This is the first step to success and also the hardest: Show Up.
Many don't. They hide. Make excuses. Negotiate. And miss the moment.
Showing up is the most difficult on race day. When the running is official and the effort counts for something. Remember, when it comes to a race, there are no do-overs.
A young coach recently asked me, "if you prescribe to the Jerry-Schumacher-school-of-practice and say little or nothing during a race to athletes, then what do you do?"
My answer: I park myself where I think the critical moment on race day will reveal itself and simply observe. I want a front row seat to the heart of the battle, that time of decision all runners must face: Go or give up.
I watch to see how the athlete responds when the competition gets tough.
Do they show up, bring extra, trust themselves and go for it?
Or do they blink? Miss the moment. Give in to the temptations of their anxieties. Cower in fear and give up. Then throw a post-race pity party, making empty promises to themselves and me that they'll do better next time.
I've never seen an athlete upset post race when they went for it. Usually, they are ecstatic because they won, ran a big personal best, or qualified for the next round.
Inversely, 100% of the time the athlete who opted not to go for it is pissed off. No one ever said, "You know, I'm really glad I did all that training, made a bunch of sacrifices, and came all this way to race just to chicken out."
It is impossible to shrink into greatest. You have to show up and deliver, whether you feel like it or not. It is the only path to the top.
And the exciting thing is, showing up is a habit/skill which can be learned and reinforced, but so too is not.
Decide as you will and own it, the choice is yours.
Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm