“I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we’re all cowards.”
-Alberto Salazar, three-time winner of the NYC marathon
I recently had the privilege of meeting Hazel Clark, 3-time Olympic Runner. I was attending the Women’s Leadership Forum presented by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and The Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. As we gathered to eat lunch after attending some wonderful breakout sessions on women in business, the hostess introduced Hazel and she rose to speak to us about her transition from career runner to career motivator and Health and Wellness Ambassador. The more she spoke about her experience, the more I nodded my head until I almost nodded it right off my body. See, she conveyed what all running coaches know and what I try to drill into my clients’ heads also.
Have a short-term memory. Hazel shared how she almost let a failure set her back and take from her an enormous Olympic win. Failing is part of life. But wallowing in that failure is going to rob life from you. You can’t let failure have the last word. Forget about it and move on. Keep running towards that goal. If you trip and fall along the way, get up and keep going.
Have a champion mindset. A champion mindset sees the goal and keeps moving towards it. Using that short-term memory, staying positive and continuing to work at achieving the goal rather than giving up entirely. Turn that negative outcome into something positive and learn from any mistakes along the way. Those mistakes or failures are part of learning success. Whether you come in first or last, running will teach you many of life’s greatest lessons in dealing with setbacks and staying the course.
Leave it all on the track. Simply put, do your best – every time. We all know when we’re not giving it our all. Always give it all. Just when you think you don’t have anything left, there’s still a little bit left to give or a little farther you can run. Sure, some days we’re just tired, distracted, or not feeling well. But always give everything you can. I never regret a workout. Apart from illness, I always regret not doing one. While I never condone running through an injury or running when resting is necessary, sticking to a training plan is key to running success.
Take the first step. My specialty is working with women who are beginning runners or who want to take it to the next level. I want women to not be afraid to try because they’re too intimidated by those who are always winning races. I want these ladies to know that running is very personal and every person who gets up and tries and finishes is a winner! A huge part of life is finishing the drill. Some only want to win awards, but most just want to enjoy it and run injury-free and enjoy the journey (and scenery) that comes with running. Running smart is the best running!
It’s comforting to know that even Olympic runners experience the exact same struggles that those of us who will never go to the Olympics experience. No matter the pace, no matter the race, we’ve all found this common ground.
For more info on how to get started with running or improve, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!