Meb Keflezighi

188: Four-time Olympian and Multiple Marathon Winner

This week’s conversation is with Meb Keflezighi, the only runner in history to win the Boston Marathon, the New York City Marathon and an Olympic medal.

Known all over the world by his first name, Meb is a four-time Olympian and history’s oldest marathoner to qualify for the US Olympic team.

Meb was born in the East African nation of Eritrea, a beautiful land torn by war at the time of his birth.

He arrived in Southern California at age 12 without knowing a word of English.

Through running, Meb attracted national attention and earned a scholarship to UCLA, where he won four NCAA titles.

The crowning moment of Meb’s career came on April 21, 2014 at the Boston Marathon.

One year after bombs detonated at the finish line, Meb won the race in a stunning and unexpected fashion.

His patriotic victory – the first for an American man since 1983 – sparked an avalanche of media and celebration. President Barack Obama placed a phone call to Meb hours after the race.

Today, Meb is Runner’s World Magazine’s“Most Influential Person In Running.”

What becomes apparent in this conversation is how clear Meb is – both the way he organizes his thoughts and his framework for living.

We touch on the importance of gratitude, hard work, clear goals, embracing challenges, and his spiritual framework.

“It all comes down to being the best you can as an individual and if you are individually working for the better of the family or for the better of the team, everybody wins.”

In This Episode:

  • The blessing and curse of the intensity he lives his life with
  • Growing up in Eritrea, not knowing if he would live to see another day
  • How his upbringing shaped his world view and parenting style
  • His process for teaching his children to be humble
  • Why training for the marathon is a great metaphor for life
  • His approach to goal-setting
  • The common through line in his life: overcoming challenges
  • The dark side of pursuing his best
  • His relationship with faith and why it’s built on gratitude
  • How he gets in his own way… when he thinks he can control something he can’t
  • What he understands most in life… patience
  • Sharing a time when he wasn’t sure if he had what it took
  • How he looks at failure
  • What he hopes the next generation gets right
  • His definition of mastery
  • What he would love to ask another master of craft

Listen, Watch & Subscribe

Related Episodes

For a complete list of all Finding Mastery sponsors, vanity URLs & discount codes, visit Our Sponsors.
Stay up-to-date with the latest high performance and wellbeing podcasts and content with the Finding Mastery weekly newsletter.