AFTERSHOKZ: How does it feel to be the most decorated U.S. marathoner in history?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI: I am humbled to achieve everything I have in my running career. My family and I dreamed of being successful in the United States. Thanks to the grace of God and the many people who supported me along the way, I've had a running career that I can be proud of. I look back with no regrets.
AS: Are there any specific drills/exercises from your time training for the Olympics that you still incorporate into your daily exercise routine now?
MK: I spent a lot of time in my career on the living room floor, doing strength and stability exercises to keep my body in tune while I wasn't running. I still like maintaining these practices today. I do planks for core strength and use a rope to stretch my legs. When my muscles are tight, I often use a baseball or foam roller to relax them. Many of these drills are exhibited in my book, Meb for Mortals.
AS: What is it like being an athlete on the road? How do you handle being away from home for long periods of time?
MK: It's hard being away from my family. When traveling, I try to call or FaceTime my wife and three daughters before going to bed. Seeing how they're doing at home keeps my spirits up. It's good to maintain regular exercise and good eating habits while traveling so you don't slip into unhealthy patterns. I bring fruit and nuts in my luggage so I can grab a healthy snack instead of fast food. My running shoes, of course, come with me everywhere I go.
AS: How did your early childhood in Eritrea shape your path as a runner?
MK: My Eritrean roots play a big part in who I am today. I was raised in a culture that values family, supporting others, and taking time to sit down and talk with loved ones. In Eritrea, we didn't have a lot in the way of financial resources, so we learned to be resilient and resourceful. Marathons, of course, are very difficult. When I was struggling in a race, thinking of the strength my mother and father exhibited in raising our family helped me to keep going.
AS: How has your faith journey helped shape your path as both an athlete and a person?
MK: One of my favorite pieces of scripture is Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." In my life and athletic career, I've faced many challenges. Putting God first has always been the best way for me to navigate challenges and setbacks along life's journey.
Get to know more about Meb Keflezighi here.