“All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey……………..
It’s 6:00am, the sun isn’t up but I am, and I am grabbing handfuls of t-shirts and stuffing them into a carry-on bag. Winter or the summer it doesn’t matter, T-shirts and a bathing suit is all you need when packing for Los Angeles.
Wheels touch down, passengers clutch their smartphones swiping, turning “Airplane mode” off and the race to deplane begins. My brother Sean and I travelled light so we grab our small carry-on bags, bypass the mob in baggage claim and hail a cab to the beach.
………..I’d be safe and warm if I was in LA.
When I left Eugene this morning it was 50 degrees and the “eight-month rain” had just started. Now my brother and I are floating in the Santa Monica Bay watching the planes launch large groups of people into the sky, people fleeing, leaving it all behind. We talk about our dreams and our big ideas while we wait for a set wave to push in so we can body surf back to shore. The air temperature is in the 80’s, the water temperature is in the 70’s and Halloween is right around the corner.
It’s the next morning and Nick has just landed at LAX, vacation is over and now it’s time to get to work. Today’s schedule is full of meetings, driving on an LA freeway, a tempo run and a book signing in Pasadena, but most importantly we need to pin down which In-n’-Out we will go to for dinner. We park in the Rose Bowl parking lot and since the traffic on the freeway was slightly less than gridlocked we have enough time for a walk and a Run Gum afternoon chew, Nick chews two pieces of Mint, goes fully caffeinated and then starts his warm up. Nick breezes through his tempo run and then finishes up with some barefoot strides on the grass fields that surround the stadium. As we are walking out of Run With Us we both confirm that the book signing was a success, we met some great people, we made some new friends and hopefully we inspired someone to do something. At this point it’s about 8pm on a Friday night in Pasadena and our faces are lit up, illuminated from the glow of our Google Maps app. We are searching and cross referencing which In-n-Out is the closest and in the general direction of west LA, we choose a location and let the female voice, speaking to us through the phone guide us to our destination.
Trying to balance work, training and a social life while visiting LA is next to impossible. After our first weekend the rest of the trip all blurred together in what seems like a time lapse speeding by at 16 times the normal rate of life. I can stop and grab segments of time, but the sequence of things and the timeline are hard to piece together. We made an appearance at the Mt. Sac relays, we had drinks on a rooftop bar and watched the sunset over Venice, danced at a bar that was shaped like a circle, body surfed some big swell, we drove south, had an interesting meeting with Stance Socks in San Clemente , surfed in San Diego, squeezed in a sit down with Suja Juice, surfed with a Navy Seal at Blacks Beach, met with a local distribution guru, stayed with great family friends Jim and Kris McMillan, drove back north, met with an entrepreneur in Irvine, having an “afternoon chew” became an everyday event, we visited the winner of the #RunGumSoCal contest, we put together a photo shoot in Venice and then Halloween happens.
October 31st, Maxwell Leer, Will Leer’s brother lands at LAX, his transatlantic/ transcontinental flight from Hungary has taken an uncountable amount of hours. Max has only slept a handful of hours in the last 48 but it’s Halloween and Max has ordered a T-equalizer shirt from China and he intends to use it. With costumes on we sit down to a family dinner at the Leer residence and talk about Max’s trip. After dinner we put on some music, we chew Run Gum and start getting in the Halloween spirit.
……………Baby I'm faded, All I wanna do is take you downtown, Baby….................
Seems to be playing on repeat as the Uber pulls up to the curb, stops and says “you’re here”, it’s raining so the plan is to run. We are in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles and Honeycut the bar we are going to is around the corner, down a long dark alley. As we run through the darkness we pass ghosts, ninja turtles, sexy cats, a giraffe and a 10 person biker gang dressed in all black leather donning a DTRC patch, all drifting towards a small door in an alley located between two large dumpsters. As we wait in line we tear open two more packs of Run Gum and we each chew a piece before we get inside. Honeycut is full, wall-to-wall with every costume you can imagine and some you would never think of. There are no individuals, the dance floor looks like the Pacific, surging up and down together as one. We go to the bar grab drinks and then we do what Ravers do, we dive into the ocean of people and start raving. Flashing lights, strobes, neon glow sticks and bass drops, we put in 90 minutes on the dance floor before they turn the lights on and tell everyone to get out. The crowd spills into the ally and we follow the flood of people to Ihop where we wait out the Halloween Uber price surge while eating pancakes.
I am sitting on the plane, I have a window seat and although 85% of my view is obstructed by the jet engine I can still see a small sliver of the beach where my brother and I were body surfing 10 days ago. The trip has come full circle and now I am on one of those planes fleeing LA, leaving it all behind. Los Angeles was exhausting, the city did it’s best to swallow us whole but somehow we survived. Nick and I learned a lot on this trip, about our product and about ourselves. We learned that Run Gum can be used for any occasion whether it’s before a workout or a business meeting, a surf session or for partying, Run Gum does it all. Living an active lifestyle can be physically and mentally draining but Run Gum is always there to give you a quick boost and get you ready for whatever it is you want to be ready for.