This Local Business in the Spotlight is The House of Running. How to have fun and train for big runs. Laurie Villarreal takes time off to answer our questions. If you want to get fit then read this !
1. Tell us about your products/ services.
House of Running is an international running community. Our core business is bringing runners and aspiring runners together in a fun, non-intimidating, and motivating space where we help each other better our best and achieve shared running, health & fitness goals. We strongly believe that running is for everybody and that with right environment, any goal is achievable.
Within our community, we offer a variety of group training programs (locally but soon also online) as well as online personal coaching.
2. How long have you been in business and why did you choose this sector ?
I’ve been in the running & coaching business since spring 2012 when we launched our first Full & Half Marathon training program in Amsterdam.
I’ve been passionate about health & fitness since I was a young adult but when it came to business, the sector chose me. I hadn’t imagined that running would be more than my sport — it was always a hobby. Run coaching started out as a passion project and a way for me to share what I loved with others and to find other like-minded runners. Very quickly I realized that it was meant to be more and it’s since evolved into what it is today.
3. What is the thing you like most about your work ?
I love helping others go after their big, scary, ambitious goals and achieve the “impossible.” Seeing people be completely amazed with what they can achievekeeps me going and I love this part of my job the most.
I also love helping runners through setbacks and injury, to get them back to running and loving it. It’s almost inevitable that these moments happen on a runner’s path and it’s in these moments that we can benefit from so much learning and grow as individuals, and a community. I love helping runners navigate these tough patches and lead them to a stronger, healthier, happier place – and often times a place that they weren’t searching for but yet they’ve discovered thanks to these setbacks.
It’s cliché to say that the tough moments make us stronger. They can but it’s not often easy to do alone nor is it evident how. It can definitely help to have an outsider or an expert bring the learning and growing into focus.
4. Which different nationalities are your clients ?
Our members and clients are from all over the world. The list is long but we all share a common language – English. And even if we don’t, it’s a great place to learn and practice while on the run.
5. What do you think they love best about living in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam feels like a village and it’s a sporty, health conscious city. You’ll see individuals and groups practicing various sports outside in the numerous parks. Even in the cold winters, it’s easy to get outdoors, connect with others, and keep up with exercise.
6. What do you like to do in your time off ?
Running, yoga, and other sporty activities were once what I did in my free time but now that it’s often seen as work, my free time is predominately filled up with reading, dreaming, creating and learning. I also enjoy traveling as much as I can as well as connecting with friends and loved ones.
7. What is your fondest memory or proudest moment at work ?
It’s tough to choose just one. Many of my proudest moments are being able to share the joy with our happy runners once they’ve achieved – or often exceeded — their goals with the help of House of Running. We have so many kind, grateful runners in our community who share their successes on social media, including us in their beautifully inspiring stories of struggle and triumph to realize their once unimaginable or impossible achievements.
It’s a joy to see our runners realize their goals, but also to know their lives are forever changed because of the journey. It warms my heart to know that we have this kind of transformational impact.
8. What do you think that the expats think of the Dutch people ?
I’d say that expats in the Netherlands love the Dutch and the “gezellig” feeling we get being in this country.
9. Which product or service is your best seller and why?
Our group Full & Half Marathon Training Program is by far our best seller. We love going for big, scary goals and it seems our runners do too. We definitely attract an ambitious bunch.
10. What good Dutch words should expats learn ?
It’s helpful to learn how to say “My Dutch is terrible” in Dutch. I usually start with this before speaking in English with the Dutch. It usually gets the conversation started with a smile or a laugh.
Useful Links :
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/HouseofRunning/