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Ryan Hall’s Journey from Professional Athlete to Family Man

Professional marathoner and two-time Olympian Ryan Hall knows a thing or two about managing a to-do list. Between training, racing, coaching at his daughter’s high school, traveling as an international speaker and being a husband to fellow professional marathoner, Sara Hall, Ryan’s days are usually quite full.  

But it wasn’t until he and Sara adopted his four daughters that the 34-year old finally put life insurance at the top of his to-do list.  Read his complete story and how Health IQ helped him get special rates on his coverage below.

Ryan running in the Houston Half Marathon, USA Half Marathon Championships

“I had ‘Get Life Insurance’ on my to-do list for years, but it was always towards the bottom…and then once we adopted our girls, I was like, ‘OK, that just jumped way up on my to-do list. Let me make sure that if something were to happen to me, that I know that my girls, Sara, everyone—will be taken care of.’ That really changed things for me—becoming a dad,” says Hall.

Hall’s experience with recently having friends pass away also put things into perspective. “I found out a couple of friends had passed away tragically…so any time that’s happened that’s definitely a wake-up call. When you’re young and feel like you’re going to live forever, you’re not really thinking about dying a whole lot. But when you start having some friends pass away that definitely changes your mindset.”

When asked why he went with Health IQ to navigate the ins-and-outs of buying life insurance, Hall responded, “It’s perfect because it’s made for people like me with a healthy, active lifestyle.” The lower heart rates that many pro athletes have can sometimes negatively affect insurance rates. Hall liked that Health IQ used his active lifestyle as an asset in getting a good life insurance rate rather than it being a detriment. Hall also commented that he appreciated how Health IQ made the process easy and simple for him—given how limited his time already is.

Hall’s active lifestyle and relationship with running wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, he didn’t like to run at all until he challenged himself at age 13 to run the 15-mile path around Big Bear Lake in his hometown of Big Bear, CA. Hall relished the thought of the challenge and though his first run wasn’t as he says “fast and pretty,” he felt like he accomplished something by overcoming the physical challenge.

Now as a high school coach, he uses the idea of a physical challenge to help make running fun and accessible to kids.  “If you’re having fun doing whatever workout you’re doing—whatever physical challenge you’re trying to overcome—if you’re having fun it’s going to go well. And you’re not only going to enjoy the process, but I think you’re actually going to get better results, too.”

The love of pushing himself physically kept him going throughout his running career. Now that he is approaching the end of his professional running career, Hall is incorporating more weightlifting into his fitness routine. His focus on building strength has improved his energy and overall health as he moves into this next season of his life.

Ryan and Sara Hall with family
Ryan and Sara Hall with family

When he first started lifting, he could barely bench 100 lbs. Now he’s benching 265 and squatting 335. His diet has also changed to reflect this focus on weightlifting. He’s eating a lot more protein such as Alaskan salmon & Muscle Milk. During his professional running days, he kept his macros 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. Now he’s eating 50% protein, 25% carbs and 25% fat.

Like the initial challenge that sent him running around Big Bear Lake, Hall’s passion for overcoming physical challenges keeps him dedicated to his weightlifting practice—the energy boost he receives helps improve his running endurance and makes picking up his 6-year-old daughter easy as well.

But ultimately for Hall, the biggest thing that keeps him going is the love he has for the people in his life. “At the end of the day, we’re all going to pass away and what we’re going to value in that moment is ‘Did I love other people deeply?’

I want to love the people around me well today because we aren’t promised anything but today…and it applies to running as well. Sometimes when I’m struggling, I’ll start getting very inward, thinking about how much pain I’m in, how much I’m suffering, how bad this hurts for me, thinking about all the different things that are bothering me. But if I get outside myself and start thinking about other people—how much I love my wife, my kids—it changes my perspective. I’m no longer dwelling on negative things. I’m thinking about positive things that I like. And then my body relaxes and it finds a way to get through some very difficult patches in the race or in the training or whatever it might be.”

As Hall shifts into this new season of life and leaves behind his professional running career, it’s clear that his love and care for his family aren’t hindrances to his health and fitness goals. In fact, they are the fuel and inspiration he needs to keep going. And having life insurance with Health IQ is another way he can relax and enjoy the season that he’s in.

“When I was a professional athlete, I’d say 90% of your day you’re trying to take care of yourself. And that’s your focus. Your body’s your machine and it’s a 24/7 job. You’ve always got be eating clean, sleeping enough, stretching, rolling, massage. So that was very much my lifestyle before. Now I give myself 1-1.5 hours to be selfish in the gym where I’m just doing my thing, doing what I want to do and focused on hitting my physical goals. But then the entire rest of my day is usually focused on how can I help my daughters, my wife and kids I’m coaching. It’s very focused on others rather than on myself. They’re just different seasons. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other. I’ve had that season where I got to be a professional athlete and the focus was heavily on my own development. But now I’m getting to shift into a different focus where my day is mostly not about me. I feel like it’s good to experience both of those and I’m enjoying this new season.”

About Health IQ

Health IQ’s mission is to improve the health of the world by celebrating the health conscious through social and financial rewards. Founded in 2013 by a team of health-conscious entrepreneurs, Health IQ gathered research and data through the Health IQ quiz to convince top-rated, innovative insurance carriers that health-conscious people have lower mortality and deserve lower rates on life insurance. Health IQ is a licensed life insurance agency in all 50 states and has helped thousands of health-conscious people secure billions in insurance coverage.  Learn more at HealthIQ.com/RYAN


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