“I feel growing up as a child, I didn’t choose running, rather it choose me… Running as a young child was a stress reliever. I grew up with a strong mother who was the only female presence in the family as there was my father and us boys so she was our rock, but even as strong-minded as she was, she dealt with depression. She came to the states as a young girl with no money but this concept of the “American Dream”. She was born in New Delhi and came from a rough area absorbed with crime so as a young child she was ridden with fear and trauma. She had lost two of her brothers, one was gunned down a day before he became a doctor and one died of a car accident. She had a close relationship with her father, but was unable to see him since she had moved to the States and he sadly passed away, almost 20 years without being able to [em]brace him. That’s all she ever wanted to do but couldn’t and once he passed away I noticed her depression would get worse and worse. And days when I could see her being depressed and she would try to hide it from us, I could still see it. Days like this I had to put on my running shoes and just run…
That’s why my roommates and those that know me know my golden rule which is the 3 M’s and the 3rd M being the most important.
1.) Make that money
2.) Run them miles, and
3.) Make Momma Proud.
My father taught me work ethic. Growing up as a child, my father would work 12-16 hours days, making sure we had food on our plates, clothes on our back, and showed if you ever wanted something in life you had to go work for it, you have to earn it, you have to put in the time. My dad didn’t get to attend most of my races because he was always working, but he always made sure I played sports, had running shoes, shorts, tees, was training, and taught me discipline and for that I’m always grateful for him…. I’ve always had this self-belief that I can be a great runner, with the values my parents taught me, even as a minority and American Indian that represents a small pool, if my parents could endure and do what they did, I can do anything, no matter my size, color, looks, etc. What keeps me going and never doubting myself is my mom. If she could overcome what she has, I can get the miles in and push myself. When I’m tired at 5 am and don’t feel like running, I think of the times my dad woke up at 4 Am to work and wasn’t back til 8 PM. The name of the game is sacrifice and my parents made them and that’s what drives me and gets me out of my bed in a jolt.
– Swarnjit Boyal, a member of the Hoka ONE ONE Aggies, sharing part of his inspiring life story with LetsRun.com. Boyal went from being a guy who was cut two-times in college, to being a 3-time conference champion and now to an Olympic Trials qualifier.
This month, LetsRun is partnering with HOKA to profile their athletes at the US Olympic Marathon Trials – from the contenders to the dreamers to the mountain men and women.
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