Daddy Diaries :: Footsteps


As men, we compete. It’s in our nature. Whether in sports, board games, or a career, we’re always trying to get ahead and win. We want to be the best, we want to succeed. But when our focus is achievement and success, it’s easy to get caught up in a race that all too often can be a marathon with no finish line. Eventually, you stop to catch a breath or to look behind you to see how far ahead you are from the rest of the pack only to realize you’re completely lost with no one in sight. As you stop and stare in bewilderment at the wilderness behind you, the only thing you see are the footprints you’ve left behind.

Where is everyone? Am I lost? Was I running so fast I missed a turn? Am I this awesome? You wait. Maybe, just maybe you’ll see someone else. Nope. You’re left with no choice but to head back in the direction you came, retracing your own footsteps.

I’ve been pretty competitive my whole life.  In my early years, I played just about every sport available to a Texas kid. I was in gymnastics, I played soccer, baseball, football, swimming, cross-country running, and basketball (though, short-lived as I’m only 5’8”). Unfortunately, I couldn’t control how fast I raced through this part of life. The time limit was set. It was predetermined. The whole time I had a trainer (parents/family) holding my hand and running beside me.
[Early Years:  Jogging with a pace coach; Competition Level: Easy; Success: Achievement Obtained]


After high school, I left my support structure at home and had a failed attempt at college. Knowing I needed discipline and structure, I joined the military. They “re-instilled” that competitive nature I had lost somewhere along the way. During my service, I earned several ribbons and awards. I was taught to be a leader. After leaving home, I was free to run as I pleased as long as it was within boundaries (the military has rules/structure).
[Military Years: Running on a track; Competition Level: Moderate; Success: Achievement Met]

After the service, I restarted my college education and completed a four-year business degree in just two years, missing a 4.0 GPA by one class. I earned “Graduate of the Year” for my grades and contributions. I strived to be the best I could be. I entered the workforce again. This time with the intention of getting a good job and climbing the corporate ladder. But I couldn’t climb fast enough. After a year in the workforce I went back to college and earned a post-graduate degree. Of course I again took the fast route and did an accelerated MBA program. Upon graduation I reentered the workforce working for a Fortune 20 company. While I was able to work from home, it consisted of long hours, in part due to the global nature of the company. I would have conference calls with Europe early in the morning or calls with Asia late at night.
[Early Career Years: Cross Country Running; Competition Level: High; Success: Ongoing]

Shortly after starting my “new” career, we found out we were having a boy. I was scared and nervous. Was this going to interfere with my plans, my goals? Would everything I’ve worked for come tumbling down around me? Would it put me back at square one? I better not have been running this whole time for nothing.
[Pregnant ¾ Year: Hyperventilating; Competition Level: 1:1 between myself and my child; Success: Unknown]

When my son was born, something changed. I still had goals, but the reasons behind them were different. I was no longer running for myself, but rather for someone else. What things should I instill in him? How should I raise him? How will my perspective change now that I’ve become the trainer holding his hand?

I like many others am new to this whole “Dad” thing. However, in my few short years of parenting, I’ve come to the realization that the competition has never been higher. But,not in the way you might expect. The competition is high because I’ve got to make sure I’m the best dad and father figure I can be (like my father and grandfathers did for me). The stakes are high because it’s my responsibility to make sure that the person I’m running beside doesn’t run out of breath. They’re high because I only have a few short years to teach him and point him in the direction that will enable him to finish the race. They’re high because my footsteps are the ones he’s following. They’re high because I have to make sure my footsteps are pointed in the right direction.
[Fatherhood: Cross Country Running and Trainer; Competition Level: Extreme; Success: To Be Determined]



Terence (affectionately called “Ter-Bear” by Becky) loves a good game of golf and anything electronic. He and Becky celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary this past year.  Terence served 5 years in the Air Force. He then completed his undergrad degree in Arkansas & his MBA at TCU in Fort Worth. Becky describes him as ” He’s the love of my life and we are so blessed to have him.  He’s our rock and my best friend. “


  1. I’m highly confident that you can run with any dad in the pack. I am already seeing you do it! Your son (my grandson) has one of the best dads I know.

  2. Wonderful testimony to Fatherhood, and how humbleness and humility, are important when we live our lives. Drive and ambition are best driven by the blessings of responsibility. I have been honored to know your grandfather and your father. And now my heart is warmed by your story. I thank you for sharing, for we all rarely hear how the seeds we plant will grow. Please continue to share your gift. It takes one small pebble dropped in a pool of water to make a ripple…you never know how you effect others. Blessings to you and your family, thank you for blessing my day.


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