The 1976 Olympic Marathon

The 1972 marathon gold medal came pretty easily for Frank Shorter.

From the time he woke up the morning of the race, he knew it was going to be a good day.  Long time athletes can sense it.  He was “on” that day.

But 1976 was a different story.  He woke up feeling out of sync.  Something was off.  Thirty minutes before the race his prototype racing flat from Nike tore apart.  Only a heroic effort from a friend was able to result in his backup pair arriving on site within five minutes of the race start.

Many athletes would have panicked, but not Frank.

He later wrote, “It was a crisis, yet I felt strangely calm.  I didn’t know how it would happen, but I knew I was going to make it.”

All morning he thought back to the many training days the previous four years when he felt bad but pushed through anyway.  Those training sessions had established his confidence.

Anyone can put in the work when circumstances are easy.  Those who stand apart from the rest of us come back day in and day out, whether they feel like it or not.

Suck it up.  Do the work.

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