Eddie Johnson was training for his first Ironman in 1992, and joined up with a group of runners doing the famous Spyglass run in Newport Beach; a 12 mile run starting at 5:30am every Friday.
Of course, you have plenty of time to talk about stuff on a 12 mile run, so Eddie asked Dave what he did for work. His response – “I own a running shop.” Eddie, not sure he had heard Dave correctly, asked him to repeat himself, as he had never heard of a running shop. Dave laughed, explained what the did, how cool it was to “make a living” doing what he loved. Eddie’s next question was “CAN you make a living doing that?!” to which Dave laughed and replied, “not really, but it’s a lot of fun.”
A few months passed, and the two continued to run together every Friday morning. Eddie was training for his second event, attending the Fire Academy at Santa Ana College, bartending on the side – and began thinking of a career change. After asking Dave to write a letter of recommendation for a position he was applying for at Big 5 Sporting Goods, Dave offered Eddie a job at the shop, stating up front that he couldn’t pay much but could give him a lot of hours.
The first day Eddie stepped into the shop, he saw the camaraderie between the staff and the store patrons. Dave knew every patron, and most knew him by name.
This wasn’t retail, it was family. Sharing stories of accomplishments, failure, long runs, short runs, long runs that turn into short runs and the opposite, track workouts, PR’s traveling to races, racing locally – it was all positive, life changing, and Eddie wanted to be a part of it.