Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Ten Commandments of Endurance

I saw this link on facebook to "The Ten Commandments of Endurance"
You may have seen it too, or something like it.

Since we are all runners, you would think these "Ten Commandments" would apply to us.
And this would make you feel weak, inadequate, and pretty much like a total loser.

But these were not written for us.

These were written by Marshall Ulrich, four time winner of the Badwater Ultramarathon, for a speech he gave to Navy Seals. I have added amendments to these commandments for the rest of  us schlubs who can only aspire to "elite" status in terms of frequent flyer miles.

The Ten Commandments of Endurance

10. Expect a journey and a battle–
“Life is not always simple. Don’t think that it’s just going to be smooth and not a rocky road. Accept that in your mind and then you can deal with things.”
For the rest of us: If you accept in advance that the guy with the baby jogger will run into the back of your legs in the local 5K, then you won't be as mad when it happens. 
9. Focus on the present and set intermediate goals—-
“Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Just stay in the present. If you’ve got some sort of problem…just deal with that. Take a deep breath and solve that one problem and then you can go on to others.”
For the rest of us: You are going to run 1 mile.... tomorrow. As long as the weather is nice. Or maybe the next day... I think there is a "Breaking Bad" marathon on AMC.
8. Don’t dwell on the negative–
“I think it helps to step outside of ourselves and not live in our own space or our own head too much. Look at what’s happening out there and focus on even problems of the world or other people. It kind of takes that focus from ourselves.”
For the rest of us: So what,  you had 4 surgeries on that knee. Hey, I know a guy who had seven!
7. Transcend the physical–
“If you’ve got an injury, say you’ve twisted an ankle and you want to keep going–providing you’re not doing damage to yourself–take that focus off that ankle. You can keep going as long as you don’t get locked into thinking about it continuously. You can transcend that physical aspect.”
For the rest of us: When you twist that ankle, drop out of the race and get a ride back in the volunteer's pick up. Then you can transcend the physical by drinking 6 beers at the finish.
6. Accept your fate—
“Just accept it for what it is and take it one step at a time.”
For the rest of us: No matter how much you resist, you are going to eat that entire bag of ginger snap cookies in one sitting. Just accept that, and enjoy them.
5. Have confidence that you will succeed—
Recall experiences, “where you’ve had success in the past. It will give you confidence to go beyond what you normally thought you could.”
For the rest of us: We should NOT recall those past experiences, they were really... really terrible (shudder)
4. Know that there will be an end—
“There will be an end and we can go on to more fertile soil.”
For the rest of us: In the end, you will be laying in that fertile soil. Unable to get up. Ah man, I think that's dog poop. 
3. Suffering is okay—
“That’s the human condition. We’re all going to suffer on one level or another.”
For the rest of us: Let those guys leading the race suffer. Suffering is NOT OK for us. Relax. Take a seat at the aid station and have some peanut M&Ms
2. Be kind to yourself—
“If you’re running and you need to walk a little bit. That’s okay. Know that you have weaknesses just like anybody else.”
For the rest of us: Be kind to yourself and just be a pacer. Then be kind to the guy you're pacing and tell him he can walk all he wants to.
1. Quitting is not an option—
“Everybody is going to think about quitting. I think about quitting. But you can’t let it overwhelm you. You can’t let it stop you from your success. And if you frame it in that way–that quitting is not an option–I think that’s the best thing to do.”
For the rest of us: Actually, quitting is a great option. You get first dibs on food at the finish, and you'll feel really good in the morning.

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