I remember like it was last week. I was young into my career as a Professional Triathlete. How I got there was a fantastic journey with numerous failures, losses and painful mistakes ,hours of training with Kenyan, Ecuadorean runners,Russian elite swimmers and top US Pro Cyclists.
Each one possessing a similar trait.
They were willing to push through discomfort, welcome discomfort and find the new Edge to then establish for Success. They were willing to prioritize. And their prioritization was fueled by a passion that was different, unique and desired by those without it. They were obsessed !
I was already winning many races but still striving to find my new Edge for Success. You can be successful, but that Edge to success will change. If you stop learning ,having the will or most important the passion, to improve you will lose success. You are moving forward or backward. There is no such thing as floating in the middle . Floating on your past success is moving back. Yes you will have valleys and times of failure. But those who succeed learn from, welcome, and use adversity for opportunity. There is a passion that others do not have.
What happened next in my life demonstrates: that success is, where you prioritize .
Here is the Day. Big Pro Race in Memphis Tennessee.
85 degree at race start. Swim went well and time to fly on the bike. Bike course was fast and flat with no wind. Temperature rising and humidly extremely high. Went through 1st bottle and almost finished 2nd bottle before off the bike. Wow, great bike ,I moved up into the top Ten in a great field of Elite professionals.
The run started and mile 1 was absolutely scorching! Totally drenched from the body throwing water to skin to keep it cool .My body was so hot but I kept pace to try to get on the podium and pulled past 3 more competitors.
Mile 2 felt like my head was on fire and the profuse sweating that had been was now gone. Pain and pain but really there was none. There was absolutely no shade, high humidity and temperature rising into the 90s . Driving forward with knee ,feet and arms with intense focus on one thing, Success!
-The obsession to succeed.-
Mile 3 whole body was so hot but I just pressed through to keep pace.
-You see Success has a cost.
Mile 4 noticed that pace was suffering but blocked any discomfort or pain.
-Success has a cost.
Skin was now dry and internal temperature skyrocketing .
-Success has a cost.
Mile 5 just in envisioned winning, leaving nothing behind, crossing the finish line.
1 mile to go and pace was way off but I just had to survive to the finish. Finally a bit of shade. 1/2 mile to the finish. I just felt the burning desire , the Obsession to succeed. The Goal , the passion of leaving nothing behind. Giving everything that I could that day. Competition didn’t matter. Weather didn’t matter. Pain didn’t matter.
What did matter is that I valued success more than anything that was thrown at me.
I started to see stars, swayed a little right then left and hit the ground. Body Shutdown.
??? Minutes later I came back into consciousness packed with ice in the medical tent.
My temperature was 106 . When body temperature exceeds105 many go into a coma to not come out. It was a miracle that I was not dead. I was totally fried and had severe Heat Stroke.
-success has a cost.
The long recovery with traditional and alternative medical treatment started. One common diagnosis was that I would never compete at the elite level after the Extreme Heat Stroke. That’s all I needed to hear is a doctor say I “could not.”
I share with you and my athletes that the body is incredible! Absolutely Incredible!!
It can go through so much adversity.
Through the right intensity, cycles, volumes of training success is closer.
Through the right nutrition and supplementation success is closer. Through having fun enjoying what you are doing, success is closer. A 8 year old is not 15 and both have to be treated differently and both need to have fun. A 25 year old needs to have fun . A 50 year old needs to have fun. And Fun happens at its greatest when you have given all!
A coach, a parent , a mentor, a friend can help facilitate that for the athlete. A Great Coach may take athlete, after athlete, after athlete and make them faster and stronger. A Coach may teach an Athlete to understand sport systems, understand training cycles, understand the dynamics of competing and racing and fitness. But then it comes to The Athlete Himself.
People will say that they want it but then you see their actions. They don’t want to succeed in their goals. They want to talk about success. As a coach that is where you differentiate how hard you can push an athlete. An athlete needs goals but make sure when you commit to those goals you are willing to sacrifice to achieve.
A long time ago I had a Friend tell me there are dogs and tigers. “Success feeds the Tigers and Success shoots the dogs.”
A coach or parent can help facilitate a better opportunity for a athlete to reach his potential. But it is then internal to the individual. How bad do they want it.
Do they want it more than TV? Do they want it more than video games? Do they want it more than sleep? Than food? Do they want it more than the pain to press though extreme discomfort?
How bad do you want it ?
I’m talking about you!
It’s not how bad your teammate wants it . It’s not how bad your friend wants it. It’s not how bad your parent wants it.
It is you in the end.
Do you want success more than pleasure or convenience? Do you want success more than pain or discomfort?
If so, then you will be successful!
“Believe It, Conceive It, Achieve It”