-state grabbing 5 guys on the bell lap. Then later the hug he gave me to keep me walking after I broke 9 minutes.
Some things can’t be recreated. Honestly, that stuff is poetic to me. That is pure gold.
If you don’t have any stock in Ben Jacobs being successful at something… you better get some. That’s a guy you want on your side in the future.
What a story. What a goober.
My brother, Ben Jacobs.