Mother's Day: Jon Cornish on Life Lessons & Family Outings

Published on May 06, 2015 by Jon Cornish

What’s something your mom always said to you that you might still refer to today?
My mom always encouraged me to think of other people before myself. How will my actions benefit others?

Single parent household, how did she make that special? How was it difficult & how did it influence you?
We always had music going on. For us it made the house feel warm. With five kids my mom had a lot to deal with but she made do by emphasizing independence and curiosity in our lives. She always tried to make sure we were intellectually challenged.

Biggest life’s lesson she taught you?
Respect women.

What was the most influential moment of guidance?
I was a kid just before Christmas. I was walking into New West Mall with my mom and we were stopped by a media crew and I was asked “What do you want for Christmas?” I responded talking about this Lego set I really wanted. Afterwards my mom suggested that World Peace might be an ultimate wish. Although it seems like a far off goal, that has guided my life ever since. I want to work to make the world a better place for all people, not just myself.

In what ways do you think you are like your mom?
We have some similarities and some differences. Where she might be stressed out about some things, I’m pretty chill. We both really want to help the people in our communities. We both are spiritual people (My mother is an Anglican Priest), understanding there is more to life than just what can be seen.

Something you have always wanted to tell her but never have?
I’m very honest with my mom. I’ve feel honesty is key to any relationship. With that said, my mom could probably meditate. She always talks about it but sometimes you just have to set aside time to sit and be with yourself. This allows your mind to clear itself out, deal with any niggling issues and be happier.

What’s the best thing you did or could do for your mom?
I think being successful. In the big picture, a parent seeing their child do well in life is very important. While I may have given her many different gifts over time, she takes the most pride in seeing me do well, using my genetics and upbringing to do good in the world.

Is there anything you wish that could have been different with your mom or would like to change now?
I love my mom and love the woman she has married. If I were to change just one thing though, it would be maybe that they could have continued living in the house they had bought together. It was a wonderful property and it allowed me to have my room to stay in when I went back to Vancouver. As it stands, they live downtown Vancouver in a condo with just a couch for me :)

In what ways did she supports your athleticism? Pursuing your football and schooling away from home…
My mom always supported me in all the things I tried to do. Football happened to be the activity I was best at. For that reason she always kept me thinking about how to succeed, working towards being better every day.

What about with injuries?
Every parent will worry when their kid gets hurt. Mine knows how to give me space. I believe there isn’t much to talk about when injured. I see people get injured all the time and they worry about it; for me dwelling on being hurt is a waste of time.

How did she react when you wanted to start playing football? How old were you?
I was 12 when my grade 8 football coach called my home requesting that I play football. She was skeptical but eventually agreed to me being able to play. One of the hang ups for her was me potentially hurting my fingers and losing the ability to play piano. I can’t fully extend my pinky but I don’t think she worries about me playing the piano too much these days.

Did your mom influence you to become more responsible with how you nourished your body/mind/spirit?
Growing up in the church was important. I learned the value of belief in people’s lives. While I might not believe in any specific religion, I feel belief in oneself is the most powerful way to achieve your goals. She always cooked good meals so I was always taken care of in that department. Most importantly, she always tried to ensure my curiosity could be satisfied, providing me lots of books and we frequented the library so I could learn about the world, our place in it and the universe.

Can you recall a specific memory with her that was your most favorite growing up?
We would go to a neighborhood called Kerrisdale in Vancouver. It was a long sky-train and bus ride. Whenever we went I would see this blue building outside the Joyce sky-train station and know where we were going. At first I disliked going to Kerrisdale because I wanted to ride the sea bus but over time I started to enjoy eating a gourmet breakfast, checking out the toy and clothing shops and just enjoying the time I spent with my mom. It was always a good time because even though I was young, my mother and I would enjoy long talks while she had coffee, allowing me to converse like an adult and pretend to be one.

Jon Cornish is a Canadian football running back who is currently the starting running back for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). You can follow him on Twitter here or on Instagram

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