Entrepreneur and marathoner will take on “Dancing with the Stars.”
If you think running is tough, try dancing, says Robert Herjavec, an entrepreneur and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank. He’s taking on a new challenge outside the tank now that he recently signed on for the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars.
An “off and on” runner his whole life, Herjavec says he started taking the sport seriously six years ago. He ran the New York City and Miami marathons–he finished Miami in 4:40–and now, he notches daily five-mile runs capped off with an eight- to 10-miler on the weekends.
“My mom was in the hospital, and I was having a hard time dealing with it,” Herjavec told Runner’s World Newswire. “I felt so much better after doing it. Running, in so many ways, saved my sanity.”
Recently, Herjavec has been trading his running shoes for ones fit for a ballroom. But before Dancing with the Stars filming began, he ramped up his running in preparation for the show.
“I talked with a number of people–ex-NFL football players and big athletes–and they told me [the show] was the hardest thing they’ve ever done,” Herjavec said. “So I got into the best shape of my life because I didn’t want my lack of fitness to get in the way.”
So far, rehearsals with partner Kym Johnson have left him more sore than tired.
“You’re using so many different muscles than you normally would,” he said. “But people on the show are calling me ‘The Beast’ because I’m rehearsing more than anybody. I’m not sure that’s a good thing!”
Herjavec says focusing on difficult tasks like dancing and running have tamed his “hyper” side when it comes to his business practices, too.
“Business is a sprint because you have to go until you find an opportunity. Then you need the patience of a marathoner,” he said. “That’s the one thing I’ve really learned from running. You can’t rush the miles. No matter how fast I run, the five miles isn’t going to be done in the first five minutes.
“People want to go out and start a business, and they want it to be easy. But it takes 10 to 15 years to be an overnight success. That’s why people fail in business. They want the big pot immediately. Anybody who’s a runner knows it just doesn’t work that way.”
Despite his hectic schedule, Herjavec almost always manages to find the time to run every day, blocking off a couple hours each day to explore Miami’s boardwalk or the coastlines in his birthplace Croatia on foot. The treadmill isn’t his enemy either.
“If I’m watching a football game or golf–something that develops slowly–it keeps me going at a certain pace,” he said. “I love the treadmill.”
No matter where he’s running, Herjavec keeps lacing up because after every run, “I always feel such a sense of accomplishment. I don’t get that from the elliptical or doing weights.
“I don’t have a runner’s body, I’m not light and thin,” he added. “But I always think of running as a constant friend in my life. It’s always been there for me even though it’s never been easy for me.”
Watch Herjavec on the season premiere of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars on March 16.
Originally posted on Entertainment Weekly on March 24 2015.