What I Learned Attending My First Marathon
June 1, 2015
Forgive me my barbell brethren, for I have sinned.
I’m a self-proclaimed meathead. Yet I spent this past weekend attending my first marathon.
I didn’t shake my head at the collection of nipple chafing and “confused” people training “wrong.”
My biceps didn’t atrophy.
I didn’t, by mere physical proximity, lose 12 inches off my vertical jump.
Far from it. I was intrigued, inspired, and impressed.
The running community has it figured out. Weekend warriors, powerlifters, CrossFitters, and bodybuilding tribes all need to catch up.
I know, it’s crazy. Right?
Let me explain:
Since January, I’ve watched my wife Lauren crush her workouts. Ten degrees or eighty, rain or shine, sore or fresh… she got it done.
No “I’m too busy,” or “it’s too cold.”
No “I’m traveling, and working out is too hard.”
By all means, she did exactly what all high-performance beasts do— she showed grit.
Problem is, most people I know in the fitness industry would scoff at the idea of someone “running” being high performance. They think running an endurance event is somehow inferior to every other fitness pursuit.
Shamefully, I’ve perpetrated this myth through my bias as an athlete and coach of mostly power and anaerobic events.
“Running is catabolic, it breaks you down and zaps your strength.”
“You’ll lose muscle and get/stay skinny fat.”
“Running is easy, I could do that.” (Note: most new clients can barely skip or stay on their feet beyond bilateral exercises. So no, you probably couldn’t.)
Before you gasp and send research to @Eric_Bach attempting to back-up any of these beliefs…arguing semantics and physiology isn’t the point of this post. Greg Nuckols already dismissed most of them here.
Instead, here’s the deal:
Being a high performance beast is about setting a goal, then finding a way to get it done.
It’s developing the warrior mindset of pride, passion, and persevering through the inevitable roadblocks that stand between you, and whatever you’re looking to achieve.
It’s the process and the mindset that makes you a bad-ass…not the event.
More simply, it’s not hoisting an elite powerlifting total. It’s improving your technique and attacking your weaknesses without fail.
It’s not about running the marathon at a specific time. It’s about running rain or shine — whether you want to or not.
It’s not hitting your fat loss goal, it’s making incremental changes to your lifestyle to make sure the weight stays off.
It’s not signing the business contract at the end of your meeting. Instead, it’s knowing the product inside out, and preparing g to the best of your ability.
Being high-performance isn’t simply about the end result—it’s the process of preparing to the best of your ability.
I have a new respect and mindset toward the running community.
Far and away, runners created the most positive competitive environment I’ve ever seen.
Sure, I saw skinny fat bodies, technical breakdown in running mechanics, and dudes with bloody nipples.
Still, I saw plenty of jacked physiques, big biceps, and smooth athletes completely in the zone mastering their craft. At the end, zipping around Minneapolis to cheer on Lauren was an overwhelmingly positive experience.
She showed me how much of a high-performance bad-ass she really is.
She opened my eyes to put my personal training preferences and biases aside.
She set a goal and outlined the process, then made no excuses and got it done.
Being a high-performance bad-ass isn’t your deadlift. It’s not your training style. It’s not your marathon, nor your income. It’s the process of setting your goal, seeing it through to the end, then smashing it.
As Lauren put it, the race was just the victory lap. The real competition was the process of getting there.
Will you step up to the plate and master the process?
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