Friday, January 28, 2011

Standing Outside the Fire

At least once a month I like to listen to the song, "Standing Outside the Fire". It is the theme song for the Special Olympics and is full of meaning for all athletes. Adult athletes especially should listen to it once in a while.

Some of the words will really hit home for anyone who has trained for an athletic event, be it a local 5K walk or a World Championship competition. To be willing to lay it on the line, to give it your all, to give full measure. I have done 5K races and been so spent at the end that I didn't have the strength left to peel my after race banana. Those are the times when regardless of the results, I'm at peace with my effort.

I might have finished in the middle of the pack but I know I gave it my best. When I see the guys who run the race and then run it again since they didn't get enough, I wonder, how fast could they have done it if they had really put their heart into the effort. I think that is what separates the really great athletes from the thousands of others who could be, if they would just push through into that magic effort level of champions.

To have the courage to see what it feels like to push your limits is indeed a glimpse of magic for an athlete, no matter if your a 20 year old collage sprinter or an over 60 race walker. If we train for health and fitness, then a really hard effort isn't really necessary. But if you train to see just what your made of and to learn what you are capable of then you have to push those limits.

Next time you train, go full throttle, hold that effort as long as you can and then hold it a little longer, see what happens. Perhaps you will find yourself in a magical place. When you stop standing outside the fire and dare to burn. It might just change your whole way of thinking about what you can do.

Thanks for reading.

Rambling Panda.

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