Sometimes, I’m glad I didn’t always listen to my mother. When I’d be tired from running so much at UCLA, she would always say, “No more running. It’s time for an office job.” After I ran my first marathon, my mom said, “No more marathons. It’s too hard on your body.” She was right. Marathons are hard on your body. And if you don’t respect the miles and the course, it will take its toll on you. But I didn’t listen. And I was blessed to go on to have an amazing career, which will come to an official end at the New York City Marathon.
Coming from a big family, I always had the support of my siblings. They encouraged me, they motivated me and they were never shy about saying they were proud. That was always something that helped pushed me.
As the father of three daughters, the importance of family is something I’m trying to convey to them. We are always looking for fun, new ways to bond and connect with them. We try to expose them to outdoor living and the recreational lifestyle. Obviously, running has been a major part of my life, so that has trickled down to my family.
I was fortunate enough during the summer to be able to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego 5K with my kids and it was a great experience. They don’t train. They just wake up and run. It’s fun for me to see how much they love to run—and not just because of who their dad is.
Running is a family all unto itself. And as the kids head back to school this fall, I’m hopeful our running experiences this summer will be something that they’ll always remember. People often say to find your passion in life and find a way to monetize it. That way you’ll never have to “work” a day in your life. What I’ve done over my career has been work. It’s been hard. And it’s been hard on my body. But it’s also been a passion. As has my family. Never forget that your family should always be your first passion. I’m sure your mother has said that to you.
You should really listen to her more.