Dr. Jeremy Zoch: An Invitation To Intentional Living

Following the release of his book, Life Lived Well, Dr. Jeremy Zoch opens up on success, perspective, and being inspired by his grandfather.

Many people spend a lifetime trying to find their true calling. Dr. Jeremy Zoch’s book, Life Lived Well, released in October 2023, is “an invitation to embrace a life that is intentional, active and treasured.” The book, a project Zoch began after a trip to Africa, is a collection of tips, insights and inspirations that encourage readers to reflect, celebrate and forgive.

“When I was in Africa we had a chance to really disconnect,” he says. “There was a little bit of WiFi but for the most part you get up and follow the path of the animals. There was enough time and we were far enough away that I got the chance to unwind.”

On that trip, he heard the guides talking about how they usually work for two months before having two weeks off. Since it had been several years since he himself had taken two weeks off, it was a call to action that he should be doing things differently. “I wanted to take more time off and be more intentional about things I kept saying I was going to do. Some were simple, like playing more tennis. I also wanted to start writing a book.”

For five months, Zoch told no one he was writing that book. He’d get up early and put everything that came to mind on paper in an attempt to learn how he ended up as the person he is today. “As I was writing and looking back at those events, I noticed most of my growth happened in my most challenging times,” he says. “People helped make an impact. Leaders, mentors, families and friends. As I put it together, I felt it was a powerful story that should be shared with others.”

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Since its publication Zoch notes that feedback has centred on one consistent thought: This book arrived for people at the right time. He shares how readers with medical diagnoses have reached out to say it’s uplifting, inspiring them to do what they want to do. “Whether it’s chair yoga, meditation or a simple walk through the house, it’s inspiring them to be the best they can be, and for that to be enough.”

With that in mind, he says the book is intended for those who believe they’re doing well and finding success in many areas but also want to slow down and take a deeper look at other areas in their life. “It’s a gift for you to spend time on yourself, to be at your best and look through a broader lens,” he notes.

“As I was writing and looking back at those events, I noticed most of my growth happened in my most challenging times. People helped make an impact. Leaders, mentors, families and friends. As I put it together, I felt it was a powerful story that should be shared with others.”

An executive, teacher, athlete, musician and family man, California- based Zoch has an impressive résumé. In addition to working at leading healthcare institutions including Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic Health System, he’s completed 40 marathons in over 30 American states.

Sharing that he had a childhood filled with love and a lot of backyard baseball, he says he was always encouraged to dream and to pursue his ambitions to be a professional athlete or musician.

When asked who made the greatest impact in his life, Zoch says it was his grandfather, a carpenter who also served in the Second World War. “In his mid- to-late twenties, he had a stroke that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body and didn’t expect the doctor to tell him he wouldn’t be able to walk again,” Zoch shares. “He walked the entire time I knew him. He’d do his best to be active, walk and continue his carpentry. In that time, he built the house we grew up in, working side by side with my father, who’s also a carpenter.”

Another driving force Zoch gives thanks to is a young-couples group he attended through his church over 30 years ago. “After we’d been so focused on career, just starting out, it felt like such a different opportunity to slow down, reflect and say, ‘Who are you?’”

All of this has prompted him to change his approach to challenges and his outlook on life, as well as his definition of success. Today, he believes it’s not about winning or grabbing the gold medal but instead pursuing excellence by doing your best.

“Success is also taking on challenges that feel like a big job, but [that] you’re able to do successfully. Whether it’s an Iron Man run or a 100-mile road race, it’s being able to sign up and have all those butterflies in your stomach, saying, ‘I don’t know how to do this,’ but working methodically and intentionally to show up on the day of the race at your very best.”

For all the successes Zoch has achieved, he’s quick to emphasize the influence of others, whether mentors, friends or people like his grandfather. That is perhaps why, when asked what he cherishes most, he says it’s the time he spends with people.

“I can go through a lot of challenges but in most of my marathons I run side by side with my brother. I know in the 100-mile race, if he wasn’t by my side I would have lost interest and done something else. It’s togetherness, relationships and being present. It doesn’t have to be a large party – as I found out through the pandemic, you don’t have to be doing anything at all. Being with the people you love is what’s most important to me.”


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Josh Walker

Josh Walker