On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.
A memorable moment. My oldest son has had some recent frustrations in his athletic career, none that I would assess as his “fault.” It reminded me of something similar that I’d gone through in my high school career, and an idea formulated in my mind on how to explain this to him.
I brought him with me to the base of a steep hill, about eighty yards high and shared with him that similar experience I’d had in the past. Then I went on to explain how a hill is a powerful metaphor in life. Hills, like adversity will always be there. Despite our best efforts, we can’t avoid them all, we can only control how we deal with them. Then to sink that lesson in, I told him we’d both sprint up and down that hill ten times, to remind ourselves that we are people that know how to handle adversity. We did the ten, and he made us go two more times which I loved. Afterwards, we had a great talk and he told me how much better he felt about everything.
A good reminder for me. On Saturday, I was out on a 5-mile run, and was thinking about the fact that runs such as these were getting comfortable for me. As a result, I decided to run the third mile as fast as I could. I shaved about 2 minutes off my usual pace for that mile and exerting myself in that manner made the final two miles more of a challenge.
I believe that when you are in a comfort zone, the best thing you can do is push the envelope a little bit. In this instance, I reminded my body that I had another gear I hadn’t been using as often as I should be. This is true in physical endeavors, business, and life as well. From time to time, remind your body and mind who is in charge by going past your normal level of exertion, and you will be pleased with the results.
Two things I believe everyone needs. I am fond of saying that everyone needs hope and hard facts, a term I learned in ultra-running. Hope is a vital part of life. It creates the initial spark that leads toward a goal, gives us strength to keep moving forward, and allows us to see the light when it feels we are in darkness. Everything wonderful in our world begins as hope.
However, hard facts are crucial too. These are the reality checks we all need but may not want to hear. For example, you may have the hope that you can lose weight and get in better shape, but if you’re eating fast food constantly and not exercising, it won’t happen. That is a hard fact.
Do not ever allow yourself to lose hope, you don’t want to live in a world without it. At the same time, keep it real. If you’re not getting it done, don’t make excuses, just start doing whatever is necessary to get where you want to go.
What does being competitive mean to me? I believe being competitive is about you and creating the best possible performance or person that you can be. An opponent can be strong or weak, so judging yourself solely only on outcome is not enough. As a coach, I’ve had teams that over-achieved only to end up two games below .500. I’ve been prouder of some of these teams than others with better records. Some of my proudest races were when I overcame adversity but didn’t necessarily finish where I envisioned. Competing means that you exhaust your ability to make yourself great. You exert yourself, strive for more each time, and attempt things that might even be above your pay grade. Most importantly, you do this regardless of whether anyone is there to witness it or not. That is being competitive to me.
Some quotes I love.
“A lot of things have broken my heart but fixed my vision.” – Diamond Dallas Page
“The days you don’t want to are the days you need to.”
“If you gonna piss like a puppy, stay on the porch and let the big dogs eat.” – Jamaal Williams
“A lot of people tell me to stop and smell the roses. My response to that is ‘well who the f waters them, trims them and fertilizes them?’ There’s a reason those roses smell. Someone’s got to do the work.” – Joe DeSena
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi
“Winners don’t focus on the pain and suffering. All they see is the end result. Winning.”
“Be thankful for what you have. Be fearless for what you want.”
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