Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Please ... Tell Me "I Can't!"

I just saw this commercial for FRS Healthy Energy, featuring Denver Broncos Quarterback & 2007 Heisman Trophy Winner Tim Tebow ...

FRS Healthy Energy is a new energy supplement that hasn't hooked me up yet, so I won't ramble give you the "really sincere sales pitch".  But I love this ad! It's kind of a snapshot of my life ... without the superior athlete, National Championships, bizillion $ contract part .  Tell me I can't ... and I will kill myself proving you wrong!

Like a lot of us, I am split right down the middle with who I am ... 

Peaceful, serene & tranquil Jim authors posts about puppies, being a good father, heck ... REO Speedwagon!  He likes to "chillax" (to borrow a phrase from Chris K). He flutters through life encouraging people and doing his best to make you successful.  It's a big part of what drives "Gentle Jim".  He enjoys talking to you at the starting line.  And he's genuinely happy for you if you finish before him in a race.  He's a really sweet guy!

But ultra competitive-to-a-fault Jim always has to be first!  I wouldn't call him cocky, but he gets verrrrrrrrrry upset with himself if he doesn't place in a race.  He's driven, but is sometimes motivated by the wrong things.  He will NEVER be satisfied with his performance.  He can be kind of a jerk!

I know that both of these guys are the balance of who I am, but the second can be comical and immature at times ...
Pathetic, but funny story...
After I had ran a few marathons, my wife was talking to a guy at work who had also ran several. She told him that I wanted to run one in every state, and qualify for Boston.  This guy (whom I still have never met) said, "If he's running marathons that often, he'll never qualify for Boston." 

Now, this guy didn't know me, and meant no harm by his innocent comment ... "he'll never qualify".  But it REALLY PISSED ME OFF!  I told my wife to "call him up, I would race him right now!"  (Did I mention I'm a 42-year old grown man) Two races later, when I did qualify for Boston, one of the first things I said to my wife on the phone was, "Make sure you tell that guy at work that I qualified!" (I'm sure I heard her on the other end rolling her eyes.)

Sad ... I know!  But like a lot of athletes, I sometimes let the simplest little sniff of disrespect motivate me.  I guess it's the "Show-Me State" heritage in me ... it's an "I'll show you" mentality.  Now, I'd be lying if I said his comment was the only thing that motivated me to BQ, but you can take it to the bank that I thought about it often.  I wish I could tell you I was a better person.  That warm thoughts of my family are the single image that light a fire in me while grinding out hills or sucking wind during speed work, but it's just not the case.

Call it petty ... insecure ... misguided ... whatever.  But most of all, call it honest.  I will never be one of the great ones like Gretzky, Jordan, Brady, Kara and Adam Goucher or Alberto Salazar - but read any biography of these competitors and the same picture is painted of them all.  They came to win, and nothing else will do!

How about you?  Does anger/competitiveness/disrespect fire you at times for races or training?  I suspect there's a little of this in all of us.
Be Great Today!


  1. Oh I can completely relate! And I'm a couple of years older than you're forgiven in my book. I will say, however, that on race day, for the most part, I'm competing with myself, not worrying about others. With a few exceptions, of course!

  2. many things motivate us ... when I started running all of 7 months ago, I had people asking me if I checked with my doctor, and that my knees would start hurting soon ... I didn't really want to prove them wrong ... but since then I've lost 42 lbs, 9 belt holes on my belt, ran in three races, and can comfortably run a 10-miler.

    The burning hate motivation only goes so far. When I'm trying to pull out that last negative split before the cool down, and I'm really really hurting, I run through some mental pictures to get me moving. The hate one never gets me up. The one that gets me is usually the saving kids from a burning orphanage !

  3. I am just like that. Let me give you an example. I was out on a ride one day with a friend. We had already ridden about 25 miles. We were just chatting and enjoying the ride. Preparing ourselves for the ride back to the house when this girl on a mountain bike with no bike shoes comes zooming by me and says "You have to use the downhills to get up the next hill." Well, that just irked me beyond belief. I immediately stood up on the pedals and proceeding to whoop her butt up the hill and beyond. And all I could hear from my friend was "Oh no, she didn't just say that!" Yes, it was petty and juvenile. But seriously, she didn't know us from Jack and she felt it necessary to tell me how to get up a hill. No, I don't think so. I do have a fiery competitive side and that is why I am in individual sports!

  4. Excellent post, and honest too! I think we are a mixture like you say. I'm most competitive with myself. However when I'm in a Dragon Boat practice or race, I look at who is sitting in the same positon as me in the next boat, and I think, I'm gonna kick her ass!

  5. I love that Tebow commercial. Every time it comes on, I have to stop whatever I am doing and watch it!!!

  6. Maybe we should tell Chris K he'll never BQ? Might backfire, we'll make that Plan B.

  7. Heh. I'm competitive too... Difference between me and you is I really never will BQ :D

    (My most annoying comment I've heard? When someone said they were going to pace with me because they were too sick to actually race. GRRRRR)

  8. I'm with got the blood pumping with that post... It's almost funny how defensive we are when it comes to being competitive... I say whatevs - go for it!

    Even though I'll never win a race I'm so competitive with myself. Always trying to be better...

  9. Good story! I would want that guy to know I qualified too!


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