Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Key To Success

I received an email a few days ago from a fellow runner that brought to light a dilemma I think a lot you have out there. The concern goes something like this “…I don't feel like running is coming any easier to me. It seems as if I am stuck…”

What I’m about to say is not only good advice for running and training for a marathon, but for life in general. In fact I’m going to go as far as to say if you listen to and apply this advice you will not only be successful in your marathon training, but successful in everything you do in life. So I guess you could say this is the key to a successful life. You might want to take note!

In addition to running cross country in high school, I was on the wrestling team. Now let me be perfectly honest, wrestling didn’t come naturally to me. I started in 8th grade, and by the time I was a sophomore in high school I think I had won a few matches…if that! I pretty much spent those three years pinned on my back. That’s three years of hard work, with basically no “visual” results. But here is the key: I didn’t give up. I continued to work hard, practice, and train. Then when my junior year came something happened… something clicked. I was as surprised as everyone else. Those kids that used to beat up on me in practice were suddenly no match for me. I wasn’t sure at the time what was going on, but I did know one thing, I was actually good! My first match of the year came and guess what…I won! The second match came…another victory. Then the third…you guessed it: I won. It was a long time ago so the details are a little fuzzy, but I went more than 20 matches undefeated! I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had applied a time tested key to success that led to my achievements in wrestling.

Fast forward to today. You are training for your first marathon and you seem to hit a plateau. Maybe you just can’t get past that ten mile run. You have tried over and over, but you just can’t do it. I know how you feel, and I’m here to tell you I have the answer.

You are going to want to take out a pencil and write this down. No, scratch that. You should open up a word document and copy and paste what I’m about to say, print it out and tape it on your mirror so you see it every morning.

That which you persist in doing becomes easier to do.
Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed, but that your ability to do it has increased!
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There you have it from one of the greatest poets/philosophers/writers in American history. Don’t give up! If you keep training it will click. Whether it is tomorrow, or three years from now, you will see success…you will accomplish your goal. You just have to stick to it. So when you hit those plateaus in your marathon training push through it. Realize that it’s not failure; it’s not that you can’t do it; you just need to give it more time…more persistence.

There you go. I just gave you the key to a successful life. I unknowingly discovered it as a young high school student, but ever since have applied it to everything I do. Now it’s up to you to apply this time tested secret to your marathon training, and everything else in your life as well. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.