Bob Timmons

In Musings, Rants and Explanations on March 31, 2009 at 4:03 am

It’s now quarter to 4 in the morning, and I can not sleep. We had our hockey team’s annual banquet this past weekend. There was one speech in particular about skill, talent and effort, then there was something about taking the lessons with you through life. I feel like I have taken those lessons that I learned playing hockey as a kid through life. The most important being that you can always find a little something more to give of yourself, but it is only when you think that there is nothing left that you will find it.

This lines up real well with an interesting story in this month’s edition of Runner’s World about Bob Timmons. He held similar beliefs. Putting his runners through ridiculous training, risking injury, burnout and despair to try and get the absolute best out of them. Many of his runner’s never got the point. Usually, kids don’t get the point until a number of years later when they have more experience and see that they have learned lessons which help them through life. In this case, there were a number of obvious cases of people who still hadn’t realized what he was trying to teach them.

That is probably the failure of that teaching style, but as far as living, there seems to be a number of drawbacks as well. Living your life in a manner where you are always trying to improve or perform better doesn’t allow you to enjoy the things that you do have. I have tried to reconcile these two contradictory forces as well as I can. Although, when it comes to my new determination to run, I think I will focus on always finding a little more. This is why I race the person next to me on the treadmill. If they are better right now, I have to work harder to get better.

It is also why I cringe when I hear that someone is just trying to finish a race. Every single one of us has it inside ourselves to finish a half marathon or marathon. There are simply too many cases of people overcoming incredibly physical disabilities or infirmities to accomplish this goal that they have set to believe that we can not. If we can learn to live with not winning, then it becomes easier to compete. If your goal is to finish the marathon in 4 hours, once you accept that you will live to fight another day if you finish in 4 hours and 25 minutes, then you haven’t lost because you are still in the game. Compete. It brings the best out in you, and when you think there is nothing left, find it somewhere.

  1. Interesting blog. My name is Peter Flax; I’m an editor at Runner’s World…[portion removed by Administrator]…In your case, you seem to identify with both the drawbacks of Timmon’s style and with the larger point that he was always trying to make. Anyway, if you’re interest, drop me a line. Thanks. Again, interesting blog.

  2. […] blog post that I wrote about Bob Timmons has been far and away the most popular blog post that I have posted here. Also, it elicited a […]

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