Tag Archives: NYC

Every Day Is Today

I miss teaching.
Especially on days like today.

But, if I was… this what I would say:

You don’t remember. That’s okay. You were a baby. Maybe you were not even born yet. It doesn’t matter.

I’m not going to tell you stories about the day. You’ll get those from someone else, and from TV, the radio and the newspapers. You don’t listen to the radio, do you?  You should. And you should read newspapers too.

Anyway…

I just want you to walk a little softer today. Can you do that? And talk a little more. Especially to people you don’t normally talk to. Today isn’t a normal day after all.

And look both ways. People will come at you from the left and the right. Offer them a smile. It helps sometimes and if it doesn’t help… you will be smiling and that’s a good thing. We need more smiling today.

Less shouting please. No shouting actually. Open a few more doors. Don’t honk your horn either. Yield. Slow down for that yellow light today. Listen to some music.

Give out some hugs. Remember, you may even get one back when you do. That’s a pretty good deal.

Tell the people you love that you love them. Some words are more than just words. Love is one of those words.

I know you don’t remember that day 16 years ago. But you can remember that some people will never forget.

Today is September 11th for you and I and everyone else. But for some people yesterday was September 11 and tomorrow will be September 11th all over again. Every day is 9/11 for some people.

Remember that.

Thanks for listening.

The rest of class is yours.

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The Best Times Are Not On Your Watch

Running is all about the times. Sure, other things matter but the times are what define you. The times are what tell you whether you really have done your best. Whether it was worth it. Whether you took to the starting line one person and reached the other line someone different, better. 

The times tell the story. 

Like the time you decided you’d stop making excuses and get out the damn door. Or the time you ran an entire mile and then a second and a third without stopping. Or the time you ran and didn’t want to stop. 

There may have been a time when you found yourself holding on to the pace for dear life or the time you took the pace and it scared the life right back into you. That time you signed up for the Speed Run and it was at the track. And the time you walked off the track and realized the only imposter there was the version of you that didn’t believe. There was the time you ran on a day that screamed you didn’t have to because of rain or wind or heat or work or too many beers or because you just didn’t have to. And the time you ran and ran further and ran faster than you ever had before. 

That time you looked around mid run at the people you were with and realized there may not be matching uniforms or a fight song or anything other than the run that brings you together but they are your teammates. That time you knew those teammates you run with had become a part of your family. 

That time you climbed onto the roof of a big rig because you had to cheer as loud and as crazily as you could for another runner. 

That time you ran for no reason other than you run – because you are a runner. 

Yeah, running is all about the times. 

And sometimes those times have to do with the numbers on your watch. 

But usually they don’t. 

Between The Lines

(I originally posted this on Instagram before the 2014 NYC Marathon. I thought it might be a good idea to repost it now. Good luck to every runner racing this Spring. Enjoy the journey between the lines.)
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 It’s not going to be perfect. And it’s best to come to terms with that now.
You are going to go out too slow or too fast or fall asleep in the middle or come up short or have too much at the end. You may cramp because you drank too little and you may cramp because you drank too much. You may be sick and feel like crap. You may be healthy and feel like crap.
It’s not going to be perfect.
You have weaknesses. You screw up and make mistakes. You have doubts. You get scared.
Because you’re not perfect either.
But you’re not doing this because you thought you were perfect. You are doing this because you know you are getting Stronger. Because you are learning every day about yourself. And you Believe you can do this. And because being Scared is OK. Being scared reminds you that you are Alive. And sometimes you need to be reminded.
And you should celebrate that you are not perfect. That means you Always have something you can work on, Challenge yourself on. You know what you can be is Better.
You know what you can be is your Best.
You just can’t be perfect.
So this mile, this run, this marathon, this journey between these start and  finish lines can be Life Changing. It can be Inspiring. It can be a Triumph.
It can be so many amazing things.
It just can’t be perfect.
It doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be Extraordinary.
And neither do you.

Coaching Change

One of the things I love about coaching is that every day I am dealing with new athletes. It might be the same person in a literal sense but they are constantly changing as athletes. Yesterday always inspires today. And today will inspire tomorrow. That’s exciting to me.

How will the athlete react to these changes? To the potential they feel? To the glimpse of greatness they saw? To the setback(s)? To the enormity of the future? To the lack of a finish line? Will they overcome? Will they be overcome?

Will I?

If we’re really trying to get better, be better – than we have already agreed that we are trying to change. This change demands adjustments – and flexibility. And it demands us to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Change isn’t easy. It’s far simpler and easier to have your truth be the only one, your schedule to be written in pen instead of pencil, and to allow no second attempts after failure – or worse, no failure in your life at all.

But none of you run (live) expecting it to be easy. You run (live) because you are looking for change.

So I’ll show up at practice. Looking forward to seeing so many familiar faces on so many new athletes.

That’s one thing I hope never changes.

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Post inspired by listening to Archers of Loaf. Weird where the spark comes from sometimes. That’s why you always have to be looking.

A New Year Toast

Before the clock strikes midnight and you lose your deposit on the carriage raise a glass to yourself.

Toast that you’re here.
Toast those that are not.
Toast those that still are.
Toast those that push you.
Toast those that pull you.
Toast those that believe in you.

Toast that you believe.

Toast that you can’t truly believe in anything until you believe in yourself.
Toast that you know that.

Toast your success.
Toast your failure.
Toast how high you reached and how hard you fell.
Toast getting back up.

Toast the times you came up short.
Toast how far you have come.
Toast how much you learned.
Toast how little you know.

Toast that you are ready to line up on another starting line.
Toast all those miles left to run.
Toast that there is so much you’ve yet to accomplish.
And toast that you won’t accomplish anything unless you accomplish it yourself.

Like this toast.

And finally, toast that you will toast more this year.

Now I’ll toast to that.

Cheers
and Happy New Year

It’s Not Easy But It Is Wonderful

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – Clarence –  Guardian Angel, Second Class

It’s just not Christmas until I’ve seen ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. And it’s not until George Bailey’s guardian angel, Clarence, utters those words to a confused and distraught George that George gets it and he is finally ready to live again. Every year I watch it. And every year I finish it a little bit better of a person. Because I walk away having learned something different each time. A year of life passes between my viewings. I’m not the same person I was when I saw it last. So, in a way, I am always seeing it for the first time. And this year I teared up as always when Sam Wainwright’s telegram gets read and, well…I’ll just let you know what I thought about as I listened to the bells ring. (Attaboy Clarence!)

It’s not easy being there for someone else – when they need you – instead of just being there when you can. It’s not easy to stay behind when you want to lead. It’s not easy to lead the way when you’re just as scared as everyone else. It’s not easy to carry the load when you want to be carried. Life just isn’t easy. And maybe that’s what it’s about – those tough times where we get to lead and protect, the hard times when we get to stay behind and give the spotlight to someone else, the exhausting times when we get to take the burden off someone else’s shoulders, those moments when we get to carry each other.

Not HAVE to. We GET to.

It’s George Bailey who gets saved at the end. A man who saved people his entire life. It’s George there at the end who is the one needing to be carried and led and shown the light. It’s George who is surrounded by people willing to sacrifice for him as he had for so long for them.

We all have a few George Bailey’s in our life. Today seems like a good day to thank them and be thankful for them.

And WE are all George Bailey to someone else. Today seems like a good day to remember that and be thankful for that too. It’s a gift to be able to touch other people’s lives.

Be here. Fill up your hole. And you will fill up the holes in so many other people’s lives while your at it.

That’s a wonderful life.

Merry Christmas

Running Through A Moment

We remember our lives as singular moments. The most exciting part is we don’t usually know when one, an always and forever remembered one, is taking place. Sometimes though – we do. Last night I had one. And I knew it. In a quiet and seemingly private park I knew I was fully living one of those moments.

There were close to 100 of us and we had Central Park in NYC all to ourselves. We are runners. And we know that for what we put in to our running we will get so much more out of it. And that is why the weather doesn’t decide when we run. We decide when we run.

Yes, it was cold. Yes, it was snowing. And yes, we ran. And we were given a gift as a result – a snowfall covered course with only the gentle sounds of our effort as a soundtrack. I tried to take as much of it in as I could. I thought – THIS is a moment. Right now. Here. Take it in. All of it – the sights and sounds and the faces of the other runners and the skyline and the snow dusted horse and carriages. Remember this – these things – remember tonight.

And if the memory ever gets hazy I got yet another gift today – a picture from @paulstawong – the one that graces the top of this post – that captured it all.

And it all happened because I just went for a run. And as usual, I walked away with so much more.