Starting off with a quote I lifted just now from Amy Yoder Begley’s facebook post: “EXCELLENCE is the result of caring more than others think is wise, working more than others think is practical, expecting more than others think is attainable & achieving more than others think is possible”. Bingo. As an Olympian Amy knows how to throw it down.
Yeah, yeah Will tell us again about when you and Amy made the Yokohama Ekiden trip together. Nah.
I will however run with her EXCELLENCE theme today. I quoted Percy Cerutty last week, what he described as necessary, especially for the young. What was #5 on his list would have been #1 on mine. “To conquer, to overcome, to be able to demonstrate these abilities.”
That’s your ticket to EXCELLENCE see? It’s about waking up every day intent on meeting the challenges with confidence and an attitude of expected success. And every day is a Challenge or you’re not Really living. Not enjoying the Excellent life. As it was meant and should be lived.
What windmills? Where to tilt? When you reach high and grab the day with both hands, steering the currents instead of merely riding them, you establish momentum that guarantees success. Setting the course, bearing down when necessary, always a firm hand on the helm of your moments.
I can’t attest but I think this would be a good way to approach any Real job.
But I do know how it relates to running. How every run on every day, for me, is about conquering and overcoming. Overcoming my past because it is never vanquished. Conquering my future. Favoring hope over doubt, optimism a key to confidence.
So today I challenge you all to Reach Up. Grab something that makes your senses tingle with EXCELLENCE. Really Live.
In 2004 I had a team of 7 of the best half marathoners in Nebraska signed up for the USA Half Marathon Club Championships. It ended up with only 3 completing the race, Nick Rector, Mike Morgan, and myself. We won. It was the first USA Club Championship title for a male team from Nebraska. And my first national championship at age 46. Was it fate that had me pack my racing flats? Nope, just me looking to catch on to a Very Talented tailwind.
In 2008 I won the 50-54 title at the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25K. Maybe my favorite race in the entire U.S. in Grand Rapids, MI every May. Was it luck I was the first finisher with a USATF membership? Nope, it was me dreaming and believing and achieving my second national championship, and I’m not done yet. Setting my own standards of EXCELLENCE!