"Why run? Why go out there every afternoon and beat out your brains? What is the logic of punishing yourself each day, of striving to become better, more efficient, tougher?"
These words were written by Steve Prefontaine while in high school, and yet they are the same words that each of us ask ourselves as we go along our paths. Why do we do what we do? Is it a desire to punish ourselves and come out stronger on the other side? Is it because we have extra time to allocate during a day and we need to fill it? Or is it something deeper? An innate desire to explore our boundaries and limitations and then figure out ways to move past them. To learn from our mistakes and experiences in order to become stronger and more accomplished.
How Bad Do You Want It is a great book about pushing your limits. There are some days when even the greatest champions are not at their mentally strongest and can falter. We've heard the saying "mind over matter." This is true and can propel each one of us to new heights. The best part about this book is the investigation into both successes and failures of different athletes. Determintation and desire can take an athlete to substaintially higher levels than our physical abilities. As we train our bodies to endure more physical demands, it's important to train our minds to become just as strong. We all have those days when it's a struggle to put one foot in front of the other or to jump in the cold water. That's ok. It's natural through the course of training. But when the time comes to actually get the work done, focusing and buckling down on the task at hand can be more beneficial than the physical training benefit.
So why do you punish yourself with countless miles, cold water, and early mornings? I do it to find out what I can do and then figure out ways beyond that. I do it to see the smiles on my kids' faces at the finish line. I do it with the expectation of learning a little bit more about myself and knowing that I can achieve the goals I set out to accomplish. Or as Pre said, "the value in it is what you learn about yourself...things that you may not have seen in yourself before." Enjoy the book