Don't worry, this is not an article about New Year's resolutions. This is about knowing that you are enough and it is enough. It refers to anything you do in your life. The amount you exercise each day, how hard you exercised, how fast you ran and the work you got done. Also, the chores you finished and the love you provided your children with. When do you decide? How do you decide it's enough?
Recently, I attended the Woman of the Year celebration in Park City. As I listened to all the accomplishments of the winner, I couldn't help from thinking, I could never do that much. I could never achieve so much. It seems almost impossible to do so much so well, and from there a sense of failure began to enter my mind. I challenged myself to continue to listen, to support her, to think good thoughts about myself. I found myself continuing to think, "Is this what we are about? How would my daughter feel right now in this room? Hopeless? Incapable? Do we focus on expectations so much we end up missing the moment? Are our standards or expectations so high that we are never able to obtain them? If we do obtain them do we really experience happiness and fulfillment?"
I left full of mixed emotions, wondering how I feel "It's enough." I've been pondering this question now for a few months listening, thinking, feeling and sensing. During this time I've come to wonder how many of us are lacking self- love and acceptance for whatever we did that day. Often I hear friends and colleagues say, "Oh, I should have run a faster PR. I should have been first in this race. I should have trained harder. I only ran 16 miles today. If I sleep in that's too lazy. I should add in another marathon because I only did five this year." These are just a few examples I witness daily.
Many of us are living with expectations and demands that cause us to miss out on the moment. How often have we heard or read the message of 'being present'? I'm speaking to the depth of the presence, which is to love, to accept and to embrace whatever you have done as perfect and good enough.
Trust me, I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't have goals or dreams. By all means they are truly important. They provide us with a sense of direction and determination. But even in a goal, when do we feel it is good enough? As I head out the door to run I'm given once again the opportunity to feel, to be present, to witness, to enjoy all that I am in that moment.
Over the past couple months, I have come to realize that one of the most precious gifts I received from The Feldenkrais Method, and in my training is discovering and developing self-image which includes self-regulation, knowing when to stop or back off or when I can go further. It's trusting my ability to know what is right for me at the moment and that what is right for me, is all that matters. It takes presence, awareness and a desire to be connected with one's self.
Perhaps you can begin discovering how you know when it's enough, how you self-regulate and how you honor and love yourself in the moment. It's enough.
Marathoner Meb Keflezighi's list of accomplishments is staggering. Aside from being three-time National Champion in cross-country, winner of the NYC Marathon and too many others to mention here, he also has a shiny silver medal from the Athens Olympics. He has overcome numerous challenges and injuries in his career and continues to be a formidable force in the marathon distance. He is also an author and proud family man so when we had the opportunity for a brief interview before this year's NYC Marathon, we jumped at the chance!
Career Highlights• 2009 ING NYC Marathon 1st place
• 2009 USATF 7 mile, Half Marathon, and Marathon Champion
• 2009 XC Champion
• 2008 Runner-up Falmouth Road Race
• 2007 Runner-up Falmouth Road Race
• 2005 ING NYC Marathon 3rd place
• 2004 Olympic Marathon Silver Medallist
• 2004 ING NYC Marathon Runner-Up
• 2000, 2004 Olympic Trials 10,000m champion
• 2004 Marathon Olympic Trials runner-up
• 12th in 10,000m at 2000 Olympics
• 3-time U.S. 10,000m champ (2000, ’02, ’04)
• 3-time USA 12km XC champ (’01, ’02, ’09 )
• 6-time U.S. 15 km champ (’01, ’02, ’03,’04, ’06, ’07)
• 4-time NCAA champion
• American 10,000m record holder (27:13.98)
• Olympic Trials 10,000m record holder
• U.S. Championships 10,000m record holder
How do you prepare mentally for a big race?
I visualize the race unfold in my mind weeks before the day of the actual race. This allows me to use the motivation of the race to push myself in training everyday. Additionally, it takes away from the pressure that comes from the race approaching so suddenly. There is no way race day will surprise me, because that is what I am preparing for each day.
Even the best professional athletes find it difficult to return after injury. What was the most important factor to becoming competitive again? How has your training changed?
My injury in 2007, which lasted well into 2008 taught me that the body has its limits and we must listen to it. So now that I am older, I listen to my body even more and do all that I can to minimize injury. But we must recognize that injuries are a part of the sport. When injured you must work harder than when you are not injured. That is when your committement to the sport is challenged, and how you respond will determine how much progress you make or don't make.
When racing, do you stick to a specific pace or adjust according to the tempo of the race?
When racing, I run to win. My strategy is to find a way to increase my chances of finishing in first place, and if not in first, then in medal position. One can be fit for a race, but must race smart in order to get the desired results.
What advice do you have for athletes looking to increase their training volume?
Increase your training volume slowly. Don't make drastic changes, because your body will not respond well to these extreme changes. Coach Larsen and I used the 10% rule of increased volume per year. In long distance running, having consistent training for a long period of time is more important than having lots of mileage for a short period of time.
What races are you looking forward to next season?
After the 2011 ING NYC Marathon, my focus will be on the USA Olympic Trials Qaulifiers in Houston, TX. There will only be 69 days between my running these two marathons, but I think it is very possible for me to do well in both races. I would be honored if I can represent the USA in the Olympics for a third time.
TriEdge would like to thank Sketchers for providing the opportunity to interview one of their sponsored athletes! We will be reviewing Meb's go-to race shoe, the new GOrun, later this month!
"Success isn’t found on the couch, it’s usually under a rock… on top of a mountain."
While pacing a rain-soaked LA Marathon, I was asked what the keys were to having a long professional running career. I’ve learned a few things since the summer of 2000 when running shifted from avocation to vocation. In some ways it seems like yesterday when I was the youngest guy at the Olympic Trials eleven years ago, yet in other ways, it seems like a different life. There’s a myriad of ways to answer the question; here are some thoughts…
Whatever the profession, those with long-term success are the passionate few who would be doing what they’re doing whether they were paid for it or not. Dr. Howard Thurman said it this way:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive and go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
It’s the passion principle. Passion takes you the extra mile, passion gets you through the tough times, passion keeps your hand on the plow.
Dream big and work your tail off. There’s no magic bullet, there’s no quick fix, there’s no substitute for blood, sweat, and tears. Embrace the grind; if it were easy everyone would be doing it. If you’re dreaming big and working hard, you have to learn to ignore the critic. For every dreamer there are 100 cynics. Those who have abandoned their own dreams will try to convince you to abandon yours. Don’t listen. Believe in your dream. They’re on the sideline, you’re in the game.
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great.” -Mark Twain
Follow the golden rule: Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. When you treat people right, folks want to work with you; when you act entitled, you end up alone.
Assemble a good team; no one can do it alone. Be proactive, don’t wait for good things to happen. My buddy, Josh Shipp, said it this way:
“Stop waiting for your ship to come in, swim out to it or build your own.”
Find influencers and ask for help. Find products you believe in and write those companies a letter. Knock on enough doors and eventually someone will let you in.
In short: Pursue your passions, dream big, work hard, be nice, and surround yourself with others who do the same. Be positive, ignore the critic, follow your heart, invest in your passions, believe in your dreams, & get busy making them reality. Don’t talk about it; be about it.
Success isn’t found on the couch, it’s usually under a rock… on top of a mountain.
Josh Cox is a writer, speaker, TV personality and elite marathon runner. He is a four-time Olympic Trials qualifier and has represented the U.S. in international competition on several occasions. He burst onto the national running scene in 1999 by winning and setting a course record in a 50-mile ultra marathon at 22 years old. He trains with Mammoth Track Club and recently shattered the 50k American Record by more than 4 minutes. Josh and his training partner, Ryan Hall have signed a book deal with Harvest House Publishers for a faith based running book due out in 2011.
For more information about Josh go to:
As you begin a marathon training program, whether it be to help aid weight loss, improve overall fitness or as means to qualify for the Boston Marathon, the key to achieving optimal health and peak run performance is balancing smart physical training with proper nutrition. Despite this fact, many runners concentrate solely on training, putting nutrition on the wayside, ultimately depriving themselves of a true peak performance and putting a damper on their whole marathon experience. In this article, I provide the inside scoop on how to avoid the most common nutritional mistakes made by both veteran and new marathoners.