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“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neale Donald Walsch

The BRUcrew Story

In late 2010, Shelly and I decided we needed a change. Our lives had become a series of boring routines involving uninspiring work, paying bills for things that really didn’t contribute to our happiness, and giving our three young children a lackluster childhood experience.

We weren’t quite sure what the change would involve, so we started exploring options. Eventually we decided to leave our jobs and travel the United States in an RV. The journey included many significant changes including our lifestyle, communication style, and general outlook on life.

The shakeup had a profound effect on our lives. We had been merely going through the motions marching toward retirement and eventually death. Since making that life-changing decision, we started living life to the fullest.

To get to this point, we had to learn many skills. This included physical activity, overcoming mental challenges, and encouraging emotional growth.

Eventually we decided to take a break from traveling and spend time in Southern California. Part of this desire was to surround ourselves with like-minded people that were also interested in making significant life changes. The result is the BRUcrew.

I have a vision for the BRUcrew. I see it as a group of like-minded people that are tired of going through the motions and letting life pass them by. I want to create a tribe of people that are willing to learn form each other, are open to experimentation, and want to truly enjoy the journey.It takes courage and determination to run a really long distance, which is exactly the same characteristics I’m looking to build through mutual sharing of experiences. All of us can learn from each other, and BRUcrew is a medium that will allow that to happen.

I’m drawing on the experiences Shelly and I had over the last few years coupled with my extensive background in psychology (which I taught for 12 years). Life fulfillment is a skill, and it can be learned. The BRUcrew offers a physical meetup group setting to not only push yourself physically, but also work to push yourself mentally, emotionally, and socially. The BRUcrew also consists of a virtual Facebook group where I’ll share various “challenges” to help us confront our fears. The goal is to make all of us stronger people in every aspect of our lives.

Check out this post for practical tips to help overcome your fears, which is the primary goal of BRUcrew.

How to Get Involved

Facebook group: Simply ask to join the group, then actively participate.

Meetup group: We are as much a social group as a fitness group. We want our tribe members to be hard-working individuals that genuinely enjoy exploring their physical and mental limits. We welcome guests that are interested in checking out the tribe. We also welcome out-of-town guests. Details can be obtained from any tribe member or by emailing Jason at robillardj “at” gmail “dot” com.


Since the activities vary greatly, we’ll utilize a flexible schedule. Most workouts will last from 60 to 120 minutes, with some lasting significantly longer. Tribe members will be notified via the Facebook group.


The cost to participate is free… sort of. The virtual Facebook group is free of charge. The live meetup group will be based entirely on anonymous donations, which will be set up soon. In the spirit of the open source software movement, I want to remove all barriers for participation.

My Background

My background is a little different than your typical running coach. Many coaches have a background deeply rooted in athletics and the science of human movement. While I do have a background in both, my coaching style is derived from over a decade of experience as a high school psychology teacher. Most coaches will focus heavily on things like workouts, times, pace, and fueling and largely ignore the human element.

As far as my knowledge base, I’m a scavenger. I collect as much information from as many sources as possible. I continually work to add more tools to my coaching toolbox. When I work with new clients, I’ll go through a fairly lengthy process of determining exactly which tools will be most effective. In short, I tailor my methods to the client instead of forcing the client to accept my rigid methodology.

As far as credentials, I am a certified teacher (Michigan) with a Master’s degree in education. I taught high school for a dozen years. I have coached multiple sports for a number of years. I have been coaching runners individually and in clinics since 2009. I wrote ‘The Barefoot Running Book’ (Plume, 2012), run Barefoot Running University, and am a founding member of the Barefoot Runners Society. I am currently a consultant for Merrell and work as their barefoot running coach. I am also a freelance writer and have written for, Natural Awakenings magazine, and Ultrarunning Magazine. I am an experienced runner with a strong preference for long-distance trail running in mountains. I’ve run races ranging from 5ks to 100 milers.


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  1. James Maier
    June 3, 2013

    Hey I just moved to Colorado and am looking to get into trail running and fishing a lot more. I stumbled upon your site today while trying to decide if I wanted to buy the Merrell MM Aeroblock shoe. The review was very helpful! After reading that these shoes had less of a breathable top I decided to pass on them. Basically i’m looking for a shoe that I can trail run in, but that I can also use as a water shoe. I already have a road running shoe so I don’t need a shoe that is good on pavement. Just something that has a breathable top, good grip, dries fast, and will last. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks for any help you can give.

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