How will you respond?

14 Nov

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it. – Woody Hayes

I love that quote my friend Greg emailed to me today along with some other Woody Hayes quotes. For those who don’t know Woody he was the football coach for that crap team in Ohio called the Buckeyes. Truly he was a great coach, a tough guy who liked to play hard hitting football! He was a great leader and teacher and has a lot of great sayings over the years.

But think about that quote and think about me and what I preach sometimes and how I handle the training sometimes. Like a day on the track when you came prepared for one thing and I switched it and had you do something else and taught you the lesson of adapting on the fly and making the most of it.
As an endurance athlete as a marathon runner whatever the final outcome of your race, your training etc… is how you respond to things.
When things go south (and they will!) how do you respond? Do you drop F-bombs and get mad slow down come up with some BS injury do you lose your focus and determination or do you handle it in a more positive manner, keeping a smile pushing as hard as you can (might be slower) but still pushing never giving up dealing with the pain and not losing focus of what you set out to do. People always want to blame someone else for their short comings they want to blame weather, or something other than themselves because well that’s easier to do it’s the weak way out and the easy way of making yourself feel better by blaming some other obstacle other than yourself. And truly that all comes down to like Woody says “how do you respond to it”
So what I’m saying here is things will never go 100% according to plan something will always happen something will always get in your way and so you have to quickly adapt and respond with positive energy and keeping that mental focus.

I can tell you the athletes who succeed and the ones who do well they have mental game, it’s not about the physical part and science and all that. (sure those things help train you as well and yes you have to have physical talents) but you all have that you all put in the time the workouts etc… so when it really comes down to it it’s about the mind and your heart! I always say mind-body-spirit they all have to be in alignment and if they are not you will fail. I don’t care if you nail all your paces in workouts etc… if you don’t have heart! If you don’t have a positive attitude! If you don’t respond to change and obstacles in the right way you will fail! And you have to love pain and welcome the pain cave!

My legs hurt like hell the last 4-5 miles of Chicago this year but I never said anything negative and I always kept digging deeper and deeper in my head and I kept pushing myself as hard as I can until I crossed that line. Sure my pace dropped from what I had been running, sure I ran a slower marathon than I was trained for and thought I could run. But I still ran a PR and I still finished strong leaving it all on the road and with a smile! Because I have heart and because when those obstacles got in front of me I responded to them with the right attitude and outlook!
I will do the same this Sunday when I race Ironman! I might be nervous and I’m sure I will have some dark moments but my face will always have a smile on it even if I’m in pain. And no matter how much pain I might be in I will always keep that relentless forward motion going and no matter what else may happen that day I will respond with a good attitude and make the most of it!

So keep that quote in your head, think about it think about yourself and how you will respond!


Today was my last significant workout; a 6 mile run with a little bit of tempo in it and a 25 minute swim nice and easy. I’m struggling to focus on my work today because my mind is preparing and training for Sunday. So back to work, back to rest and time to travel tomorrow!


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