I recently came across a quote recently that struck me. It was from the great American runner Steve Prefontaine after being asked about the competition heading into the 1972 Olympics. Prefontaine stated, “A lot of us will be facing more experienced competitors, and maybe we don’t have any right to win. But all I know is if I go out and bust my gut until I black out and somebody still beats me, and if I have made that guy reach down and use everything he has and then more, why then it just proves that on that day he’s a better man than I.”
Prefontaine believed that giving anything less than your absolute best was a waste of the gift you have been given, and he applied this to every workout and every race. Though the fiercest of competitors, in the end Prefontaine cared less about the competition and more about making sure when he crossed the line that he had given everything. If that led to victory – which it usually did for Prefontaine – so be it.
On race day, this is all we can really do: Give our absolute best. We cannot control who shows up and how they perform – we just have to give everything mentally and physically. In the end, your results will be better for it.
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