Monday, June 11, 2012

Winning Is Hard

No shit! Right!!
  But I am not talking about winning is the literal sense. Winning to achieve your goals. Any goals. Particularly the big ones. "Aim High" is the slogan of the US air force. How many Air force pilots do you know?  likely none. you know why?  it takes the best. the "best of the best".  higher the goal the harder it will be to achieve. there are guys who place on teh podium at IM Hawaii every year. will i ever break teh top ten. No Way.
   Here's the deal.  We get complacent with ourselves and others with the type of results we expect. But when your really aiming high, you get competitive. When your competitive it does not matter if you had a great day, if the course suited your strengths, if you set a new 5 minute power record or a new run pr. You have to beat the other guy. bottom line.
   My friend Steve Johnson just did the Eagleman 70.3. He was trying to qualify for the Hawaii Ironman world championships in October.  for his 5th time or something.  He won his AG like he has at so many other races so many times. He has what I call the Killer Blow in long distance triathlon. a very VERY strong bike and an even strong, faster run. You simply can't win. He executed his normal anonymous swim (very solid but anonymous) thundered his way to 2nd in his AG by T2 ran down the leader by mile 8 and strided in, walking the last 15-20 feet to the line. well done ho humm. right?
   His story is very different.
Its filled with self doubt during the swim, mind blowing fast running (6:15 pace for 13.1 miles. I get nauseous just typing that) a dropped food bottle in the beginning of the bike. short on calories and, I quote, "I was barley able to keep my self up right in the last 3 miles of the run"
Sounds pretty epic. 
 Yet, its like this every time. The end result may be the same but the path we take, the ingredients that go into getting these finial out comes are NEVER easy and vary greatly.
A friend of mine who I lived with for some time loves to tell stories about how I would always make chocolate chip cookies.
 "No matter what normal cookie ingredients we did NOT have Eric would still figure it out. We still had cookies and they were still good. One time there was coffee grounds in them! they were amazing!" 

Many times we forget how hard it was to get to our top steep. We remember feeling great "that" day. crushing those threshold intervals, dropping fast Freddy on the group ride.  Or that road race that just seemed... easy.  Its the hard days that make you better. A better person, a better athlete. And lets be fair, you're not going to be great every day, give your self a break...

stay smart, stay safe, stay tough

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