A Letter from Brendan
As a young father, I worked my way through law school at Loyola University in Chicago and had three of my four children while I was in law school. As you can imagine, life after law school was equally heady – and hectic. I found myself drawn to the very interesting, but high-pressure, legal practice in public finance and planted my career roots there. My young, burgeoning family depended on me and I wanted to give them my all. The demands of both jobs were enormously stressful. Along the way, I made a lot of good choices and some not so good ones. But, eventually, after varied levels of success, I found my rhythm. I learned how to focus on balancing my professional and personal lives.
How did I do it? The first step was recovery in 1989. The second major step was running. I ran my first marathons in 1985, ’86 and ’87 but I was not happy with my results. I hadn’t found the necessary balance and I knew I could do better. So, after that one big change – recovery – I trained for and ran the Chicago Marathon in 1995. I qualified for the 100th Boston Marathon and it changed my life. I learned how to balance the requirements of a busy law practice, family time and marathon running, improving skills in all areas through the practice of mindfulness techniques as well as better time management and discipline.
Since then, I’ve never looked back. Through my network of friends, love of the sport and Chicago’s vibrant running community, I’ve had the opportunity to coach over 10,000 people in group, virtual, team and 1:1 settings. And, I’ve never stopped running. To date, I have completed 100 marathons, including one in all 50 states, all 7 continents (yes, even Antarctica!) and all 6 World Marathon Majors – Boston, New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo and Berlin.
And, I’ve had a change in my philosophy of life during my journey. I used to believe that ‘more was never enough’ and that ‘I will be happy when…’. As I’ve grown, I now believe that ‘Happiness is a present attitude, not a future condition‘. I can choose to be happy each day, no matter the challenges I face at the moment.
My philosophy is based on spirituality more than religious dogma. I follow this approach in life and coaching. There is, I believe, a power of the universe, or a Higher Power, to which I can relate. My spirituality is based on forming a partnership with this Higher Power for guidance when I’m ‘stuck’.
I believe that ‘coach’ is a verb, not a noun. The aspect I love most about coaching is helping people realize their potential and passion. That is why the latest step in my journey is becoming a certified professional development coach through iPEC. Today, through my personal development coaching practice, I stand ready to offer my lived experience, strength, hope and training as your catalyst towards living a healthy and fulfilling life.