Thursday, April 17, 2014
Remember the 1979 classic "Meatballs". Love this movie and love this scene where Trippper (Bill Murray) delivers a motivational speech to the campers who are worried about their annual competition with another camp.
A couple of days ago my friend Julie who I have known since we were at Syracuse together back in the mid to late 80's asked me if I was writing on Just A Mile To Go anymore. I gave her several excuses but the truth is I have not made the time. Hopefully Julie's encouragement and willingness to help out will give me that little kick in the pants I need. Here is what Julie has to say.
"It was much easier for me to ask Eric to get back to his blog so I could enjoy his thoughts. But my old important college friend, who introduced me to the Princess Bride said if I have something to say I should write. So here is what I have to say, IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER.
|Julie and son|
I am a competitive person, I don’t like to be last and in most aspects of my life I am up front, except for running. I have been humbled, I have been blistered and I have learned the same lesson again and again, “it just doesn’t matter”. Eric will always run more miles than me, but others will run many fewer miles than me. And that just doesn’t matter. So what doesn’t matter? That after a winter of insane cold, insane work and insane sick I feel like a beginning runner. It just doesn’t matter that my times are back in the 10-minute mile range. It just doesn’t matter that I start my run with my friends but usually end alone and behind. It just doesn’t matter that my running partners had a great winter training season and I am jealous.
|Julie and Danny|
And if yesterday I finally had a sub 10 run, it just doesn’t matter because tomorrow I might have a sub 11. It just doesn’t matter because even with injury, blisters, snow, rain, and lack of sleep it matters that running makes me better. Better mom, wife, professor and friend. A better Julie. And for all of those shitty runs, the early mornings and the miserable first two miles that don't matter, today’s run, with the sun shining, all the chores for the day done and sub 10 miles shows me that I will probably have to keep learning the lesson over and over but it is worth it, because I get to be a runner."
Julie's point, if I may opine, is one of the most relevant when it comes to running. I am not taking away from the fact that we as runners often work tirelessly with specific time or distance goals in mind and often fall short. This can seem extremely disappointing at the time. But in the end Julie is right, "It just doesn't matter". First of all lets be honest. There are much more important and disappointing things going on in this world that are more catastrophic than missing a pr. For our purpose here, what matters is how we handle these moments and how our journey through running impacts our journey in life. I ask you the following question in several variations. To me what matters is if I answer yes to the following.
Do your failures and successes....
- change the way you attempt to solve problems?
- make you stronger?
- make you a better person, husband, father, friend businessman?
- drive you to pay it forward?
Ahhhh....feels good to write again even if it was only a couple of paragraphs. It's the thought that counts right? Thanks Julie!
Friday, January 10, 2014
the act determining upon an action or course of action, method,procedure, etc.
I do not consider myself a linguist by any stretch but as I see it, here is the problem. A resolution is an act, only to the extent that it is a decision you make. Therefore, the moment you make that decision, its gone. The decision that is. We all still need to act on that resolve, each and every day. After about 7 years of following through on my commitments to run and raise money, here are a number of things that I believe can help anyone fulfill their resolution. I think this can apply to all goals that require consistency and dedication over a long period of time but of course I will be more specific to exercise.
- Take it one day at a time. If your goal is months away you can't rush to the end. It takes time. Commit to whatever you need to do tomorrow and get up and do it. If you miss a day, don't beat yourself up. You can't get there in a day and you can't destroy the dream in a day either. Get over it and do it tomorrow.
- Pace yourself. Remember, it takes time. If you try to do too much, too soon, you may injure yourself or simply burn out.
- Set attainable goals that will gradually build up your conditioning and maybe more importantly your confidence. As you learn more about yourself in this process including how you handle failure and success, you can start to set loftier goals.
- Share your goals with others. I find telling people is further motivation to succeed. You may also be surprised at the interest and support you will receive from your family, friends and co-workers.
- Ask questions. If you don't know what you are doing ask someone. If you don't know how to use a machine ask someone. If you need help coming up with a program ask. You can pay for this advise or simply ask others who are at the gym or who you know run, workout, etc. I have found over the years particularly in the endurance community that most are very willing, even eager to share ideas and experiences to help others.
- Read! There is so much material out there on whatever your interests are that can help you design your path and get through it safely and successfully.
- Do it for a cause. There is no greater incentive than doing something you enjoy while helping others. There is no greater reward than when someone says thank you. Find a charity that is meaningful to you, then find an event you have never done before and do it for the benefit of that charity in recognition of someone.
- Have fun! Although it takes work, it should not always feel like work. Find ways to make it fun. Change it up. Different locations, routines, people etc.
- Most importantly always remember, YOU CAN DO IT, just stick with it.
Don't let history dictate you. Get up tomorrow and dictate your new history.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Everyone remembers their first time. After months or even years of anticipation, when the moment has finally arrived, you can't believe it's actually going to happen. You have butterflies in your stomach and are so excited you don't know if you are going to throw up or laugh uncontrollably. Maybe you should just run away to save embarrassment for poor performance. But you don't. Somehow you manage to keep it together just long enough to begin.
As I think back to my first time, I can feel those butterflies. This week however, I am on the sidelines. Tani is running her first marathon, Marine Corps in DC and I will be in my rightful place, as supporter and crew. I wish I could simply turn off the pre-race jitters switch, and turn up her confidence. But I know that is not possible and I will therefore listen, yes listen and do my best not to comment. There is nothing I can really do beyond that as she needs to go through this torturous time and learn for herself.
While Tani (and all other first timers who have put in the effort) should feel good about what lies ahead, knowing that all the sacrifices are about to pay off.....That is not how it works. Nerves take over as we panic and every little thing is a major issue. Here are some examples of thoughts that may be running through her mind right now:
- "My foot hurts, it's probably a stress fracture. No way I can do this with my foot this way"
- "I feel like I am getting sick, must be the flu. No way I can do this feeling this way"
- "I missed my long run a few weeks ago. I did not train enough. No way I can do this on such little training"
- "What was I thinking??? There is no way I can do this."
As the fall marathon season is in full swing, the air is filled with anxious thoughts from 1st time marathoners, and many experienced runners too. It may fall on deaf ears right now but to all and especially my wife I say this - "You may not feel this way until you cross that finish line but you are ready. Enjoy this moment, savor every second, because like most first experiences, this one too will be over much faster than expected."
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Three weeks ago with the support of so many amazing people I ran/walked 164 miles in 48 Hours, completing 27 loops in New York City's Central Park. Most importantly we raised over $110,000 for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation as we continue to do what we can to help find more effective treatments and eventually a cure for cancer. I am still struggling to find the words to meaningfully share this journey so for now I hope this amazing montage Tani put together will suffice.
Friday, September 13, 2013
One week from today I will begin running in New York City's Central Park to raise money and awareness for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. I along with my wife, family and friends have been on this journey to help find a cure for all cancers since 2007. To support our efforts please like our Facebook Page and more importantly DONATE HERE to fund critical research. Peace and thank you!
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
|Living with Multiple Myeloma since 2008 Pam inspires me with grace and courage!|
Albert Einstein said “Life is like riding a bike. To maintain your balance you must keep moving.” This was brought to my attention by the young man who spoke at my sonʼs 8th grade graduation a few weeks ago. Yes, thatʼs right a 14 year old boy about to move forward into high school got me thinking. What exactly is it that keeps us in balance? Is it simply moving forward with our training wheels slightly above the ground? To truly experience the ride, sometimes you need to take off those training wheels and go flying down a hill even at the risk of a few bumps and bruises.
So what motivates us? For some, basic personal drive provides enough incentive to take chances. The simple will to succeed or experience something new is ample fuel to actually risk failure? For most of us however, I think we need a little something else, “Inspiration”. So where does inspiration come from? Where do you find yours?
- Watching your children fearlessly glide from one year to the next?
- Holding the hand of your partner as she gives birth to your child?
- Watching someone dear to you fight an invisible killer to stay alive?
- Witnessing a man or woman accomplish physical feats you canʼt imagine?
Whatever it is, when it happens I believe in taking that fire, lit by another and running with it. I have been inspired by my children, my wife, friends and strangers. The thing is, I never know where itʼs going to come from. So I canʼt actually say I find inspiration, it finds me. When it does, I feel this insatiable appetite to take a chance. The need to get out there and do something that scares the hell out of me, knowing I could get hurt or even worse, FAIL.
Donʼt let fear of failure hold you back. Being balanced does not mean never falling down. Use the incredible actions of those around you to become the inspiration others will feed off of.
Get inspired and pass it on.