Hassan Mead — Tea & Cookies
At the 2017 Boston University Last Chance meet a slew of top American professional distance runners put up world-leading marks. It was an epic showcase. Like many, I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition. There was a lot of media hype immediately following the showing of impressive times.
Among those watching were Oregon Track Club Elite athletes Haurn Abda and 2016 Olympian Hassan Mead.
Abda tweeted out the above photo of Mead. I love the caption. You could interpret his tweet as throwing a little shade, but if you know Abda, you know it was good-natured trash talking more for fun than spite. At least that is how I read it.
Abda wisely and succinctly captures the importance of perspective with his tweet. Mead, being an Olympian, knows how to keep his eye on the big picture and go after what counts. In 2017, for the professional American track & field athlete, that meant preparing to make the Outdoor World Championships team in June. While immediate gratification of fast marks is nice, what matters most is earning the privilege to compete at the highest level. For Mead, that meant the racing the 10,000m on the world stage in London 2017.
Mead kept his word as Abda later tweeted, qualifying for the 2017 World Championship Team by winning the 10,000m at the US Outdoor Championships. I believe this was his first national title on the track as a professional. And to do it, he beat the 9 time defending champion in the event, American record holder Galen Rupp. Now that is a feat of significance.
Sometimes with the endless merry-go-round of media hype and content, we can forget the importance of working towards manifesting a long term goal. It is easy to pander to the now and go after low hanging fruit or succumb to the attraction of distraction. But such urges must be resisted. Divorcing oneself from a short term, microwave mindset is essential when seeking to do something uncommon/exceptional.
In the world of track & field, I, like Mead, place a higher value on The Experience rather than stats. Marks come and go, and the memories of them evaporate as quick as a cloud. But The Experience of becoming an Olympian, a Champion, or a World Team member is forever. No one can take that away from you, unlike a record, world leading time, or stat based ranking.
So heed Mead's wisdom. Decide what matters most. Stay focused exclusively on that. Show up. Do the work. And make what you want so. Don't get distracted by the noise of now and fall victim to the cult of instant gratification.
Instead, opt for tea and cookies.
Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm