Tuesday's workout was our first legitimate "speed" workout of the season, as in, it was the first time we've had to run under 4:50 pace for any period of time: 8 x 1000m at 2:57-2:59 with equal rest. It was a pretty miserable day on the I.M. fields, with the mud slowing us down a bit (but no falls, surprisingly). Once again confirmed that John McGowan is one of the biggest half-steppers around. He wouldn't let me lead a rep even when he asked me to. Still, a solid workout all around for the whole team. I got excited on number 6 and threw in a 2:53, but finished it up with 2:57s. Full workout details here.
Will be heading up to Boston tomorrow to cheer on our guys running at the New England Championships at Franklin Park. I'm predicting big things from Ryan Laemel, who missed Paul Short because of a calf injury but seems to be back in great form. We'll also see the debut of Julian Sheinbaum, who was inflicted this past Summer with a combination of injuries and working too hard at an I-Banking internship (Freshmen, take note...) but has been running well in workouts as of late and has quite a bit of natural talent, which reminds me of a discussion last night with JVD about the definition of sport and the comparative value of talent versus work ethic. I love this analysis by Harsha Bogle on what he calls "talent versus attitude."
Is it pleasing to witness amazing displays of pure talent and skill? Sure, but it's not the stuff worthy of legend unless you back it up with equally impressive displays of commitment, will-power, and even failure. Who deserves more respect? The star QB of the Irish in 1975 (does anyone even remember his name?) or Rudy Ruettiger?
Who would you rather emulate? Alberto Contador? Or Enrico Toti, the one-legged Italian cycling legend who, when war broke out, died at the front lines throwing his crutch at the enemy.
The world's "greatest athletes" aren't going to be found on a basketball court, a football field, or soccer pitch. In fact, they probably aren't even on the international stage at all. They've got an attitude that won't let them be defined by comparative statistics, a corporate sponsor, or fame. Some have natural talent, but some don't. But most importantly, they all play their sport the same way they live their life -- that is, with respect for the rules and allegiance to their work ethic 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. How Tiger Woods or John Terry act on their own time doesn't change the number of victories next to their name in the record books, but they're far away from the athletic caliber (yes, I do mean athletic caliber) of a Ruettiger, Toti, or Zamperini. The "greatest athletes" are sure to keep their title forever.
|Louis Zamperini, of the biography Unbroken|