It “Runs” in the Family

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

—Oprah Winfrey

Today’s story is contributed by Sarah Mitchell.

One of the greatest lessons Dad ever taught me — it’s never too late to pursue a new passion.

never too old

Sarah, the youngest, sitting right in front of her dad.

He was 40 years old. Out of shape. He started running, a little bit each day. Every day, he ran a little farther. Eventually, it became a six-mile a day habit, and something that gave new passion to his life.

And it “runs” in the family, literally — Dad took my sister and me with him to his weekend races, where he almost always picked up a trophy for being the fastest in his age bracket. My sister and I caught the bug and have been ritual runners ever since. As I move into my own fourth decade, I find myself pursuing new passions very naturally, like surfing and aerial arts (think trapeze).

Another lesson Dad passed down to us by example — it’s never to late to resurrect an old passion.

After a 40-year career at Exxon Chemical, he retired without much of a plan on what’s next. Not one to sit around and watch television or spend hours playing golf, Dad rekindled his love of history.

Currently, he teaches classes on the Civil War, Shakespeare, and British Castle Architecture at the University of Texas’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Following Dad’s example, I, too, have found myself feeling like a kid again, picking back up with some of my old favorites, like riding a bike around the neighborhood, knitting, and embroidery.

The Lesson to Learn?

You are never too old to run like you’re young.

Sarah Mitchell is an executive search consultant with The Alexander Group in San Francisco, as well as an accomplished actor in the San Francisco Bay Area theatre scene. She is also a daughter, friend, yogi, runner, and explorer.

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