What was the last great lesson you learned, and who provided it?
In the fall of 2007, I was frustrated with life. I had finished graduate school, purchased a house, rescued a dog, and couldn’t find a marketing job. I loved working at Howdy Honda, who graciously hired me to work my way through graduate school. But I wanted to get into marketing, and Austin is oh so competitive. I decided to combat my woes by training for my first marathon. Because a destination marathon sounded like fun, I picked Las Vegas.
The marathon was hard, not to say that the four I’ve run since were easy, but that one was particularly difficult. I was recovering from a sinus infection and was about 15 pounds overweight. The weather was horrible that weekend - 30 degrees and windy - and the Las Vegas desert (where we did most of our running that day) is nothing like the Las Vegas strip (where we started and finished, and I could see the finish line 8 miles out).
My father ran the entire marathon with me, I’ll never forget how hard every single mile of that race was after the first three hours. At mile 23 or so, I started to cry a little. Dad told me to “calm my liver.” He patted my shoulder and I could tell that he knew what I was going through, and that everything was going to be fine. It was something that my mom used to say to him in the early and stressful days of his career.
I have kept that mantra with me since that day and it has inspired me to do amazing things: run up this ridiculous hill on Barton Creek Boulevard, complete five more marathons, take Bikram’s yoga classes, and manage anxiety. I say it to friends an co-workers, and it always makes you laugh a little bit, because it’s kind of a silly thing to say. No better way to put someone at ease than with a little humor. Because it came from my dad, “calm your liver” also reminds me of what’s important: who you love, what you love, and to love yourself above all.