The Beginning: Sean Williams

Did you know that Burn 60 trainer Sean Williams once ran a top 10 world time in the 400m hurdles! Whoa, pretty impressive right? When Sean's not tearing up the Brentwood studio with his dance moves he's training around the clock for his next professional track and field event. In honor of the Olympic season, we're releasing a 3 part feature series that sheds light on Sean's athletic endeavors, the professional track and field world, and his personal training methods....part one begins now.  

Track has always defined me. When I was young, track changed me from a smaller kid who was teased to a “don’t mess with me” jock

What originally attracted you to running?

When I was young, I was so active and I caught on early that I was faster than most kids. I was also a smaller kid and was bullied for being skinny, so my speed gave me a lot of confidence. I wanted to play other spots. But my 9th grad year I started coming onto the track and field scene. I expected to be the best, but I didn’t think I was going to be as fast as I ended up being. Winning gave me a lot of confidence and my passion for running ignited and all of a sudden I grew into who I am today.

Who was your childhood idol growing up?

Michael Johnson. The current world record holder in the 400 meters and the previous 200-meter record holder, before Usain Bolt broke it. He was just incredible. You could see his focus and his “I’m not going to lose attitude in his eyes.” He just went after it. I remember watching him and thinking to myself “I want to do that.”.  Plus, his gold shoes were incredible.

What College did you attend and what was your event?

SEAN AND HIS WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY  RELAY TEAM

SEAN AND HIS WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY  RELAY TEAM

I got recruited as a 400 meter specialist by the University of Washington, and I ran the 4X1 and 4X4 relay. But I ended up running the 400 meter hurdles. Before my junior year of college, I ran the hurdles during a few summer races and my coach said I had major potential. I told my college coach I wanted to run the hurdles, and he wasn’t sold, but gave me a shot. My first race wasn’t great, but my second race I broke out and convinced him!

And you became an All American in the 400 meter Hurdles at UW?

Sean and his relay team celebrating after breaking the WU school record at the Pac 10 championship.

Sean and his relay team celebrating after breaking the WU school record at the Pac 10 championship.

Yes. I was an All-American in the indoor distance medley relay running the 400 meter leg. I still hold the UW relay record. I qualified for the first round of nationals in the 400 meter hurdles, but didn’t make it to the finals. I ran once in the distance medley relay at indoor nationals and twice in the 4x400 and once in the 4x100 at outdoor nationals.

In your opinion, what differentiated you from your competition? What make you an All-American?

I think my drive and passion for the sport is just so high. Compared to the normal population I have a lot of natural talent, but I am not crazy naturally gifted. To beat the best, I have to use a combination of my talent and work ethic. Whenever my competition wouldn’t work as hard, that’s when I would beat them. I'm always focused and driven to succeed. Also I don’t think it’s healthy how competitive I am. I don’t know if it’s because I was an only child, or that I always had to prove myself, but I am extremely competitive. I want to be the best at everything that I do.

When did you decide that you wanted to continue competing professionally after college?

Track has always defined me. When I was young, track changed me from a smaller kid who was teased to a “don’t mess with me” jock.  I remember in college; I was so obsessed with the sport that I told myself that this was not the end. I didn’t get a sponsor out of college, but I remember saying that I was going to earn it myself and find funding and a sponsor. I eventually signed a private sponsorship with Spain and qualified for the US National trials my second year out.

Sean Williams part 2: THE Professional Athlete hits the internet on TUESDAY, AUGUST 16th. Want to take an all-american's class? Check out sean's schedule here.