Runner Allen Dooms is one of those athletes who seems to possess superhuman ability. But if you were to ask him what is the secret behind his success, he would tell you it’s his mentor, Gene Chung.
“Before I met Gene, it was really difficult for me to have self-motivation and self-control,” Dooms tells HelloBeautiful. “[But] to be a great track-and-field athlete, it takes a lot of mental discipline.”
It was through his training with Chung that he learned mental “toughness” needs to thrive.
“He said, ‘I’m one of the fastest people in the world, but I do it all wrong,’” Chung says Dooms told him in their early training conversations. “He said, ‘Gene, I have no vision, I can’t relax and I have no flexibility.’ And those three things are so important for a runner. I knew that the wisdom that I have obtained through my spiritual relationship and my martial arts background, I could go out there and help him.”
Chung has helped Dooms overcome the tough circumstances of his early life, as well as any self-doubt he may possess, through meditation and disciplined training.
“Meeting Gene changed my life a lot. I never really had a father figure in my life,” Dooms says. “He’s been there through thick and thin.”
To show him just how much he means to him, Dooms recorded a special thank-you video for Chung.
After watching the video, Chung’s reaction proves the love is mutual.
“Any father would do that to their son,” Chung said. “And that’s how I look at it.”
Check out the touching tribute in the full video above.