Today I started a new book that I had been anticipating for a few months. It is entitled Run or Die. Before you check out, let me tell you something about the things that interest me. I am intrigued (probably to a fault) by elite athletes. I dont care if they are runners or CrossFiters or Basketball players. Tiger Woods, Lebron James, Michal Phelps, and Rich Froning all have something to share and something we can learn from. This book is written by Killian Jornet…Who? Jornet is the premiere endurance athlete on the PLANET. His VO2 Max is light years ahead of Lance Armstrong’s PED filled body and his record of victories is comparable with no one. He has won 100 mile ultra marathons, 1 kilometer vertical races and has been the dominate force is Ski Mountaineering Racing for almost a decade. What that means to you is that he is the best a Murph AND Fran. I am intrigued by elite athletes, not because of their dominance or their victories but because of their single minded DEDICATION to winning. For them victory is all. Anything is less is devastation. While we cannot all devote the time that they do, we can learn something from their effort and focus. I am constantly surprised by the lack of dedication and focus found in our society. There are no short cuts. It takes time. It will hurt. You will suffer. Again. And Again. And Again. And if you hold to that principal then you will have the results you want…period.
Here is page 1 from Run or Die. See if it resonates with you.
This was posted on the door of Killian’s flat in his formative years of training to be the best:
“Kiss or Kill. Besa o mata. Kiss gory or die in the attempt. Lossing is death; winning is life. The fight is what decides the victory, The winner. How often have rage and pain made you cry? How often has exhaustion made you lose your memory, voice, common sense? And how often in this state have your exclaimed, with a broad smile on your face, “The final stage! Two more hours! Go, onward and upward! That pain only exists in your head. Control it, destroy it, eliminate it, and keep on. Make your rivals suffer. Kill them.” I am selfish, right? Sort is selfish, because you must be selfish to know how to fight on while you suffer, to love solitude, and hell. Stopping, coughing, feeling cold, not feeling you legs, feeling sick, vomiting, getting headaches, cuts, bleeding..can you thing of anything better?
The secret isnt in your legs, but in your strength of mind. You need to go for a run when it is raining, windy, and snowing, when lightening sets trees on fire as you pass them, when snowflakes or hailstones strike your legs and body in the storm and make you weep, and in order to keep running, you have to wipe away the tears to see the stones, walls or sky. the strength of mind to say no to hours of partying, to good grades, to a pretty girl, to the bedsheets against your face. To put soul into it, going out into the rain until your legs bleed from the cuts when you slip on the mud and fall to the ground, and then get back on your feet and continue uphill until your legs cry out, “Enough!” and leave you marooned in a storm on the remotest peaks, until you die.
Leggings soaked by snow, driven by the wind that sticks to your face and freezes your sweat. Feeling the pressure from your legs, the weight of your body bearing down on the metatarsals in your toes, pressure that can shatter rocks, destroy planets and move continents. Legs suspended in the air, gliding like an eagle, or running faster than a cheetah. Running downhill, slipping on the snow and mud before driving yourself on anew, and suddenly you are free to fly, to shout our in the heart of the mountain, with only the most intrepid rodents and birds hidden in their nests beneath the rocks as your confessors. Only they know your secrets, your fears. Because losing is death. And you should not die before you have given your all, have wept from the pain and the wounds. And you cannot surrender. You must fight on to the death. Because glory is the greatest, and you can either aspire to glory or fall by the wayside. You cannot simply not fight, not suffer, not die….Now is the time to suffer, the time to fight, time to win. Kiss or kill.”
When is your time to suffer, fight and win? And if not now..then when?