I remember seeing “Rudy” in the theaters with friends and being exposed to this incredibly famous quote (author unknown) for the first time. I thought it was so cool that just before the legendary Notre Dame football team took to their battle ground…they slapped the sign as a reminder to give it everything they had…because anything less is unacceptable.
Growing up, and after seeing this movie, I remember feeling like I related in many ways to Rudy….always the smallest kid on the football team….always feeling like a bit of a scrapper…giving a bit more than the next guy to “eek” my way ahead when the opportunity presented itself….and always doing so because giving your all was just an unstated (and sometimes voiced out loud by parents) expectation.
But in thinking back to the story…there was more to Rudy’s success than just his deep rooted commitment to being his best…more to it than his determination, grit, and work ethic…..in fact, if you remember…..it wasn’t one of these things that actually got him on the football field….but rather the way in which he used these things to represent his overall being that triggered a unmatched level of respect among several of his more talented teammates…..and it was through this respect…something Rudy earned by being true to himself…that got him on the field and allowed him the opportunity to complete his quest.
On my run tonight, I began thinking of some of the more recent developments in my own (most current) athletic quest…this one to break the 3 hour mark in the upcoming Marine Corps marathon (10/30/11)….and how I’ve been presented with an opportunity to maybe, just maybe have a Rudy-like moment….it’s just that unlike Rudy…in this game (like the game of personal health & fitness)…the guy I’m competing with is me. I must outwork the other guy (in this case my own head that tells me how tired I am and how “hard it is)…..I must be more committed to my goals than the past….I must remain gritty, hungry to excel, but humble enough to seek advice when needed……I must seek opportunity in each set-back….and play like a champion. And as I do, I’m confident my “teammates”…my support network, with mutual respect, will give me the opportunity to complete my quest.
How will you Play Like a Champion Today?
**Special thanks to Julie Culley for agreeing to coach / pace me through my quest…and inspiration from family, co-workers, friends, and clients….including my new NJ-NY Track Club training group (go ahead…google them)!
my favorite scene….”Five feet nothing…a hundred and nothing…hardly a speck of athletic ability”…sometimes it hits a little to close to home:)