Eric’s first half marathon finish, 2011
Our latest East Nasty of the Week loves his girlfriend, their dog and fishing. I think I got that order right. Nasties, it is my pleasure to introduce you to your ENOW, Eric Block!
Eric grew up in the small town of Stevensville, MI, on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. Growing up, Eric was always drawn to sports and had a very common athletic progression: soccer, basketball, football. When he wasn’t playing football, he was hanging out with friends and he also dabbled in track, but primarily to stay in shape for football.
Eric attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and graduated with a degree in accounting. At the end of January 2012, he decided to move to Nashville to be with his girlfriend, and fellow ENOW, Bree Roy. Eric works in Marketing at Caterpillar Financial. After working in Accounting for a year, the Marketing group had a need for someone with an accounting-esque skill set to handle some of their data reporting responsibilities. Insert Eric, and over a year later, he’s still happily enslaved to Microsoft Excel and its notorious pivot tables.
When Eric and Bree first met, he was the furthest thing from an endurance athlete, but in an attempt to spend more time with her, he started running in 2011. Shortly thereafter, several of his friends were preparing to run the Kalamazoo Half Marathon and he thought it might be a fun challenge to take on. And here we are.
Eric’s biggest accomplishment in running is two-fold. First, finishing his first and last full marathon in New Orleans in February 2013. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a great feeling when he finally crossed that finish line. Secondly, in 2013, he ran a 20:10 5k at a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot in Michigan in the worst conditions imaginable: 10-15 degrees, snow, roads blanketed with ice, etc. He can’t believe he was able to stay upright.
Eric has Bree to thank for introducing him to East Nasty. She had moved to Nashville a year earlier and found the group. So once he moved here, he hit the ground running, literally! Since then, he can count on both hands the number of times he’s missed a Wednesday night run.
What does Eric enjoy most about East Nasty? You mean, besides beers at 3 Crow afterwards? He says definitely the camaraderie. He has built so many relationships within the East Nasty community; the people are incredible. He also enjoys the diversity of the group and says that there’s really something for everyone. Often when he’s inviting new runners to check out East Nasty for the first time, he can tell they’re intimidated to come run with a “running club”, but regardless, if you’re one of the fastest people in Nashville, or would like to walk an entire Wednesday night route, there will be someone to join you along the way.
The most memorable East Nasty experience for Eric is receiving the award, “Most likely to never run a half marathon ever again for being miserable on the course today,” during the East Nasty Country Music Marathon party. He says it was appropriate, yet hilarious due to the surprise.
Road trip with Bree and Rula
*Author’s note: I would normally edit this down to a succinct 2-3 sentences, but I feel it’s important for you to understand how much Eric really loves fishing. Enjoy.
What other hobbies do you have?
Man, I’ve had a lot over the years, but the one that has passed the test of time is fishing. I got started really young and have had the “itch” to be on the water ever since. While I was in college, I actually traveled throughout the state of Michigan competing in Bass tournaments whenever I could. I also worked part-time at a local hunting and fishing outfitter retail store, much like a Bass Pro Shop, but smaller. Still probably my favorite job to date, hah! Though I’m not competing anymore and I don’t work in the industry, I still try to get out every weekend that I’m in town. Other than that, I love all different types of fitness. Currently, I’m doing a lot of weightlifting, my newest fascination, wall climbing, and when it’s not sweltering outside, I enjoy getting out on the trails with my mountain bike. And last but not least, the hobby I partake in, and enjoy the most, is spending time with Bree and our pup, Rula. Whether it’s running the trails or veg’ing on the couch binge watching TV (while endlessly throwing the ball for Rula), there’s never a dull moment with those two girls!
Eric, both Nashville and East Nasty is happy to have you. Congrats and welcome to the ENOW club! And don’t eat anything you catch in the Cumberland.