At the highest levels of any professional field, there is a very small margin between falling short of your goals and making it to the top (…of the hill?). The HustleSoRussell team’s roots are from the Bay Area. It’s easy to remember those glory days, but the story behind the glory takes place under the hot NorCal summer sun. No cameras, no social media… just the grind.

To understand how Roger Craig and Jerry Rice could dig deep when the game was on the line, grab a pair of running shoes and head for the Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve in Redwood City, California.

628x471The training ground became known simply as The Hill. “That hill was pretty much the fourth quarter for me,” said Rice, who continued to run the trail even after turning 50. “It taught me how to be able to endure — in pain — and still perform at a very high level. You have to challenge yourself. And that’s what I did in the offseason.”

The Legend still running The Hill at 50

As Craig and Rice became disciples, The Hill soon went from training ground to proving ground, an initiation to show what it took to become a champion. Are you tough enough? Are you dedicated enough? How much are you willing to suffer? Craig said they eventually had a group of up to 15 players running the hill three times a week.

Joe Cool, The GOAT, Roger “Catfish” Craig

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